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DAY 4: Awaited Red Carpet Premiere of Naji Abu Nowar’s THEEB tonight at Emirates Palace

Highlights for Sunday, October 26, 2014
World Cinema Project Panel to discuss Preserving Films for the Future
Premiere of Sissako’s TIMBUKTU in Narrative Competition
Best film at Karlovy Vary CORN ISLAND in New Horizons Competition

The highly awaited film THEEB, directed by award-winning filmmaker Naji Abu Nowar is a tale of survival of a young Bedouin boy in the Jordanian desert during World War 1. Shot with real Bedouins, the film collapses cinematic genres and offers remarkable fresh perspectives.

Winner of the Orizzonti award in Venice this year, the Middle East premiere of the film today will be attended by the director, producers and the cast. THEEB is competing in the New Horizons Competition of ADFF 2014. (tonight at Emirates Palace, 18:15).

Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrehmane Sissako’s TIMBUKTU, featured in ADFF Narrative Competition, carries us along with protagonist Kidane who is faced with the extremist reign of terror. The film is inspired by the 2012 stoning to death of a young unmarried couple by extremists in a Northern Mali town. 

As part of its Special Programme, ADFF 2014 brings to Abu Dhabi the restored 1975 Filipino classic by Lino Brocka MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF LIGHT, a realistic story of doomed love set in the Marcos era. Julio’s hopes of uniting with his missing lover are dashed by the crushing realities of his present and the film unfolds against the backdrop of street protests and demonstrations of the Marcos’ Manila. Restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project (WCP), with the support of ADFF, the film submits itself to rediscovery by new audiences. (VOX 6, 18:00)

To be screened in today’s Narrative Competition is LA SAPIENZA (VOX 5 at 18:15) by veteran filmmaker Eugene Green. The film’s protagonist, a brilliant architect left lost and defeated as he deals with contemporary monstrous corporate architectural projects, goes on a journey seeking refuge in the magnificent structures of his favourite sixteenth century architect Francesco Borromini, and it transforms into an experience of self-discovery and healing.

Included in the New Horizons competition of ADFF 2014, Karlovy Vary’s top prizewinning film CORN ISLAND, directed by George Ovashvili, offers a profound experience to viewers, with virtually no dialogue. It is a hardy tale of an old farmer and his obedient granddaughter, carrying on their generations-old farming tradition on an island now located in the frontiers of Georgia and Abkhazia. (VOX 6, 21:00)

In the Documentary competition, CAIN’S CHILDREN, Marcell Gerő interviews three Hungarians who were incarcerated for committing murders as children. It attempts to better understand children who have committed the act and the effects of the prison system on those imprisoned so young.

Decide where you stand after watching a group of high school teenagers and their parents attempting to navigate their relationships and love lives through the Internet in Jason Reitman’s introspective MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN, featured in the Showcase section (Emirates Palace at 21:30). Also in Showcase, FOOD CHAINS, by activist filmmaker Sanjay Rawal, brings to the fore the condition of farm workers in the US who are routinely abused and stripped of their rights, a plight that harks back to the so-called ‘bygone’ days of slavery, and the complicity of supermarket chains and corporate greed in it (VOX 1 at 19:15).

Included in the festival’s Special Programmes today are the 2005 film A NEW DAY IN OLD SANA’A in ‘The Arab Diaspora’ (VOX 2, 19:00) and the restored 1962 French classic JULES AND JIM, presented as a tribute to famed French director Francois Truffaut (VOX 2 at 21:30).


At Emirates Palace Ballroom 3 at 14:30 to 16:00: Panel discussion titled ‘MOVING BEYOND THE ARAB WORLD: ACTING STYLES IN FILMS FROM THE REGION’ with leading international and regional industry professionals examining the acting style in Arabic films in relation to the internationally preferred acting style. Participants are Khaled Abol Naga, Mohammed Hefzy, Guillaume de Seille and Bashar Atiyat, moderated by Teresa Cavina.

At Emirates Palace Ballroom 3 at 16:30 to 18:00: Panel discussion titled ‘WORLD CINEMA PROJECT: PRESERVING FOR THE FUTURE’ by dignitaries from the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project (WCP). WCP executive director Margaret Bodde, managing director Jennifer Ahn and archival manager Cecilia Cenciarelli as well as Twentieth Century Fox Library and Technical Services senior vice-president Shawn Belston will guide filmmakers on how to preserve their films for future generations.

ADFF TALKS FILM sessions are open to the public and are free to attend.

In celebration of the eighth Abu Dhabi Film Festival, The Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) is holding a networking event Monday evening at 18:20 at the Oriental Terrace – Emirates Palace for filmmakers and industry professionals to learn about the production opportunities available in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The reception will feature a presentation of the committee’s offerings such as the 30% rebate and will explore all other reasons as to why Abu Dhabi is becoming the region’s production hub.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival runs from October 23 until November 1. The Ceremony for the winners of the Black Pearl Awards will take place on October 31.

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