The Abu Dhabi Film Festival celebrated its fifth birthday as the youngest international film event in the Arab world. For the last three years the festival has been under the direction of Peter Scarlet and his international team. This year, it showcased a Narrative Feature Competition of sixteen full-length features, including the new works of David Cronenberg, Todd Solondz, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Arturo Ripstein, Michael Winterbottom and Leila Kilani; a New Horizons Competition presenting first or second films; a Documentary Feature Competition; two short film competitions (one for shorts from the Emirates); a series of environmental films; and a panorama program with a wide variety of festival successes from all over the world, including the latest films of Soderbergh, Wenders, Scorsese, Clooney, Herzog and Moretti. Featured in the competition were eight world and international premieres, most of them new productions from the Arab countries and five of them supported by the Abu Dhabi Festival's own development and post-production fund SANAD (which means "support" in Arabic). The programming focused on Arab cinema, conferences, workshops and outdoor gala screenings under the sky and skyscrapers of the emerging city made this young festival one of the central film events in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi Film Festival: www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae