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Stars Shine on Abu Dhabi Film Festival Red Carpet

Festival opens tonight with Gala Screening of Arbitrage
Packed Festival schedule for Friday October 12th

Everyone attending the star-studded Opening Night Gala of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival tonight will get a taste of movie star glamour when they join film stars and movie makers on the red carpet at Emirates Palace.

Screen legend Richard Gere, the star of the opening night thriller Arbitrage, will be joined by co-star Nate Parker, one of Hollywood's rising stars, along with the films' director Nicholas Jarecki, and producers Mohammed Al Turki, Brian Young and Kevin Turen.

Leading lights of Arab cinema will join the audience for the screening, including Menna Shalabi, Bassem Samra, Elham Shahin, Carmen Lebbos, Jamal Soliman, Bassel Khayat and Hatem Ali. Attending from the Gulf region will be Ibrahim All Moulla, Mohammad Al Mansour, Abdel Aziz Jasimm, Daod Husein, Bothaina Al Rais, Salah Al Moulla and Zahara al Khargi.

Indian cinema icon Mammootty and his wife are also flying in especially for the Festival opening.

The public will also get their first sight of some of the filmmakers whose films will screen over the 10 days of the Festival, as well as the jury members who will awards prizes to films in competition.

From the Narrative film jury, film stars Shabana Azmi and Niki Karimi will join Cédomir Kolar, Samir Farid and Ismaël Farroukhi on the red carpet, along with Documentary jury members Miguel Littin, Carles Bosch, Safinez Bousbia and Mohamed Hefzy.

Visitors from the New Horizons jury, Françoise Bonnot and Vimukthi Jayasundara, will feel the warmth of Emirati hospitality in the company of Nawaf Al-Janahi, a leading local talent.  Emirates Film Competition Jury members Rida Behi, Ahd Kamel, Ali Al Ali, Suha Salem and Bader Ben Hirsi will also be at the film.

Representatives of films screening during the Festival who will walk the red carpet include: Actor Khaled Nabawy and Director Sam Kadi for US production The Citizen; Doaa Eladi and Hazem Al Hamwi for As if We Were Catching a Cobra; Algerian Director Moussa Haddad and Producer Amina Haddad representing harraga blues; Mumbai's King's Director Manjeet Singh from India; Italian Director Enzo D'Alo and Producer Maricla Affatato for the feature animation film Pinocchio, Producer Jub Clerc from Australia for Satellite Boy and the Director of Malaysian production Songlap, Effendee Mazlan.


Members of the public have their opportunity to hear from the cast and crew of Arbitrage at a special event from 14:30-15:30, also at Emirates Palace. This intimate conversation will be hosted by Josh Dickey, Variety.

Members of the public are also welcome to attend the two free masterclasses offered in the evening. At 17:00 Frank Ash from the BBC Academy will lead 'From Mockumentaries to Docudramas: Successfully Blending Genres', a seminar on combining genres to create new formats. At 20:00 Angus Finney, author and consultant to the film industry, will lead 'Management Skills in the Film Business: Your Film, Your Business, Your Success' a seminar about the business side of film production. Both masterclasses take place at Emirates Palace.

The first film screens at 15:30 at Marina Mall, a double bill of films about environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Christo and Director Antonio Ferrera will attend the screening.

Other films with guests in attendance screening on 12 October include: Narrative Feature Competition entry it Was the Son, attended by Director Daniele Ciprì; as well as Mumbai's King presented by Director Manjeet Singh and songlap, attended by Director Effendee Mazlan.

The first screening in the Documentary Feature Competition is As if We Were Catching a Cobra, attended by Director Hala Alabdalla as well as artists featured in the film: Doaa Eladl, Hazem Al Hamwi and Ali Ferzat.

In the Showcase section the screening of American Empire will be attended by Patrea Patrick, Director and Jack Tucker, Producer, while Director Benjamín Ávila will present his film Clandestine Childhood.

The red carpet gala screening for Friday 12 October is After the Battle, the latest film by veteran Egyptian Director Yousry Nasrallah, who will attend the screening along with two of the film's stars Bassem Samra and Menna Shalabi. A drama straight from the headlines, the film follows the fortune of a poor horseman who has a political awakening after he's duped into attacking protesters in Tahrir Square.

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.

Contact thePress Team