Abu Dhabi Film Festival: Iranian Vampire Western, More

[playlist type="video" ids="123699"]Saturday's Abu Dhabi Film Festival highlights included the world premiere of Emirati Documentary SOUNDS OF THE SEA. It also featured TWO MEN IN TOWN and A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE in 'Showcase' section. It saw cinema's first Iranian vampire Western A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, and enjoyed an evening with actor-musician 'The Narcicyst.'

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At VOX 5, Academy Award-winning Danish film director Susanne Bier was present for the screening of her new feature film A SECOND CHANCE, a morally complex drama. The film is part of ADFF 2014 Narrative Competition. Susanne Bier's In a Better World, showcased in ADFF 2010, won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Film in 2011.

What do birds sitting on trees think of us humans? Find out. The absurdist, surrealistic black comedy drama and winner of the Golden Lion in Venice, A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE by Swedish director Roy Andersson was another highlight of the day. An ADFF 2014 'Showcase' film, it is the third part of Andersson's "living"-trilogy, following Songs from the Second Floor and You, the Living.

Among the Narrative Competition entries screened was SANAD-funded film THE VALLEY by Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab. The drama unfolds as the film's protagonist, an amnesiac man, survives a car crash in the middle of Lebanon's isolated Beqaa Valley only to find himself held hostage on a local farm that doubles as an illegal drug-production facility. The director, actors and producers interacted with the audience after the screening.

Only in the 2000s has Kurdish cinema began to emerge. So MEMORIES ON STONE is a rarity and was must-see for all those who wanted to get acquainted with the Kurdish people and their aspirations. Kurdish-German director Shawkat Aman Korki will present his movie investigating the Kurdish pogrom in the wake of the Anfal military operations of the 1980s.

Three films in the New Horizons category were screened: The highly evocative 'no-dialogue' Indian movie LABOUR OF LOVE had its director Adityavikram Sengupta and co-producers Jonaki Bhattacharya and Vikram Mohanti presented at the screening. Set in Calcutta, the film lyrically portrays two people facing the hardships of the recession. Serbian feature film which won the Best Film by Venice International Film Critics' Week, NO ONE'S CHILD, written and directed by Vuk Rsumovic, and South Korean film IN HER PLACE directed by Albert Shin were the other two New Horizons entries for the day. The directors of both films conversed with the audience post-screening.

SOUNDS OF THE SEA by Emirati director Nujoom Al Ghanem, competing in the Documentary Competition of the festival, had its World Premiere. The film portrays an old sea singer on one of his last journeys. The audience will have a chance to dialogue with the film crew.

Mexican ECHO OF THE MOUNTAIN, in the ADFF 2014 Documentary Competition, follows Santos de La Torre, who lives in oblivion in his country despite having created a renowned mural for Paris metro. The film’s director Nicolas Echevarria and subject Santos de La Torre will be present for a Q&A after the film.

The documentary MARMATO takes a look at the gold rush in a mining town in Columbia. The film's director Mark Grieco and producer Stuart Reid will grace the screening.

TWO MEN IN TOWN, directed by French-Algerian director and winner of ADFF 2014 Career Achievement Award Rachid Bouchareb, was presented in the ADFF 'Showcase.' The film was screened in competition at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

Award-winning British director Stephen Daldry's new film TRASH was presented at Emirates Palace. The film by the three times-Academy Award-nominated director portrays the situation that unfolds when two trash-picking boys from Rio's favelas find a wallet in the local dump.

The World Premiere of Emirati documentary AS ONE: THE AUTISM PROJECT, presented in ADFF Showcase was screened at Emirates Palace. Producer Hana Makki was present in person and took audience queries after the screening.

Austrian production MACONDO is part of the ADFF 2014 Showcase. The film examines how conflicts drive young kids to shoulder responsibilities far beyond their age.

Abu Dhabi's film buffs can experience the creeps watching the first-ever Iranian vampire Romance, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE directed by Ana Lily Amirpour.

Two films by famed French New Wave movie director Francois Truffaut will be shown as part of the ADFF Special Programme; his 1976 family-friendly SMALL CHANGE, a comedy with a serious message based on the daily happenings in the lives of young children who are classmates, was screened at VOX 2 while the 1973 classic DAY FOR NIGHT were presented at the same venue later.

Abu Dhabi Film Festival ADFF TALKS FILM

At Emirates Palace Ballroom, there was a Panel Discussion titled 'LETS WORK TOGETHER – A FOCUS ON INTERNATIONAL CO-PRODUCING WITH THE ARAB WORLD.' Panelists, including directors and producers from Europe, Canada and the Arab world, discussed whether Arab filmmakers should opt for international co-productions and collaborations to ensure global success. Later, an 'An Evening with the Narcicyst,' hosted by twofour54s Creative Lab, to feature Iraqi-Canadian musician and actor Yassin Alsalman. Alsalman is scheduled to attend the Abu Dhabi Film Festival this year for the premiere of his short film RISE, directed by Ali Mostafa.

ADFF TALKS FILM sessions are open to the public and are free to attend.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival runs from October 23 until November 1. The Ceremony for the winners of the Black Pearl Awards will take place on October 31.

About Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), powered by twofour54, is presented each October to help create a vibrant film culture throughout the region. With a focus on Arab cinema and the wealth of emerging and established film talent from around the world, ADFF has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in Abu Dhabi, helping to enhance the emirate as a hub of creativity.
Abu Dhabi Film Festival is committed to curating exceptional programs and engaging and educating the local community with their own and other cultures through the art of cinema. The films of Arab film directors are presented in competition with those of the most respected film-makers from all over the world.

About twofour54

twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, is a leading media and entertainment hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, aiming to nurture the development of creative industries in the region through supporting talent, content development, and young entrepreneurs.

As part of its mission to help Arabs realize their ambitions across diverse media platforms, twofour54 provides financial support, a creativity lab that engages members in creative projects, as well as training and networking opportunities through tadreeb, and world-class production facilities through intaj. All of these services are supported by its end-to-end business services provider, tawasol.

For more innovative film, follow @EYESINMagazine.

Source: Abu Dhabi Film Festival

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