Six ADFF Films Considered for 2011 Oscar™ Nominations
October 2 - So far, six of the films
selected by the Abu Dhabi Film Festival's programmers since last
year have been entered for the fierce race to be shortlisted for
what is arguably the most bankable award in the film business: the
Oscars™, the 83rd edition of which will be taking place on
The deadline for
submissions to the Best Foreign Language Film category expired on
October 1, 2010. In this category, the Academy accepts only one
film per country for consideration.
The latest confirmed Oscar
hopeful that will be coming to Abu Dhabi this month for the
4th edition of the festival is
In a Better Worldby the Danish filmmaker
Susanne Bier, who takes an unflinching look at the lives of two
families in small-town Denmark as they become intertwined through
an uneasy friendship of two boys.Culminating
in a terrifying confrontation with the nature of anger and
violence, the film is a stirring example of Bier's no-holds-barred
approach to filmmaking and cross-cultural commentary.
In a Better Worldwill be
screened on Monday, October 18, 6:30 p.m., Abu Dhabi Theater and on
Wednesday, October 20, 3:00 p.m., Emirates Palace.
The official Canadian
entry this year is
Incendies, directed by Denis
Villeneuve and based on a play by Canadian-Lebanese writerWajdi Mouawad. The
film tells the story of a mother's cryptic will that forces her
grown children to confront the prospect that the father they
thought dead is alive, and that they have a brother. Unable to
leave the question unresolved, one of the siblings travels to the
Middle East on a daunting search through the past. Ultimately,
Incendies - which translates as "outbreaks of fire" - is a
lament about the inheritance of violence.
screened on Friday, October 15, 5:30 p.m., Emirates Palace and on
Saturday, October 16, 9:45 p.m., CineStar 6.
Another contender is
Messages from the Seaby Daoud Abdel Sayed,
whoestablished himself as a
pioneer of New Realism in Egyptian cinema withThe Vagabonds(1985) before making
a number of commercially successful films. The film follows Yehya,
who returns to Alexandria, the city of his youth following the
death of his mother. He encounters friends old and new, who
introduce him to the new face of the ancient, decaying metropolis.
He finds a message in a bottle, written in an undecipherable
language, and so begins an endless search for meaning in a world
that he is instinctively drawn to, yet unable to comprehend.
Messages from the Seawill be
screened on Tuesday, October 19, 9:30 p.m., Emirates Palace and on
Friday, October 22, 6:15 p.m., CineStar 1.
Then there is
Cirkus Columbia, a film from Bosnia &
Herzegovina, directed by Danis Tanovic, who won the Best Foreign
Language Oscar with his filmNo Man's Landin 2002.With a unique blend of
low-key Balkan irony and nostalgia,
Cirkus Columbiafollows the fate of a
wealthy ex-pat who returns to a small town in Yugoslavia in 1991,
bringing with him the spoils of his newfound affluence: a flashy
car, a gorgeous young companion and cash to burn. A bloody civil
war looms on the horizon, but Tanovic focuses intensely on the
often-comic details of everyday interactions between the crass
prodigal son and the blinkered townsfolk.
Cirkus Columbiawill be
screened on Saturday, October 16, 6:30 p.m., Emirates Palace and on
Sunday, October 17, 3:30 p.m., Emirates Palace.
The race also includes two
films from the 2009 Festival program:Son of Babylon, from Iraq, and
Bangladesh's First Person Singular. The Iraqi filmis especially close
to the Festival's heart:Son of BabylonbyMohamed Al-Daradji,which celebrated its
world premiere here last year, before going on to become a huge
success on the festival circuit, winning numerous prizes along the
way. Al-Daradji caught the
attention of the Festival programmers early on and is now hailed as
most exciting new discoveries of recent years. Set in April 2003,
weeks after the fall of Saddam, and shot on a shoestring,Son of Babylontells the touching
story of a Kurdish grandmother and her grandson, who journey across
Iraq to find the son and the father, who went missing as a soldier
in the first Gulf war. Traversing the troubled country from North
to South, the pair relies on the kindness of their fellow travelers
to retrace the steps of a long-lost son and unknown