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Abu Dhabi Film Festival Expands Its Reach : Open-Air Cinema at Fairmont Supplements Downtown Screenings

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) announced today the main venues for its upcoming fifth edition (October 13-22, 2011). For the first time, it will offer film screenings each evening at a new outdoor venue in one of the fastest-developing areas of the city, at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, while continuing to present its program at the newly renamed VOX Cinemas in Marina Mall, and the landmark Abu Dhabi Theater, both located in the heart of the capital. 

The new outdoor venue, operated in cooperation with SwissOpenAir, features a 25.6m x 13.85m screen and can seat more than 1,200 guests. With stunning views of the iconic landmarks of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Sheikh Zayed Bridge, the hotel provides a spectacular new place for ADFF to set up its headquarters, welcome guests and celebrate Opening Night. During the Festival, an open-air screening will take place at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr every evening with several family-friendly films included in the selection. 

ADFF has always been dedicated to creating a program of screenings and events as accessible as possible to Abu Dhabi's wide-ranging and diverse audience. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr's location at the mainland gateway to Abu Dhabi and only a short drive from Saadiyat and Yas Islands, makes it an ideal addition to the Festival's roster of venues. 

Once again, the centrally located VOX Cinemas at Marina Mall and the Abu Dhabi Theater are set to screen an exciting program of Festival films. While the cinema screening rooms of VOX Cinemas in Marina Mall are the most popular in town and have been one of the Festival's site from the beginning, it was only last year that the iconic Abu Dhabi Theater became another favored Festival showplace. 

Generously provided by the Emirates Heritage Club, it is an ideal location not only for screenings, but also for the ADFF's Encounters series, which last year allowed audiences the opportunity to get up close and personal with stars such as Uma Thurman and Clive Owen, as well as leading actors of the Arab world such as Khaled Abol Naga and Yosra. 

"Abu Dhabi is at the nexus of some of the most exciting cultural developments in the world right now and our new venue at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, with its proximity to some of the major sights in the city, 

gives us a perfect opportunity to show a fast developing part of town to the leading industry figures who will be gathering at the Festival," said Eissa Saif Rashed Al Mazrouei, Director of Special Projects for ADACH. "We are very pleased to be partnering with the team at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, whose graciousness and professionalism are in harmony with the warm welcome we aim to offer our guests." 

"The Abu Dhabi Film Festival revolves around the idea of bringing people together to celebrate, share and discover a passion for film, creating an inspiring environment for audiences and filmmakers from all over the world to engage with cinema culture. Last year, we were thrilled to see people ranging from well-known producers to high-school students participating in our events; to have this energy and openness in our audience is a real gift. This year, we look forward to welcoming guests to the Fairmont, a wonderful new venue, and introducing even more people to the outstanding films and talents we have the privilege to work with," said Peter Scarlet, ADFF's Executive Director. 

"As the headquarters of this year's Abu Dhabi Film Festival, we are extremely fortunate to celebrate the world of high-caliber filmmaking in the region with passionate festival-goers," stated Henning A. Fries, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, adding, "To be part of the community in support of the arts and culture is a global brand dimension that we embrace at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts." 

Tickets will be available for purchase at all three Festival venues. The complete program of Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2011 will be announced on September, 21, 2011. 

After the Festival, SwissOpenAir is set to continue hosting outdoor screenings at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr from October 24-29, 2011. 

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL 

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (formerly the Middle East International Film Festival) was established in 2007, with the aim of helping to create a vibrant film culture throughout the region. Presented each October by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the event is committed to curating exceptional programs to engage and educate the local community, inspire filmmakers and nurture the growth of the regional film industry. 

With its commitment to presenting works by Arab filmmakers in competition 

alongside those by major talents of world cinema, the Festival offers Abu Dhabi's diverse and enthusiastic audiences a means of engaging with their own and others' cultures through the art of cinema. At the same time, a strong focus on the bold new voices of Arab cinema connects with Abu Dhabi's role as a burgeoning cultural capital in the region and marks the Festival as a place for the world to discover and gauge the pulse of recent Arab filmmaking. 

To contact the Press Office, email press@adff.ae or call +971 2 556 4590. 

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