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Abu Dhabi Film Festival looks back at a successful 2013 edition
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival announced today that its next edition will take place October 16 to 25, 2014. The Festival's management also took the opportunity to look back at this year’s edition, which presented nine days of exceptional cinema from October, 24 to November 2. Featuring a vibrant selection of 160 films and a wide-ranging program of exciting events, ADFF welcomed more than 40,000 attendees at festival venues that included the Emirates Palace hotel and the VOX Cinemas at Marina Mall. The Festival’s seventh edition saw an 11% increase in festival attendees, marking ADFF as one of the UAE’s most successful cultural events.
Hundreds of international visitors and community members enjoyed the Festival’s diverse programme of screenings, master classes, celebrity encounters and special events. The Festival welcomed Hiam Abbass, Forest Whitaker, Mark Boone Junior, Danis Tanović, Aparna Sen and Irrfan Khan, as well as Saleh Bakri, Merzak Allouache, Hend Sabri, Lebleba, Mervat Amin, Abed Fahd, Basel Khayat and Kinda Allouch, all of whom engaged in illuminating encounters with the audience, offering insights into their work. Among the GCC talent were Huda Al Khatib, Ahmed Al Jasimi and Mohammed Al Mansoor, other notable guests in attendance represented a vast array of countries and film industries. The guest list also included more than 550 film professionals and more than 900 members of the press.
More than 80 Q&A sessions offered audiences the opportunity to engage in conversations with international filmmakers, while master classes provided invaluable insights into topics such as film financing opportunities, attracting international film productions in MENA countries, heroines of the Silver Screen or the Renaissance of Iraqi Cinema.
Special programmes were dedicated to Debut Films of Arab Filmmakers, Restored Classics and 100 years of Indian Cinema and this year’s edition introduced a new award, the Child Protection Award in partnership with the Ministry of Interior Child Protection Programme.
“ADFF has firmly established itself as one of the most important cultural events in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The Festival can count on a steady and eager fan base among the local community and sees audiences returning to the Festival every year in great numbers. We welcome these encouraging figures and the positive feedback we received from our guests, reflecting of the wider cultural surge currently taking place in our region. It was very gratifying to see that Abu Dhabi residents and international guests alike recognize ADFF as one of the key places to discover outstanding films from all over the world.” said Ali Al Jabri, Director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
He added: “It has been an outstanding year for the Festival, in which our hard-working team of programmers managed to present an outstanding selection of films.”
The Festival’s seventh edition presented 90 feature films and 70 shorts from 51 countries, half of which hailed from the Middle East. Five of the films in the line-up received post-production support from the SANAD, ADFF’s fund to support Arab filmmakers. The Festival celebrated 10 world premieres of feature length films and 6 international premieres.
This year, the Festival received over 2,000 submissions as well as hundreds of films that were seen by the ADFF programming team, this almost doubled the number of films taken into consideration for the selection. Filmmakers from more than 102 countries submitted work, with more than 600 entries from the Middle East, including over 70 from the United Arab Emirates.
SANAD, the Festival’s development and post-production fund for filmmakers from the Arab world, announced its two rounds of grantees in the run-up to the Festival. Twenty-five feature-length projects were selected out of 205 submissions from 12 Arabic-speaking countries. A total of $500,000 in grants was awarded to 16 development and 9 post-production projects.
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