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Arab Produced Hollywood Film 'Arbitrage' to Open Abu Dhabi Film Festival

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival returns from 11 - 20 October for its sixth year, with an exciting programme that promises to showcase the best Arab filmmaking alongside the cream of world cinema. For 2012 the Festival returns to the stunning Emirates Palace Hotel, one of Abu Dhabi's most iconic landmarks.

A key event in Abu Dhabi's cultural calendar, the Film Festival contributes to the Emirate being positioned as a creative hub through the Festival's focus on high quality, Arab cinema and its ability to support emerging and established Arabic filmmakers. The Festival attracts the region's creative community, many of whom are visiting Abu Dhabi for the first time, and acts as a catalyst in stimulating a passion in young Emiratis to pursue a career in film.

Opening the Festival is the movie 'Arbitrage', which is produced by Saudi film producer Mohammed Al Turki, who has successfully bridged the entertainment gap between 'East and West' and is currently building a reputation in Hollywood as well as the Arab world. Al Turki will be joined in Abu Dhabi by the film's director, Nicholas Jarecki and stars of the film, Richard Gere and Nate Parker.
Arbitrage is a taut thriller about hedge fund manipulation. A breakthrough film from director, Jarecki, it is being hailed by critics as one of the best films of the year and a career best performance from Gere, with talk of potential Oscars later this year.

"Abu Dhabi will once again be the centre of attention for filmmakers and cinema lovers in the region, and for followers of Arab cinema around the world," commented Festival Director Ali Al Jabri. "What better way to showcase the talent that exists in the region than to open with a film produced by the region and starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood? It promises to be a great start to an exciting 10 days of films."

This year the Festival includes a special programme of Algerian films celebrating the 50th anniversary of Algerian Independence. These films will be screened alongside the high profile competitions Abu Dhabi is renowned for, which include Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and New Horizons. Films screened in the Showcase section, a panoramic selection of the best in new world cinema, will compete for the Audience Choice Award. The full programme will be released on September 25th, with the line-up for the International Shorts and Emirates Film Competition sections announced on September 18th.

"Abu Dhabi Film Festival has established itself as a leader in Arab cinema and this year's programme will only serve to enhance that reputation," added Al Jabri. "Selection has been intense for contenders in the five high profile competitions at the Festival with jurors in all competitions set to be tested by the high quality."

This is the first year the Abu Dhabi Film Festival has been presented under the management of twofour54, as part of the plan to strategically align the Festival alongside Abu Dhabi's other media initiatives and related events, reinforcing Abu Dhabi as the creative hub for the region supporting film production.

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