Ibrahim El-Batout’s EL OTT Set For World Premiere Tonight

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Highlights for Monday, October 27

  • Variety Arab Filmmaker of the Year Award Ceremony at Emirates Palace
  • Panel Discussion on Arab Diaspora Filmmaking
  • Premiere of long-awaited US production THE DROP

Veteran Egyptian filmmaker Ibrahim El-Batout’s EL OTT will have its World Premiere tonight at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014 (Emirates Palace at 21:15). The film tells the story of gangster ‘El Ott’, played by Amr Waked, who tracks the vicious underworld of child trafficking and the flourishing organ trade. The film’s director El Batout, actors Amr Waked, Sara Shaheen and Farouky El-Fishawy as well as producers will grace the event. The film, supported by SANAD in its post-production phase, is competing in the Narrative category at ADFF 2014.

Also tonight, Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar will be presented the Variety Arab Filmmaker of the Year Award at Emirates Palace. Naji Abu Nowar’s THEEB has won standing applause in festivals around the world.

As part of the ‘ADFF Talks Film’ programme, there will be a panel discussion titled ‘The Soul Yearns for a Home – Film Making from Arab Diaspora’ at Emirates Palace Ballroom 3 (11:00 to 13:00). Directors Abderrahmane Sissako, Hisham Zaman and Karim Traidia will discuss the challenges they face, the storytelling and generic trends they stick to. moderated by ADFF director of Arab programme Intishal Al-Timimi.

The film featured as part of the festival’s Special Programme “The Arab Diaspora” section today is SALUT COUSIN! (VOX 3 at 18:00), another tale of Arab immigration told with honesty, humour and flair.

Today Abu Dhabi audience will also get to watch the premiere of SANAD-funded IRAQI ODYSSEY, featured in the film festival’s Documentary Competition. The Swiss-Iraqi director Samir and producer Joel Jent will be present for a Q&A session after the film. The film documents the story of the director’s immigrant family who have travelled for half a century around the world.

What are the chances for tender emotions when faced against powerful forces such as the nuclear bomb? The critically acclaimed no-dialogue movie TEST by Russian director Alexander Kott will be presented at VOX 5 at 18:45. Competing in the ADFF 2014 Narrative Competition, it is the story of young love situated not far away from Semipalatinsk, the site chosen for Soviets’ nuclear testing from 1949 to 1989.

In the New Horizons Competition of the film festival will be featured US productions THE DROP directed by Michael R Roskam (VOX 5 at 21:15) and CAMP X-RAY directed by Peter Sattler (VOX 6 at 21:00), along with Taiwanese production EXIT directed by Chienn Hsiang (VOX 6 at 18:15). CAMP X-RAY is slated for a single screening and the story unfolds in the charged atmosphere of Guantanamo.

How much is documentation and how much of it is fiction? The fictionalised documentary 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH co-directed by Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth documents a day in the life of cultural icon Nick Cave. (VOX 4 at 21:00)

Part of the 2014 Showcase, ADFF presents Yann Demange’s film ’71 capturing the politically tense times in Northern Ireland a year before Bloody Sunday. The director Demange will be present at the screening at VOX 1 at 20:45. Also featured today are American productions SOLD by Jeffrey D. Brown (Emirates Palace at 18:15) and ART & CRAFT co-directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman (VOX 1 at 18:30).

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