x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

ADFF Festival Buzz: celebrity spotters pay heed

The celebrities for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival will be announced soon! Plus: news on the Polish nun drama Ida and Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin.

Celebrity spotters pay heed

Until now, the organisers of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival have been hesitant to reveal most of the names of the stars that we can expect to see on gala nights. A press conference scheduled for Wednesday morning, however, promises to reveal the actors, directors and producers who’ll be traipsing the red carpet and serving on the juries to judge the awards. So far, confirmed attendees are the Egyptian actors Mervat Amin and Nelly Karim, the Tunisian actress Hend Sabri and the Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass, who will be honoured with the Black Pearl Career Achievement Award, serve on the jury, give a masterclass and see the screening of her new film, Peace After Marriage. Daniel Schechter, the director of the opening film, Life of Crime, will be on hand for a special In Conversation session on Friday, October 25, while Destin Daniel Cretton, the director of the emotional Oscar-buzz drama Short Term 12, will give a class on Monday, October 28, on how to make the transition from short films to features.

* Hugo Berger

Another big winner on the festival circuit is Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin

The Chinese movie, which combines social drama with martial arts action, scooped the Best Screenplay award at Cannes Film Festival in May. Festival success is nothing new to Zhangke, with his previous movie Still Life scooping the Golden Lion at Venice in 2006 and top prize at the Asian Film Award in 2007. The movie is being screened at 9.15pm on Tuesday, October 29 at Vox 5 and 6pm on Saturday, November 2 at Vox 6.

* Hugo Berger

One of the most anticipated film screenings at ADFF is director Pawel Pawlikowski’s poignant drama Ida

This Polish film, which tells of a novice nun and her magistrate aunt who embark on a road trip, has already earned much acclaim, including picking up the prestigious International Federation of Film Critics Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

After its showing at the London Film Festival last week, The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw described it as “a small gem, tender and bleak, funny and sad,” while its IMDB rating currently stands at an impressive 8.0. The movie is being shown at 6.30pm on Wednesday, October 30 and 8.45pm on Friday, November 1, both at Vox 5 at Marina Mall.

* Hugo Berger