Former Universal Pictures Chair Set for Dubai Innovation Summit

David Linde, Pixar co-founder Alvy Ray Smith and "Avatar" actor Stephen Lang will appear at the December event, which is tied to the Dubai film festival.

David Linde, the former chairman of Universal Pictures and president of Focus Features, has joint the lineup of speakers at the inaugural Cinematic Innovation Summit that will be held in conjunction with the Dubai International Film Festival this December, organizers said Sunday.

Linde is now CEO of Lava Bear Films, a production and financing company that he formed in partnership with Reliance Entertainment, Universal Pictures, eOne Entertainment, the Tele-Muenchen Group, Nordisk Film and Sun Distribution.

The event, which was originally planned to launch last year, but was then pushed back by a year to give organizers more time to put together the event, will be dedicated to "the future of cinematic innovation." It is scheduled to take place annually.

Previously announced speakers for this year include Alvy Ray Smith, co-founder of Pixar and actor Stephen Lang (Avatar) who had also been scheduled for it when it was believed to take place last year.

The Center for New Cinema (CNC), which has been planning the event, is collaborating on the event with the Dubai International Film Festival and business information provider Naseba. It will serve as a lead-in event to DIFF’s 10th anniversary edition this year.

“In today’s world, technology is transforming the entire media eco-system, and this impact is already visible in the rapidly growing cinema industry across the region," said DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma. "We understand that providing guidance and access to these powerful new tools for storytelling is now crucial to the achievement of our ultimate goal - enabling talent and film to find critical and commercial success."

The summit will take place in Dubai on Dec. 5 and 6 at the Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah hotel.

"I helped create the future of cinema once before," said Alvy Ray Smith. "I want to be part of creating the next future of cinema. That's why I'll be in Dubai."