A silly rumour for the last few hours was that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would turn up to walk the red carpet outside Emirates Palace for tonight's opening of the Middle East International Film Festival. Not entirely out of the realm of possibility, as the pair have been in the region doing good works in Jordan and Syria in recent weeks, but pretty implausible. Two stars who did turn up: Demi Moore and Hilary Swank (not really "jaw dropping" as director Peter Scarlet promised yesterday, but you know, fine-ish). Also, and this is pretty random, Dennis Haysbert, who played the president on 24 for five seasons. Even weirder, this appears to be the third time he has been in the UAE this year. That the press covered, anyway. America's first black president, on TV, a friend of Abu Dhabi.
And I continue to be pretty amazed and entirely unimpressed with the festival offering a cool film for the closing night gala – this time George Clooney's Men Who Stare at Goats – that no one but a bunch of VIPs will get to see as they are showing it but once on the last day. I have tickets for about five films, including the Anna Wintour documentary The September Issue, Precious, which I've heard good things about, and No One Knows about Persian Cats, a look at Iran's independent music scene.