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ADFF 2011 Presents Vibrant Series of Master Classes, Panels and Discussions
Film World Luminaries to Share Stories, Experiences and
Expertise with ADFF Audiences
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In 2011, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) is offering a packed
program of special events featuring leading filmmakers, industry
professionals, musicians and critics. Free and open to the public,
the event series includes master classes with the likes of Todd
Solondz, Abderrahmane Sissako and French electronic music duo Air
as well as a discussion with Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, the
writers of The Double, which is having its world premiere
Addressing an eclectic range of subjects, including the effect of
the Arab Spring on filmmaking, the relationship between Naguib
Mahfouz and cinema, the future of independent productions in the
Arab region and filming in the desert, the series provides a unique
chance for film lovers and festival guests to get insights into the
art and business of the movies. The lineup of events offers an
array of opportunities to meet successful film professionals, ask
questions and hear exciting behind-the-scenes stories,
complementing ADFF's rich program of films.
ADFF's special events are held in the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr's Saker
The series kicks off on Friday, October 14, with Making
Movies in Abu Dhabi, a panel discussion exploring the
city's rapidly expanding film industry, as well as the
opportunities and challenges facing filmmakers seeking to finance
and produce features in the Gulf region. The event features some of
the key players responsible for this explosive growth and runs from
2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
On Saturday, October 15, the Festival presents two highly
anticipated master classes. The first, held by the revered
Mauritanian writer/director Abderrahmane Sissako (Life on
Earth, Bamako), one of the leading voices in world cinema
today, delves into the subject of improvisation in filmmaking.
Measured Improvisation: A Master Class with Abderrahmane
Sissako takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Also taking place on October 15 is Scoring the Moon: A
Master Class with Air, held by the French duo Nicolas
Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel, who were selected to compose and
perform a new score for the Cannes premiere of the landmark
full-color restoration of Georges Méliès's 1902 masterpiece, A
Trip to the Moon, which is screened as part of Saturday's
Family Day lineup (4:00 p.m., VOX 5). Air are no strangers to the
film world, having won critical and popular acclaim for their score
to Sofia Coppola's 2000 debut The Virgin Suicides.
Co-presented by the French Embassy in Abu Dhabi, from 2:00 p.m. to
On Sunday, October 16, the industry panel Beyond Hollywood
and Bollywood: The Future of Independent Cinema in the
Region, sees experts from international sales companies
and regional distributors discuss the types of films they are drawn
to, their relationships with film festivals and the decision-making
process behind deals for films in the MENA region. Held from 11:00
a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
From Script to Screen: Writing and Directing is a
special event with Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, the writing team
behind such hit films as Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma,
presenting a candid discussion of how they broke into the business,
the benefits and challenges of writing with a partner, and advice
on writing and directing. Their latest writing collaboration,
The Double, which is set to make its world premiere at
ADFF on Saturday (October 15, 9:30 p.m., Abu Dhabi Theater), marks
Brandt's directorial debut and stars Richard Gere, Topher Grace and
Martin Sheen. This event takes place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on
Sunday, October 16.
One of the highlights of ADFF's special events this year is A
Master Class with American Filmmaker Todd Solondz (Welcome to
the Dollhouse, Happiness), who has been pushing the boundaries
with his acerbic observations on family conflict and tortured
romance for more than 15 years and is in Abu Dhabi to present his
latest work, Dark Horse. Join this remarkable filmmaker
for an intimate discussion of his craft and career on Monday,
October 17, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., co-presented by the U.S.
Embassy, Abu Dhabi.
Monday also brings a roundtable discussion about The Arab
Spring and Its Effects on Filmmaking. How have filmmakers
and regional cinema fared in response to the political and social
upheaval? Have rules of production changed? Are we to expect a new
artistic paradigm? An open conversation about these and other
questions with acclaimed regional filmmakers takes place on Monday,
October 17, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
As part of the Festival's retrospective of the seminal Egyptian
writer and Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz, ADFF presents a
roundtable discussion investigating Mahfouz's relationship with
cinema. Naguib Mahfouz: Man of Cinema takes place
on Tuesday, October 18, at 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
On Wednesday, October 19, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Fredi
Devas hosts From the Freezer to the Furnace.
Devas, who worked on the upcoming BBC documentary Frozen
Planet for years, is now filming the new series Wild
Arabia, also for the BBC. This event is a rare opportunity to
preview clips from Frozen Planet and is set to cover many
of the novel filming techniques Devas used to capture spectacular
wildlife and landscapes in polar and desert regions. Co-presented
by ImageNation and Abu Dhabi Film Commission, this event takes
place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For many filmmakers, short films provide a necessary springboard
to generating interest and securing funding for a feature project.
But what are the challenges of making the leap? From Shorts
to Features is a panel discussion featuring a diverse
group of directors, who share their experiences, offer advice for
budding filmmakers and discuss current trends in the short film
industry. This talk takes place on Thursday, October 20, from 11:00
a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Above guests and events are subject to change. Please visit
www.adff.ae for the latest details about the Festival's complete