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Day 4: ADFF Presents Masterclass With Irrfan Khan

Hiner Saleem And Golshifteh Farahani Return To Abu Dhabi Panel Discussing International Impact Of Indian Cinema 

Kurdish director Hiner Saleem leads a delegation down the red carpet tomorrow for the Middle East Premiere of My Sweet Pepper Land, a playful and provocative drama about a police chief in a border town in a stand-off with a local teacher. The film, which screens at 9pm, was selected for Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year. Joining Saleem on the Emirates Palace red carpet are the film’s stars Golshifteh Farahani, Korkmaz Arslan and Véronique Wütrich and producers Khaled Saleh and Marc Bordure.

At 6.30pm audiences will have a chance to get up close and personal with the star of QISSA at In Conversation With Irrfan Khan, as part of ADFF Talks Film. This is a rare opportunity to meet a fascinating artist known for his diverse range of films including The Lunchbox, Life Of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire And Saheb Biwi Aur. The winner of three Filmfare Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award will talk about his inspirational life and exceptional career path.

Also featured in our masterclass series at 2.30pm is a discussion on 100 Years Of Indian Cinema: Studying The Past To Define The Future. The largest film industry in the world, second only in influence to Hollywood, will be discussed by a distinguished panel of guests: Anup Singh, M.S. Sathyu, Jahnu Barua, Meenu Gaur and moderated by Dale Hudson.

Two rising stars, both from film-making families, will present their very different films today. French actor Louis Garrel will present the Narrative Competition screening ofJealousy, a comedy-drama set in Paris directed by his father, acclaimed director Phillipe Garrel, while Saleh Bakri, son of Mohammed Bakri, will present the Italian film Salvo, in which he stars as a mafia hit-man whose life is changed when he meets a young blind girl. The film won the Critics Week prize at Cannes this year and screens in the New Horizons competition in Abu Dhabi.

Documentary fans should look out for the World Premiere of the film Hanging Dates Under Aleppo’s Citadel, a Lebanese and Emirati co-production, which recounts a young man’s experience in the Battle for Aleppo in Syria. The film’s director Mohammad Soueid and director of photography Mohannad Al Najjar will be at the screening. A very different film that is also screening in the documentary competition on Sunday is Doctor Fabre Will Cure You, which looks at the works of the provocative contemporary performance artist Jan Fabre.

In the New Horizons Competition we have the feature Short Term 12 by  Daniel Cretton, based on his short film of the same name. The feature premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Narrative Feature Award and the Narrative Audience Award. The director, who will deliver a masterclass on turning short films into features on Monday, will attend the screening.

Fans of Hollywood star Jake Gyllenhal will want to see Enemy, which screens in the Narrative Competition. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Denis Villeneuve, who presented Incendies at ADFF 2010 and whose film Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman was recently seen in UAE cinemas. Enemy is a brilliant adaptation of a Nobel Prize winning novel about a man who spots his look-alike in a film and decides to track him down. The film also stars Isabella Rossellini and looks set for international acclaim.

A country that is rarely represented in cinema, Kazakhstan, delivers one of the visually most stunning movies of the year, Harmony Lessons. The debut feature from Emir Baigazin, who will attend the screening, won the Silver Bear for Cinematography at this year’s Berlinale and also takes part in the new CHILD PROTECTION COMPETITION at this year’s ADFF.

Family friendly screenings today include the Japanese anime film Harlock: Space Pirate, a spectacular 3D adaptation of the popular manga series, about a space pirate who fights the corrupt government of Earth. The film’s producers Joseph Chou and Rei Kudo will join director Shinji Aramaki at the screening.

Also from Japan, the Festival presents Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film about a family whose world is turned upside-down when they learn that the hospital gave them the wrong baby. It won the jury prize at Cannes and the People’s Choice Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival runs from October 24 until November 2. The Ceremony for the winners of the Black Pearl Awards will take place on October 31. 

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