Abu Dhabi: UTV’s production venture ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, about the soldier-athlete who went on to become a bandit, will have its world premiere at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, starting Oct 14.
Randall Wallace’s ‘Secretariat’ starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich will open the fest and Indian filmmaker Murli Nair’s ‘Virgin Goat’ will be screened in the competition section. The complete line up for the festival was announced here Monday at a press conference at the Abu Dhabi Theater. ”The Festival as a whole has three big competitions for features. When I say big, I mean they have 14 or 15 films each with very generous prizes of $100,000 for all the major awards. They are for narrative features, documentary features and a new competition called New Horizons, which is open to fiction and non-fiction features by first- and second-time directors from all over the world,” said Peter Scarlet, executive director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, in a statement. ”This year first or second-time directors of documentary or narrative features have the chance of winning a $100,000 prize, just as much cash as in the other feature competitions. So the access to prizes for young filmmakers is no different than last year,” he added. In the New Horizons section, films like Iranian movies ‘Orion’ by Zamani Esmati and ‘Gesher’ by Vahid Vakilifar, two New York-based films ‘Furious Force of Rhymes’ by Joshua Atesh Litle and ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ by Richard Press, which connect city’s music and fashion to the rest of the world in very unusual ways, will be showcased. ”Adrian Brody, the youngest winner of a best actor Oscar will be on hand for the American independent film, ‘Wrecked’ by Michael Greenspan, and there’s an equally impressive line-up of films by new talents from Egypt, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and the UAE. ”The selection also includes one of the most surprising and unexpected new films we’ve seen all year, ‘Slackistan’ by Hammad Khan, a Pakistan-UK co-production,” said Scarlet. Feature competition titled Narrative Competition will have movies like director Wang Bing’s Chinese movie ‘The Ditch’; Olivier Assayas’ Carlos, about the notorious terrorist, featuring a remarkable performance by Edgar Ramirez; ‘In a Better World’ by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier; French film ‘Potiche’ by François Ozon; and Russian movie ‘Silent Souls’ by Aleksei Fedorchenko ”Until a couple of days ago, we thought we had three very strong Arab documentaries. But then we got the upsetting news that the Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed Al-Daradji, who has a very strong film called ‘In My Mother’s Arms’, had run into a technical hitch and the film was not going to be ready in time, leaving us with only two Arab documentaries. ”That is why we decided to change the rules of the Documentary Competition this year and include three films about the Middle East made by filmmakers from outside the region. We thought, let’s try having all five of them compete against each other. They happen to be three films about Palestine, from Norway, the Netherlands and Germany,” said Scarlet.