Stars of Arab Cinema to Attend the Abu Dhabi Film Festival
We look forward to welcoming a whole host of major stars,
including Yosra - whose glittering career in cinema has been
matched by an equally brilliant presence on television in recent
years - as well as eminent film and television actors Yehia el
Fakharany from Egypt and Bassam Kousa from Syria. Lebleba, the
grande dame of Arab cinema, who started acting as a child and
earned critical acclaim for her more serious roles, is also among
the celebrity guests.
Mona Zaki and Ahmed Helmy lead a list of famous names from a new
generation of Arab actors that also includes Ghada Adel, who
starred in Mohamed Khan's In the Heliopolis Flat (2007), and Fathy
Abdel Wahab, best known for his role in Sahar Al Layali (2003) by
Hani Khalifa and Fawzia: A Special Blend (2008) by Magdi Ahmed
The list goes on to include a host of other celebrated talents
such as Rashid Assaf, Hicham Bahloul, Janine Dagher, Abdel Fahed,
Tamer Hagras, Hassan Kachach, Somaya el Khasab, Younes Migri, Sana
Mouziane, Nezha Rahile, Mostafa Shaban, Shatha Taha Salim and Wael
Numerous celebrities from the Gulf countries are also expected
at screenings and Gala Nights throughout the Festival. Among them
are Suad Abdullah, Abdulhussain Abdulredha, Abdulmohsen el Nemr,
Huda Hussain, Ghanem al Sulaiti, Khaled al Braiki, Abdul Aziz
Jassim and Mohammed al Mansour.
Once again, the celebrity guest list also includes cast members
of films being shown as part of the line-up. Julian Schnabel's new
film Miral, presented at a Gala Night as part of the Narrative
Feature Competition, will be attended by Alexander Siddig, the
Sudanese-born actor known for his work on several international
productions, and Yasmine al Massri, who starred in Nadine Labaki's
Caramel (2007) and Najwa Najjar's Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009).
Schnabel's latest feature is a sweeping multigenerational saga of
four Arab women living under Israeli occupation, which created a
lot of buzz in Venice and Toronto.
Hassan Mrad, the well known Lebanese stage and film actor, will
be joining Julia Kassar and Carmen Lebbos, who made a name for
themselves in theater and television before finding their place in
the new Lebanese cinema that emerged after the war, in Abu Dhabi
for the screening of Here Comes the Rain, directed by Bahij Hojeij.
The much-anticipated film continues Hojeij's exploration of the
kidnappings that took place during the Lebanese civil war and tells
the story of a man (Mrad) who returns to his family after 20 years
of imprisonment, permanently scarred and detached from the reality
Asser Yassin, Basma and Mohamed Lotfy star in the Egyptian film
Messages from the Sea by Daoud Abdel Sayed in this year's Narrative
Feature Competition and are coming to Abu Dhabi to support the
project. Messages from the Sea is a charming meditation on
existence, memory, love and social disintegration that charts the
story of a man who returns to his childhood home in Alexandria
following the death of his mother.
The Narrative Feature Competition also includes Taming, by the
Syrian director Nidal Aldibs, whose leading actors Salloum Haddad
and Mohanad Kotesh will be at the film's Festival screening. Taming
interweaves dreams, desire and despair in a captivating existential
drama that begins with a young man and a beautiful girl embarking
on an escapist romance.
Qays Cheikh Najib, one of Syria's most prominent actors and
fellow Syrian star Kinda Allouch will attend the screening of Once
Again by Joud Said, which will be shown as part of the New Horizons
/ Afaq Jadida Competition. Set against the backdrop of the Syrian
military presence in Lebanon, Once Again tells the story of the son
of an army officer, who loses his memory after a gun accident.
Another film with celebrity support is Living Skin by Egyptian
director Fawzi Saleh, also in the New Horizons / Afaq Jadida
Competition. The prominent Egyptian actor Mahmoud Hemada, who
produced the film, will be coming to its Festival screening.
Living Skin is a vibrant, ramshackle portrait of child
labor in Egypt, showing a cross-section of children's lives in the
tanneries of a slum.
The Festival also looks forward to welcoming two Tunisian stars
of films in the Short Film Competition. Anissa Daoud is a rising
star of independent film, who does not shy away from radical roles,
and is coming to the Festival to support the screening of Album,
directed by Shiraz Fradi. Mouna Noureddine, one of Tunisia's
foremost theater and film actresses, will attend the screening of
Wave by Mohamed Ben Attia.