In a first ever, Abu Dhabi Fest to open with Emirati film From A To B

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Sep 16, 2014 13:51 IST

The eighth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival will open on October 23 with Ali Mustafa's From A To B. This is the first time in the history of the festival that an Emirati work will set one of biggest movie events in the UAE rolling.

Last year, the festival unrolled with a Hollywood thriller, Life of Crime, starring Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes and Yasin Bey.

This year, the 10-day festival will close on November 1 with a Disney work, Big Hero 6.

The festival has managed to strike a beautiful balance between promoting local talent and keeping in view popular pull. While From A To B will boost the struggling local cinema industry, the Disney work will pep up the festival's efforts at glamour.

From A to B, co-produced by the Abu Dhabi-based Image Nation and twofour54, is a road story that centres on three young Arab men as they embark on a 2,400-km journey from Abu Dhabi to Beirut in memory of their dead friend.

The film was shot in Abu Dhabi and Liwa in the UAE, as well as in southern Jordan. It stars a slew of Palestinian, Saudi, Syrian and Egyptian talents, as well as Hollywood actor Madeline Zima, famous for portraying Mia in the hit TV show, Californication.


Mustafa is known for his 2009 feature, City of Life, a big-budget effort which took in Dh746,305 in its opening weekend. It went on to become one of the best box office bonanzas in the region.

Big Hero 6, directed by Don Hall and Chris Evans, is an animated work which talks about "the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and robotic prodigy Hiro Hamada, who join forces with a group of crime fighters to save San Fransokyo."

Big Hero 6 was created by the same team which made Frozen. "We are very happy to close the festival with a work that is not only a lot of fun, but also brings to superhero movies the same heart-wrenching emotions that Frozen brought to Princess stories," said the Festival Director, Ali Al Jabri.

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