Day 6: Variety Middle East Filmmaker Of The Year Award For Merzak Allouache
Red Carpet Premieres For Villa 69 And The Jewellery Box
Algerian director Merzak Allouache will be presented with the Variety Middle East Filmmaker of the Year Award at a special ceremony at Emirates Palace at 4.30pm today. Allouache made his feature debut in 1976 with Omar Gatlato, screening in ADFF Special Programme of Debut Films by Arab Filmmakers. His most recent film The Rooftops was the only Arab film in official selection at Venice this year. It screens for the first time in the Middle East at ADFF in the Narrative Competition.
Director Ayten Amin, whose film Tahrir 2011, presented at ADFF 2011, honours the Festival with the World Premiere of her new film Villa 69 at 6pm. The delegation joining the director on the red carpet includes the film’s star, Khaled Abol Naga, and his co-stars, the iconic Egyptian actress Lebleba, Arwa Gouda, Sally Abed and Omar Elghandour. The film’s writer Muhammad El-Hajj, editor Emad Maher, sound editor Abdelrahman Ewis and producers Mohamed Hefzy, Wael Omar and Sayed el Ahl will also attend the screening.
The second red carpet gala screening today is for the World Premiere of acclaimed Bengali director Aparna Sen’s latest film The Jewellery Box at 9pm. Based on Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s famous tale of three generations of women, the film includes a brilliant, hilarious performance by Moushumi Chatterjee, who will join Aparna Sen at the screening.
The highly anticipated World Premiere Of Peace After Marriage also takes place at 9.15pm tonight. Director Ghazi Albuliwi and producers Arin Cetin and Faruk Ozerten will join the film’s star, Hiam Abbass.
There are many other high profile talents from around the world presenting films at the Festival today. In the Documentary Competition, Italian director Gianfranco Rosi presents Sacro Gra, which has already won the Golden Lion at Venice this year while British director Baroness Beeban Kidron, best known for narrative films like Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, presents her non-fiction feature Inreallife.
In New Horizons, Australian director Aaron Wilson presents Canopy, about a WWII fighter pilot shot down in the jungle of Singapore. The film was completed through crowd-funding and has been lauded for its gorgeous visuals. Competing against CANOPY is My Name Is Hmmm… the feature film debut by Agnès Troublé, who is best known as Agnès B., famous French fashion designer. She will attend today’s screening.
In the Narrative Competition, we have two Middle East premieres. Renowned Chinese director Jia Zhangke, NPR critic John Powers describes him as perhaps "the most important filmmaker working in the world today”, will attend the screening of his latest film A Touch Of Sin, along with actress Tao Zhao who, having starred in eight of Jia Zhangke’s films. Iconic Filipina actress Eugene Domingo joins ADFF with her latest film Barber’s Tales. Directed by Jun Robles Lana, a highly acclaimed screenwriter who made his directorial debut in 2008, the film is a companion piece to Bwakaw (2012), which was selected as the Filipino entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. The director will attend the first Middle East screening of the film together with producers Ferdinand Lapuz and Tonee Acejo.
There is a very special opportunity for press and public to meet the next generation of international filmmaking talents at 1.00pm today. ALL directors with films competing in SHORT FILM COMPETITION or the EMIRATES FILM COMPETITION will attend the event at Emirates Palace where they will be available for a coffee and a chat. It is also a chance to meet the programmer of the Short Film Competition Alice Kharoubi and director of the EFC, Saleh Karama.
The ADFF TALKS FILM masterclass programme closes with “Cinematic Debuts” a panel discussion about the first films of renowned Arab film makers, which complements our special program of the same name. Mohammad Malas, considered the first Auteur director of Syrian cinema, will present his debut film Dream Of The City when it screens today as part of the Special Programme.
Also in ADFF TALKS FILM, at 11am acclaimed producer Catherine Dussart (The Missing Picture) guides aspiring producers and interested film fans through the process of producing a film in “So You Want To Be a Producer”.