posted on 11/10/2012: 880 views
The sixth Abu Dhabi Film Festival will open on Thursday with the gala screening of Arbitrage, featuring acclaimed Hollywood star Richard Gere and directed by Nicholas Jarecki.
The 2012 edition of the festival will reflect the growing talent and influence of UAE filmmakers in the region's film industry as well as offer Arab cinema's strongest representation at the annual film extravaganza.
For the first time, UAE nationals will join international filmmakers as juries to judge films in the competition.
A record number of submissions have been received from Emirati filmmakers with their films competing against the very best of international cinema and to top this, the festival has its first Emirati director.
Ali Al Jabri, the first Emirati to hold the prestigious post of Festival Director, said he was proud to see the quality and diversity of work emerging from the local industry.
Joining international filmmakers on the festival's jury this year are Nawaf Al Janahi, who directed feature films Sea Shadow and The Circle, and a number of internationally acclaimed short films.
Al Janahi will join the ‘New Horizons' jury this year. Ahmad Hasan Ahmad, an award-winning UAE filmmaker with more than 30 short films, music videos and commercials to his credit, will join the ‘Short Film Competition' jury.
The festival will also focus on Arab cinema like never before, as it will be showcasing an outstanding selection of films from the Arab world.
Some of the region's most celebrated stars, as well as up-and-coming talent of the Arab film and television are set to attend the festival, which will continue till Oct.20.
The audience will have a rare opportunity to attend world premieres of the latest productions by some of the most celebrated Arab filmmakers, including Nouri Bouzid, who will present Hidden Beauties, Moussa Haddad, who will showcase Harraga Blues, and Rachidd Benhadj, who will reveal Perfumes of Algiers.
This edition will become even more special as Egyptian legend Sawsan Badr will become the first Arab celebrity to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in the festival's history.
Another aspect, which makes this festival important this year, is participation of international luminaries representing all aspects of filmmaking craft who will bring their expertise to Abu Dhabi to assess the quality of the films screening in competition at this year's festival.
Internationally-acclaimed Indian actress Shabana Azmi, star of more than 120 Hindi films and numerous international productions, will preside over the panel.
She will be joined by the producer of Academy Award winning film No Man's Land Cédomir Kolar, renowned Egyptian film critic Samir Farid, Iranian actress-turned-director and screenwriter Niki Karimi, and French-Moroccan director Ismaël Farroukhi, who won the Best Director from the Arab World award at the ADFF last year, among many other awards. – The Gulf Today
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