« Go back to Press Releases
ADFF Celebrates World Premiere of Emirati Film Sea Shadow
Today (Wednesday, October 19) the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF)
presents the world premiere of Nawaf Al-Janahi's highly
anticipated new film Sea Shadow. The first film
by an Emirati director to be produced by the Abu Dhabi-based
company ImageNation, Sea Shadow is the latest of a growing
number of feature-length films made in the United Arab Emirates
Contact thePress Team
Al-Janahi‟s film is set in a small seaside town in Ras Al Khaimah
and follows teenagers Mansour and Kaltham as they struggle with
traditions and conventions on their journey toward adulthood. In
this charmingly low-key follow-up to his debut feature The
Circle, Al-Janahi combines a nostalgic feel for a simpler time
with genuine cultural insight. Tonight‟s Gala Screening of Sea
Shadow takes place at the Abu Dhabi Theater, 9:30 p.m.
Documentary fans will enjoy this afternoon‟s special event
featuring the intrepid producer/director Fredi Devas, who spent
years working in the BBC‟s Frozen Planet series, before
moving on to his new project, the BBC series Wild Arabia.
In From the Freezer to the Furnace the veteran
documentary filmmaker shares his experiences filming in both Polar
Regions and now in the deserts of Arabia. Co-presented by Image
Nation and Abu Dhabi Film Commission, this event starts at 2:30
p.m. at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr‟s Saker Ballroom A.
Today‟s lineup also features an Italian-themed double
bill, which brings together renowned Italian director
Nanni Moretti‟s new film Habemus Papam! with the The
Wholly Family, a beautifully crafted short film full of
imaginative surprises, set in Naples and directed by former Monty
Python Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys).
In Habemus Papam! - Latin for "We have a Pope!" - Moretti
imagines with comedy and pathos what happens if the chosen man does
not want the job. When Cardinal Melville (Michel Piccoli) refuses
to address the Catholic faithful as their new spiritual leader, a
psychiatrist (Moretti) is rushed in, but is the new Pope‟s problem
more serious than nerves?
Prof. Alessandra Priante, Cultural Attaché for
the Gulf Area, Embassy of Italy in Abu Dhabi: "Nanni Moretti
expresses the best of European cinema, delivering amazing Italian
stories with a very personal touch to international audiences. We
strongly believe in what ADFF is doing in the region, allowing a
very important window for Arab filmmakers to both show their works
and relate to the best of international cinema. You need these
moments - both here and in Dubai - to continue nurturing a growing
crowd of Arab talents."
This double bill is screened at the Abu Dhabi Theater, 6:15
Tonight the Festival is also pleased to present one of the
highlights of its out-of-competition lineup this year: the
UAE premiere of Ingmar Bergman's 1957 masterpiece Wild
Strawberries. Part of this year‟s Spotlight on
Sweden, the film centers on an egotistical professor who is forced
to reevaluate his life during a long car ride across Sweden when
the hitchhikers he picks up trigger daydreams and nightmares of his
own troubled past. Considered by many as one of the most poignant
expressions of a man reflecting on his own life and mortality ever
captured on film, Wild Strawberries is showing tonight at
VOX 4, 9:30 p.m.
Today's Waterfront Film is The Temple,
marking the penultimate screening at the popular new open-air
cinema introduced by the Festival this year. Directed by Umesh
Vinayak Kulkarni, The Temple tells the story of a
forgotten village in Maharashtra that gets swept up in the idea of
becoming a glittering city when a local herdsman has a divine
vision inspiring him to build a huge temple. This nuanced satire on
Indian modernization plays at 7:30 p.m., Fairmont Beach. Tickets
are free of charge and are available online as well as at all
Festival Box Offices.
Also part of the Showcase section, Seated by the
Fire, by acclaimed Chilean director Alejandro Fernández
Almendras, is a deceptively simple story. Daniel holds
many jobs, but the one that truly defines him is his role as
caregiver for his wife, Alejandra. As they embark on a new life as
farmers in the countryside, Alejandra‟s illness slowly puts her
husband‟s love and patience to the test. This screening begins at
6:45 p.m., VOX 6.
Glenn Close stars in Albert Nobbs, a
fascinating look at Victorian gender roles through modern eyes.
Albert Nobbs, a butler in Dublin‟s most luxurious hotel, is a
slight, achingly shy man who hides an incredible secret: Albert is
a woman. When a handsome painter arrives at the hotel, Albert is
finally tempted to shed his disguise. Albert Nobbs screens
tonight at VOX 6, 9:15 p.m.
The Narrative Competition continues with a
screening of Always Brando, by Tunisian director
Ridha Behi. Inspired by meeting the actor Anis Raache, a
Marlon Brando lookalike, Behi wrote a script casting both actors.
Against all odds, Brando agreed to work on the project in 2004, but
he died shortly after. Always Brando is at once a loving
elegy to cinema and a meditation on the cruelty of the film world,
screened at 8:15 p.m. at VOX 1.
Rampart, also in the Narrative Competition, is a bracing
look at one cop's personal crisis within the LAPD‟s infamous
Rampart division in the late "90s. Oren Moverman brings nuanced
visuals to the tale of a bad cop realizing it‟s too late to change
for the better. Rampart, starring Woody Harrelson
supported by Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver and Robin
Wright, was co-written by Moverman and crime-fiction
legend James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential). VOX 5, 9:00
Today‟s screenings also include two contenders in the
Documentary Competition. Beijing Besieged by
Waste follows photographer Wang Jiu-liang as he
travels to more than 500 landfills, fearlessly documenting
Beijing‟s unholy cycle of consumption through poignant
observational visits with the scavengers who live and work in the
dumps. A sobering meditation on one of humanity‟s gravest issues,
Beijing Besieged by Waste is screened tonight at VOX 1,
Diaries, by Palestinian director
May Odeh, is an inspiring and introspective documentary
about three young women resisting a double siege in Gaza: both as
Palestinians and as women, they have a lot to fight for and
against. Focusing on the personal over the political,
Diaries finds graciousness and hope in a city that many
call hell. VOX 8, 7:00 p.m.
This evening, the Our World Competition presents Taste
the Waste, a shocking but hopeful
documentary exposing the surprising causes and consequences of
global food waste by talking to supermarket managers, farmers,
inspectors, food bank workers and bureaucrats - and plenty of
heaping dumpsters. Taste the Waste plays at 6:15 p.m., VOX
The second edition of Mapping Subjectivity,
Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s to Now,
concludes with a special screening of Yousry Nasrallah‟s 1999 award
winner El Madina. The film follows Ali, a frustrated
butcher‟s assistant who heads for Paris to become an actor only to
end up as a boxer in rigged fights. Nasrallah‟s blending of styles
(melodrama and musical numbers to depict Cairo, neorealist grit for
Paris) makes for a film as amiable as its hero. Screening at 6:00
p.m., VOX 3.
The Festival‟s retrospective Mahfouz - Man of
Cinema continues today with Kamal El Sheikh‟s classic
The Thief and the Dogs (1962). A combination of film noir
and social commentary, the film tells the story of an ex-con bent
on vengeance and easily driven to violence in his desperation to
even the score, culminating an a terrific cat-and-mouse finale.
The Thief and the Dogs is screened at 9:00 p.m., VOX
Today, the Emirates Film Competition focuses on
short narratives, presenting a program of six short films made by
producers from the GCC countries. This section of the Festival
offers a chance to see the latest films from a new generation of
regional filmmakers. EFC 2 Short Narratives 2 is screened at 3:00
p.m., VOX 4.
The Short Film Competition continues today with
two programs of 9 films each, taking the audience on a cinematic
journey around the world. Shorts Program 3 plays at 6:30 p.m. and
Shorts Program 4 is at 9:30 p.m., both at VOX 2.