Movies from morning to evening…a dream for many. With over 80 movies being shown over a period of 10 days, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival was a dream-come-true for many movie buffs. Movies in all languages and of all subjects were shown in the UAE’s largest film event of the year. The venues of the festival, VOX cinemas and Emirates Palace, were buzzing with people of all nationalities and ages, many having flown in from all over the world, and all with the same desire: To watch and enjoy extraordinary movies. The directors and main actors were present for questions and answer sessions after the movie, including the famous Richard Gere, who starred in “Arbitrage”. Meeting an actor/actress whose movie you have just watched in the cinema really gives a whole new perspective on the matter!
Part of the buzz at the film festival included numerous volunteers, all helping to organize and run the event. In fact, ADFF relies on volunteers to be run, since it is such a large-scale organization. As a volunteer one can not only gain experience and help out in an international event, but one also has the opportunity to meet many new people, as well as actors and directors. The lucky ones even got to the opportunity to help out inside a cinema, which enabled them to watch movies at the same time!
Another large part of the festival was the “Black Pearl Award”, awarded for the Emirates Film Competition and the Short Film Competition. The award ceremony took place at the Emirates Palace at the end of the film festival. Thirty-two of the thirty-six short films that entered the competition were created or directed by Emiratis, which was a great representation for the country. The different categories included the Short Narrative Competition won by Murk Light, directed by Yassir Al Yassri, for its deep visual concepts and mature cinematic voice; the Student Short Narrative Competition, won by 3aib produced by Hana Kazim, for its boldness and style; and the Student Short Documentary Competition, won by Dreams in Their Eyes, for its high humanitarian cause.
As every year, this festival was a huge success, and will be repeated in 2013. This was the 6th Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and it continues to grow in size due to its high popularity not only in the UAE, but also in other countries around the world. Having movie buffs from all around the world take part in such an event brings about a special atmosphere, which should be experienced by everyone. It is definitely something one should attend at some point in life, as it is guaranteed to bring positive memories in one way or another, whether through meeting new people or watching great films, or a combination of both.