MEIFF 2008 rolls out the red carpet- Emirates Palace glitters with stars from Hollywood, the Arab filmworld and Bollywood

Published October 12th, 2008 - 06:13 GMT

Last night Friday 10th October saw the official opening of the second edition of the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi with a multicultural star-studded red carpet affair and Opening Night gala presentation of The Brothers Bloom by director Rian Johnson.

“Abu Dhabi shone in the spotlight at MEIFF’s official opening last night, and it’s our aim to continue this focus on the nation’s capital as the centre stage of the region’s film industry,” said MEIFF’s Vice Chairman and ADACH’s Director General His Excellency Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei.

“In just two years MEIFF has captured the imagination and attention of the global industry and the sky is the only limit for our future ambitions.  We’re looking forward to an incredibly successful and entertaining festival this year, and invite everyone to join us for an action-packed, informative and enjoyable MEIFF 2008.”

Antonio Banderas and wife Melanie Griffith lit up the unique beachfront red carpet at Emirates Palace, accompanied by fellow Hollywood actors Academy Award winner™ Adrien Brody and Meg Ryan.

A stellar appearance from well-known Bollywood star and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra enhanced the enthralling atmosphere of MEIFF’s opening night, along with renowned Lebanese actress, model and singer Serine Abdel Noor and Tunisia’s Latifa - a major figure of the Arab music world.

The glittering stars of the Gulf and Arab film world accompanied them up the red carpet to the flash of lightbulbs, including Emirati actors Ahmed El Jasmi and Samira Ahmed, Bahraini Haifa Hussein plus Dawood Hussain and Abdulhussain Abdel Rida from Kuwait.

Egypt’s flourishing cinema scene was well-represented by Safia Elemari,  Hussein Fahmy, Sharif Munir, Khalid Al Nabawi, Khalid Saleh, Hala Sedki, Elham Shaheen, Fathy Abdel Wahab and the celebrated actress Yousra.

The overhead twinkle of the Arabian sky also competed with the red carpet sparkle of Syrian film stars Rashid Assaf, Saloom Haddad and Jamal Suliman.

This festival’s opening ceremony was directed and choreographed by Otis Sallid for the second year in a row, bringing the cinema world to life through dance and honouring the culture and heritage of MEIFF’s home – Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking at the MEIFF’s Opening Ceremony, Director Nashwa Al Ruwaini said: “Cinema has no religion, it has no nationality and it has no colour or language.  It is a great manifestation of how culture breaches all boundaries and unites the world.”


A celebration of cinema, dedicated to bringing a diverse programme of international films to the UAE’s unique multicultural community, MEIFF 2008 will run from the 10th to 19th October on Friday 10th October with an expanded 10-day festival programme.



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