Omar Sharif in '1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham' Image Credit: Diff

Legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif’s last film, about the 11th Century Arab polymath and philosopher Ibn Al Haytham, will premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff).

Called 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al Haytham, the short film will be screened as part of the Muhr Gulf Shorts category.

Sharif, who died in July, came out of retirement to do the film, directed and produced by Ahmad Salim. The UK and UAE co-produced film focuses on the scientific journey of Al Haytham to discover the nature of light and vision, which helped set the foundation for modern science. The story was one close to Sharif’s heart, who studied physics before embarking on his groundbreaking film career. Taking the lead role in the short film, Sharif guides younger audiences through a partly animated storyline of Al Haytham’s journey into understanding vision.

“I am truly honoured that our short film will have its world premiere in Dubai but saddened that Omar Sharif will not be with us. Ibn Al Haytham’s inspirational life and his contributions to our world deserved to be appreciated by everyone, especially the world of cinema and photography. This film attempts to honour his legacy and I hope it will engage the hearts and minds of millions of young people around the world,” said director Salim.

The film is officially endorsed by the United Nations proclaimed International Year of Light and will be part of an Ibn Al Haytham global campaign led by Salim in partnership with Unesco and 1001 Inventions that includes exhibits, books, live shows and learning materials.

Diff runs from December 9 to 16. For ticket and schedules, go to dubaifilmfest.ae