Stars shine at the Opening Ceremony of the 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival
The 7th edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival set off to a glittering start with an impressive line-up on the red carpet. Cameras flashed to the likes of Jacki Weaver, president of the Narrative Competition Jury and Kasim Abid, director of Whispers of the Cities. Other celebrities included Destin Daniel Cretton of Short Term 12 fame, Danis Tanoviç, director of An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker competing in the Narrative Competition, Merzak Allouache, director of The Rooftops and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. The EFC filmmakers walked in with much attention from the press and fans alike. The red carpet was also graced by the presence of acclaimed actors and celebrities extraordinaire Hiam Abbass and Forest Whitaker – who are receiving the Career Achievement Awards at this year’s edition. Among others, Jerôme Lambert-CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre and lead actress of For Those Who Can Tell No Tales, Kym Vercoe, also shone on the red carpet.
Ali Al Jabri, Festival Director, opened the ceremony with a warm speech welcoming the patrons to the festival. The Career Achievement Award was then presented to Forest Whitaker by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Jerome Lambert following a presentation of Whitaker’s selected works. Whitaker took the larger than life auditorium by sweet surprise when he decided to give an impromptu performance with an Arabic song.
The 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival also boasts of an impressive Jury and they were welcomed on stage with a huge round of applause from the audience. Cameron Bailey, Ahmed Rachedi, Hiam Abbass, Jacki Weaver and Khaled Abol Naga (president of the first-time Child Protection Award jury) were cheered on by the patrons as they walked up on stage and were introduced as the Jury presidents of the Documentary Competition, EFC Competition, New Horizons Competition and CPA respectively. The much awaited opening night film Life of Crime was then introduced by director Daniel Schechter, producer Ashok Amritraj and Image Nation CEO Michael Gartin to an enthusiastic audience.
This is only the beginning of what ADFF aims to deliver in the coming week. With over a 100 films to choose from at this year’s edition, the festival promises a one of a kind celebration for everyone.