Google and YouTube facilitate “Hangouts” with Arab stars at the Dubai Film Fest

Ahram Online, Saturday 15 Dec 2012

Egyptian actors Amr Waked, Ahmad Rateb, Laila Elwi, and directors Nadine Khan, Ibrahim El Batout and Khairy Beshara “hangout” with worldwide fans

Dubai Film Festival

Under the theme, "Bridging Cutures. Meeting Minds," the Dubai Film Festival gives worldwide fans of Arab cinema the chance to “hang out” with actors and directors from the region this December, courtesy of an agreement between the festival, Google and YouTube.

Utilising the bridging capacities of new media and interactive digital platforms, the Dubai Film Festival connects fans with starts of Arab cinema via Google+ Hangouts. The first film festival in the Middle East and North Africa to create a platform for online interaction between fans and talent, the Dubai Film Festival enables cinema enthusiasts to chat with celebrities from the Arab world this year. A range of celebrities including Lady Gaga, Amr Diab and US President Barack Obama have previously used Google+ Hangouts to interact with their fans and supporters.

Fans have been engaging via video chat with film starts and directors that participate in DIFF’s Google+ Hangout series, including; Emirati actor Saoud Al Kaabi on December 9th, Egyptian actor and star of Winter of Discontent Amr Waked on 10 December, Egyptian director Ibrahim El Batout on 11 December, Egyptian director Nadine Khan on 12 December, Egyptian actor Ahmad Rateb on 14 December, followed by famed actress Laila Elwi on 15 December and, finally, pioneering Egyptian director Khairy Beshara on closing night.

The Dubai International Film Festival, which runs from 9-16 December in the lavish Emirates features an impressive line up of 158 films, with significant Egyptian participation.

DIFF’s Director of Marketing and Sponsorship, Mahsa Motamedi, said: “In a Festival first, DIFF fans will have the unique opportunity to ask questions and interact with their favourite actors and directors in real time with Google+ Hangouts.”

Motamedi continues; “In addition, this interactive forum will share the excitement of the Festival with a global audience through YouTube’s live stream. In this evolving digital age it is fantastic to have Google and YouTube on board as partners and we look forward to continuing this mutually-beneficial collaboration next year.”

DIFF’s red carpet on live stream are available here.

Google+ Hangouts are available here.

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