The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is all set to showcase an interesting array of Arab movies. The 10-day event, which begins its run on October 11, will see some of the region’s most celebrated stars, both from cinema and television, walk the Red Carpet.
This year’s Narrative Competition will include the works of three important Arab directors, and all these will be world premieres. Nouri Bouzid’s Hidden Beauties (Tunisia, UAE and France), Moussa Haddad’s Harraga Blues (Algeria) and Rachidd Benhadj’s Perfumes of Algiers (Algeria).
The New Horizons Competition for first and second features will also have a spread of Arab fare. Egyptian helmer, Hala Lotfy will present her Coming Forth By Day as a world premiere. The Citizen by Syria’s Sam Kadi will have its international premiere with the Egyptian star Khaled Nabawi appearing for the first time in an English language film. Annemarie Jacir’s latest creation, When I Saw You, is yet another entry here, co-produced by Jordan, Palestine and the UAE. The Festival also presents Moroccan Mohcine Besri’s movie, The Miscreants.
Arab films are also screening in the Documentary Competition: Cursed Be The Phosphate (by Sami Tlili, Tunisia, UAE, Lebanon and Qatar), In Search of Oil and land (Wael Omar and Philippe Dib, Egypt and UAE) and Mohammad Saved by the Waters (Safaa Fathy, Egypt, UAE and France) are some.
There is also a strong Arab presence in the Short Film Competition with eight entries, two of which are Emirati works. The Emirates Film Competition this year features 46 movies, spread over various sections.
The Festival has remained true to its original aim of providing a platform for Arab cinema, particularly emerging talent from the region.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will be covering the Abu Dhabi Film Festival from October 11 to 20.)