As a huge film lover, I am barely able to contain my excitement!!
Created in 2007 and held every October, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival aims to encourage the growth of film-making in the Arab world by showcasing movies from the region, as well as productions from prominent international directors.
Iconic films of the past are screened alongside world premières, and the festival also includes master classes, panel discussions and workshops (which are FREE!).
All films have English subtitles, and many have already won prestigious prizes in other film exhibitions, such as the Berlin Film Festival and the Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale).
There are so many amazing films on this year’s schedule that I would love to split myself in three to attend every show.
You don’t believe me? OK.
Then I will tell you that the world première of the very first horror film made in the UAE, the chilling Djinn, is going to be screened on Friday 25th of October. If you live in a high rise in Ras-al-Khaimah and strange things happen in your house, however, you might want to give this a miss and go to see Breakfast at Tiffany’s instead, showed on the same evening.
Or maybe a psychological thriller-documentary about Tilikum the killer whale is more your cup of tea? (Blackfish, on 26th of October).
From young upcoming film-makers to big Hollywood names, there is something for everyone.
Amongst the many ‘big stars’, Juliette Binoche plays a brilliant sculptress scarred by her time as lover of Auguste Rodin (Camille Claudel 1915, on 1st November), Jesse Heisenberg has to fight his more successful doppelgänger (The Double, on 29th October) as well as planning to blow up a dam with Dakota Fanning (Night Moves, on 27th October), Judi Dench and Steve Coogan team up to tell the true story of an Irishwoman searching for her stolen son (Philomena, on 26th October) and the great James Gandolfini delivers his final performance (Enough Said, on 25th of October).
Even die-hard anime fans have something to look forward to, with the mythical Capitan Harlock and his fearless crew getting a spectacular 3D treatment (Harlock: Space Pirate, on 27th October).
But there is much, much more: brave cowboys from Lapland, an Australian fighter pilot stranded in a dangerous jungle, an obsessed bluegrass banjo player and his tattoo artist love interest, a giraffe about to die of loneliness, a ghost falling in love with a young bride, the first female barber fighting prejudice in a small village in the Philippines, a reclusive rock star which also happens to be a vampire, a Sicilian mob henchman irremediably connected to a blind girl, mysterious deaths, aftermaths of wars and disasters, road trips and coming of age tales…
I could go on for hours, but then I would spoil your fun in exploring this fantastic catalogue of films from all over the world!
The venues hosting the showcase are Vox Cinema in Marina Mall and the Emirates Palace.
The programme for this year can be seen on the official website, or picked up in paper copy from the official box offices in Marina Mall and at the Emirates Palace, both open daily from 12noon to 10pm until the 23rd of October, and then from 12noon until 30min after the start of the last scheduled screening from the 24th of October to the 2nd of November.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS:
Online at ADFF.AE or in person at the Box Offices.
Different options are available:
– a single ticket (30 AED – or 20 AED for students, but must be bought in person at the box office)
– a Festival Pass: with 400 AED to binge on as many films as we want (excluding a few special screenings – better to check first!)
– a Voucher for 6 or 12 screenings – 150 AED or 240 AED (but this also must be bought in person)
Click HERE to read more about CINEMA in Abu Dhabi