The 2011 edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival will take place from 13 to 22 October, building on the success of the 2010 edition which featured a vibrant selection of 170 films and a wide-ranging programme of events. Some 30,000 visitors attended the festival. This fourth edition of the festival saw a 31% increase in ticket sales, marking ADFF as one of the United Arab Emirates’ most anticipated events.
More than 100 Q&A sessions offered audiences the opportunity to engage in conversations with international filmmakers, while master classes provided invaluable insights into such topics as DIY-filmmaking and the dynamics of drama. Special programmes were dedicated to experimentation in Arab cinema, restored classics and environmental issues.
The Festival welcomed Khaled Abol Naga, Yehia el Fakharany, Lebleba and Yosra, as well as Adrien Brody, Julianne Moore, Clive Owen and Uma Thurman, all of whom engaged in illuminating encounters with the audience, offering insights into their work.
Other notable guests in attendance represented a vast array of countries and film industries and included Daoud Abdel Sayed, Basma, Tarak Ben Ammar, Faouzi Bensaidi, Ozwald Boateng, Nouri Bouzid, Gerard Depardieu, Aleksei Fedorchenko, Sulaf Fawakherji, Patricio Guzman, Mahmoud Hemeda, Rula Jebreal, Julia Kassar, Irrfan Khan, Abbas Kiarostami, Bassam Kousa, Carmen Lebbos, Doug Liman, Kim Longinotto, Mohamed Malas, Yasmine Al Massri, Younes Migri, Shirin Neshat, D.A Pennebaker, Freida Pinto, Laura Poitras, Om Puri, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Julian Schnabel, George Sluizer, Elia Suleiman, Danis Tanović, Wang Bing and Asser Yassin. The guest list also included more than 370 film professionals and more than 570 members of the press.
“It was extremely gratifying to see that both our viewers from here in Abu Dhabi and our international guests embrace ADFF as one of the key places to discover outstanding films from all over the world. At this year’s edition there was a tangible eagerness to engage – whether evidenced by the many lengthy and vibrant Q&A sessions after screenings or in the meetings and encounters that took place around the inaugural SANADLab projects, which are the next harvest of Arab cinema,’ said Peter Scarlet, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
The Festival’s fourth edition presented a selection of 70 features and 100 shorts from 43 countries, half of which hailed from the Middle East and 33 of which were made by women filmmakers. Five of the films in the line-up received post-production support from the SANAD, ADFF’s fund to support Arab filmmakers. The Festival celebrated 33 world premieres, 26 international premieres, 43 Middle East premieres and 47 Gulf premieres.