Festival in the desert boasts bounty of films
A mix of internationally-acclaimed titles and movies from across the region, the sixth edition of the festival will happily quench the thirst of those searching for a unique cinema experience.
World premieres from Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE, 2012 short film Oscar-winner Saving Face, as well as Palestine and Afghanistan’s Oscar entries When I Saw You and Patience Stone respectively, merely scratches the surface.
The star line-up is lacking with just Richard Gere, who will take part in an In Conversation With segment, having been confirmed to make an appearance so far. Films showing at the festival with famous faces include Sparkle starring Whitney Houston, CeeLo Green and Jordin Sparks, The Company You Keep directed by Robert Redford and starring Susan Saradon and Shia LaBeouf, Flight starring Denzel Washington and John Goodman, among others.
As in previous years the stars are invited and can and have been known to make surprise appearances.
Lifetime Achievement Awards will go to Italian actress Claudia Cardinale and Egyptian actress Sawsan Badr. The Egyptian who recently came under fire for talking “street” in her latest movie Needle Eye, is best known for starring in the British movie The Closed Door, in which she played a divorced single mother trying to make ends meet to care for her disturbed son. Cardinale appeared in some of the most prominent European films of the ’60s and ’70s but is most famous internationally for her roles in Hollywood films including the 1963 version of The Pink Panther, Circus World (1964); Blindfold (1965); The Professionals (1966); Don’t Make Waves (1967); and Son of the Pink Panther in 1993.
A special feature this year will be the Algerian section celebrating the 50th anniversary of Algerian Independence.
World Premieres from the Narrative Films, New Horizons, Documentary and Showcase sections include Harraga Blues from Algeria, Hidden Beauties from Tunisia/France/UAE, Coming Forth By Day a joint venture from Egypt and the UAE, Cursed Be the Phosphate from Tunisia/UAE/Lebanon/Qatar and the USA offering American Empire.
There’s no announced Bollywood contingent to the festival this year.
Restored prints of popular films Singin’ In the Rain, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Lawrence of Arabia complete the Special Programme section.
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival takes place from October 11-20 and this year returns to Emirates Palace. For more information visit abudhabifilmfestival.ae
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