The director of the curtain raiser at this year's Abu Dhabi Film Festival took a huge creative risk just to film the movie.
‘Life of Crime’, starring Jennifer Aniston (pictured, left), sees director Daniel Schechter jump from low-budget indie films to major features. And it took a serious leap of faith to do so.
“I basically did something I was advised strongly not to do - take a best-selling author’s book, adapt it on spec, and hope whoever owned the rights would let me make it. What I didn’t anticipate was that it took about two years to track down who owned it, then it took another year to convince [them]” he says.
Want to hear more? Get down to Emirates Palace on Friday, where Schechter hosts a talk. And if his creative risk-taking inspires you in your film choices, ADFF is the place to be. Here are a few options to take you out of your viewing comfort zone:
This year, ADFF hosts a record number of world premieres from the Arab world. Of particular interest is UAE horror ‘Djinn’ , directed by Tobe Hooper, who made the original nightmare-inducing ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’.
BEFORE SNOWFALL 
Previous Abu Dhabi award-winner Hisham Zaman returns to ADFF with ‘Before Snowfall’ in the New Horizons Competition. His road movie follows a young boy’s arduous trip east to west from Iraqi Kurdistan.
Acclaimed actress Hiam Abbass will also receive a Black Pearl career achievement award at the Festival. See first hand why at the world premiere of ‘Peace After Marriage’, wbich is about a lonely Palestinian-American who agrees to marry an Israeli woman.
If you can’t get enough of Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Enemy’ is the film for you - there are two of him. He plays a man who seeks out his doppelgänger. At Toronto Film Festival it was described as a ‘brilliant adaption’ of author José Saramago’s 2002 novel ‘The Double’.
ADFF is celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema, and what better way to do it then replaying a couple of the genre’s beloved classics? ‘Pyaasa’, is the story of a poet struggling to make his voice heard in post-independence India.
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival starts on Thursday. Find the full schedule and more information at abudhabifilmfestival.ae