Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) 2014 will feature seven world premieres of Arab films as part of its showcase of best-in-class Arab and international cinema.
Arab films will be presented alongside international titles in Narrative, New Horizons, Documentary and Short Film competition categories during the event, which takes place from October 23rd - November 1st at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi.
Now in its eighth year, the festival, powered by twofour54, will also host a special programme called "The Arab Diaspora" and the Emirates Film Competition (EFC), which will exclusively showcase productions by Khaleeji filmmakers.
Ali Al Jabri, Director of ADFF, said, "At ADFF, we provide a platform for Arab films to compete alongside international films – a reason why the main competition segments evaluate Arab films and international productions on the same criteria. This focus comes out of our commitment of bringing the best of world cinema to the U.A.E. while projecting the best of Arab cinema to the world.
"With the proliferation of funding institutions in the region such as ADFF's development and post-production fund SANAD, Enjazz, Doha Film Institute Grants Programme and AFAC, projects have been successful in attracting adequate funding and resources to fully develop their ideas from concept to celluloid." The Narrative Competition will present five Arabic films. "El Ott", a Sanad supported co-production between Egypt and the U.A.E., will make its world premiere during the festival and other Sanad supported films featured in the Narrative Competition are "Fevers" by Hicham Ayouch (Morocco, France, U.A.E., Qatar) and "The Valley", by Lebanese director, Ghassan Salhab.
Additionally in this category, Mauritanian Director, Abderrahmane Sissako, will present his latest film "Timbuktu", which was co-produced with France and Qatar. The fifth Arab film to be featured in the competition is the Iraqi-German co-production "Memories On Stone" by Shawkat Amin-Korki.
The New Horizons Competition, with a total of four Arabic productions, will feature the world premiere of "From A To B" by Emirati Director Ali Mostafa's, which will open this year's Abu Dhabi Film Festival. This section will also host the world premiere of Iraqi production "Shepherd's Silence" by Raad Mushatat.
Sanad supported title "Theeb" by Jordanian Director Naji Abu Nowar is also among the selected films, and also being screened in this section is "The Man From Oran" by French-Algerian director Lyes Salem for its international premiere.
In the Documentary Competition, seven out of 17 titles are Arab produced films, featuring four world premieres: "Um Ghayeb" by Nadine Slaib (Egypt, U.A.E.), "Queens Of Syria" by Yasmin Fedda (Lebanon, Jordan, UK, U.A.E.), "Pirates Of Sale" by Merieme Addou and Rosa Rogers (Morocco, United Kingdom, France, U.A.E.), and Emirati production "Sounds Of The Sea" by Nujoom Al Ghanem.
Also participating in the Documentary Competition is the winner of this year's Sundance Festival, the Syrian-German co-production "Return To Homs" by director Talal Derki. The line-up includes "Iraqi Odyssey", the latest film by Swiss-Iraqi director Samir, as well as "The Wanted" by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan, which has been showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival 2014 and now celebrates its international premiere in Abu Dhabi.
Notably, this year's ADFF will host "The Arab Diaspora", dedicated to Arab directors who migrated from their homelands and speak of their heritage and culture through the expressive art of film.
The special programme will also feature "Marock" by Moroccan-French director Laila Marrakchi (2005), "Seeds Of Doubt" by Egyptian-German director Samir Nasr (2005), "Heremakono" by Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako (2002), "A New Day In Old Sana'a" by Yemeni-British director Bader Ben Hirsi (2005) and "DeLice Paloma" by Algerian-French director Nadir Mokneche (2007).
The Showcase section includes the World Premiere of Emirati documentary feature "As One: The Autism Project", which focuses on a unique theatrical programme for children on the autism spectrum.
Another seven Arab films will be featured in the Short Film Competition, three of them as world premieres, one as international premiere. Additionally, the Emirates Film Competition will welcome 52 films from the Gulf region this year. The programme includes 45 world premieres.
ADFF was established in 2007 to create a vibrant film culture throughout the region. A key event in Abu Dhabi's cultural calendar, ADFF features an extensive 10-day programme of Arab and international cinema, complemented by red-carpet premieres, co-production meetings and associated events.
Films compete for Black Pearl Awards in the Narrative, Documentary and New Horizons sections of ADFF's programme.