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DAY 6: World Premieres of Arab Films UM GHAYEB and THE SILENCE OF THE SHEPHERD

Highlights for Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Red Carpet Premiere of DIFRET, produced by Angelina Jolie
Berlin winner BLACK COAL, THIN ICE and Cannes winner WINTER SLEEP premier in the region
International Short Film screenings start today

Two Arab films are celebrating their World Premieres at Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014 today. In the Documentary Competition of the festival, SANAD-funded Egyptian documentary film UM GHAYEB (MOTHER OF THE UNBORN), directed by Nadine Salib, convincingly captures the stigmatization of female infertility in Egypt. It will be screened at VOX 1 at 18:00 and the talents attending will take audience queries thereafter.

The second film to have its World Premiere today is the Iraqi film THE SILENCE OF THE SHEPHERD, featuring in the New Horizons category of the festival. Director Raad Mushatat will grace the premiere at VOX 6 at 21:15 with his all-Iraqi cast and crew. The film, set against a rural backdrop, deals with silence in the village community when a thirteen-year old girl suddenly disappears.  

Tonight ADFF will present two award-winning, much acclaimed movies for the first time in the region. BLACK COAL, THIN ICE  (VOX 5 at 21:30), which won the Golden Bear award at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, is a dark Chinese detective thriller written and directed by Diao Yinan. BLACK COAL, THIN ICE is competing in the festival’s Narrative Competition.

Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes festival WINTER SLEEP, directed by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, will be screened at VOX 1 at 20:45. Set against the snowy panoramas of Anatolia, the film is an intimate character study of the protagonist that touches epic dimensions. The film delineates the deep chasms between the rich and poor as well as of the powerful and powerless in Turkey. WINTER SLEEP will be presented as part of the ADFF Showcase. 

Watch the intense acting by the father-adolescent son duo in FEVERS on screen today. Competing in the ADFF Narrative Competition, FEVERS (VOX 5 at 18:30) directed by Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Ayouch, portrays situations that arise in the life of 13-year old Benjamin in France, who is suddenly thrust into the company of his North African immigrant father he never knew he had, when his mother goes to jail. 

Winner of the Audience Awards at Sundance and at Berlinale this year, DIFRET will have its red carpet premiere at Emirates Palace tonight at 18:30. The Ethiopian drama, produced by Angelina Jolie, will have its director Zeresenay Mehari and producer Mehret Mondefro attending the red carpet. The film that spotlights the gender-based violence in Ethiopia and the ancient practice of abduction into marriage is included in ADFF’s New Horizons Competition. 

South Korean production ENTANGLED from the multi-awarded Lee Don-Ku, also in the New Horizons category, is set for screening today at VOX 6 at 19:00. The film’s director as well as executive producer Won-Suk will be present for Q&A.

Catch the unplanned trajectory of the Syrian resistance by watching RETURN TO HOMS (VOX 4 at 21:15) by German-Syrian Talal Derki. The film, premiering today in the Documentary competition, follows the national team goalkeeper who becomes a protest leader and singer. The film won the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance festival.  

The other films in the ADFF Showcase today are the US film IMPERIAL DREAMS (VOX 4 at 18:45) and the French film HOPE (VOX 9 at 18:00). The directors Malik Vitthal and Boris Lojkine of the films will be attending the respective screenings and answer audience questions. 

Also to be discovered today will be the first two screenings of the films entered into ADFF’s International Short Film Competition (VOX 3 at 18:15 and 21:00). 


Today, ADFF 2014 presents two workshops and a Masterclass designed to help young filmmakers on their way to success. 

At Emirates Palace Ballroom 3 at 11:00 to 13:00: A workshop titled ‘Tadreeb Presents: Avid Media Composer and Protools Workshops’. There will be a special workflow demonstration on the latest from industry-leading digital video and audio workstations for young filmmakers. 

At Emirates Palace Ballroom 3 at 14:30 to 16:00: A Masterclass titled ‘The Long and Short of It – I’ve Made a Short Film, Now What?’ Festival Programmers Ben Thompson, Alice Kharoubi, Maike Mia Höhne and Nina Rodriguez to participate.  

At Emirates Palace Ballroom 3 at 16:30 to 18:30: An interactive workshop titled ‘Crowdfunding the Arab World – Pitching to the Masses! How to Make a Success of Your Crowdfunding Campaign’. Nawaf al-Janahi and Lotfi Bencheikh to lead.  

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

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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