x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Seeing stars: celebrity guide to the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2012

Don't unleash your screams on the Abu Dhabi Film Festival red carpet walkers without reading our quick guide to the big name attendees first.

Richard Gere

Now 63, ol' Gere stick might not possess the granite jawline that won him People Magazine's 'Sexiest Man Alive' title in 1999, but he's still probably got enough to have a few female knees knocking and will undoubtedly be getting a few shrieks on the red carpet. Not just a pretty face, this Golden Globe winner (Chicago, 2002) also took the time to criticise the invasion of Iraq, blaming it on a "very poor president".

Films: An Officer and a Gentleman, Primal Fear, Pretty Woman

Fact: His middle name is Tiffany. Seriously.



One of the most prolific actors of all time, the Malayalam legend Mamooty (or Muhammadkutty Ismail Panaparambil if you want his full name) has more accolades than we've got space for, including three Best Actor gongs at the National Film Awards (the same number as Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Hassan), 11 Filmfare Award and was, according to Vanitha magazine in 2004, the actor with the highest sex appeal in Kerala. Beat that.

Films: There are more than 360! Try IMDB.

Fact: He has appeared in the highest number of dual roles (nine) in Malayalam films.


Golshifteh Farahani

Since she appeared in Abu Dhabi three years ago with the film About Elly, this Iranian actor's profile has blossomed dramatically. Now based in Paris, she is becoming somewhat in demand, and her latest film The Patience Stone (showing at the festival), in which she puts on almost a one-woman show, is Afghanistan's entry for next year's Oscars. Definitely one to watch out for.

Films: Body of Lies, Chicken with Plums, About Elly

Fact: Also a talented musician, Farahani once came second in a Tehran rock competition with her band Kooch Neshin.


Sawsan Badr

The celebrated Egyptian film, television and stage star Badr will be in Abu Dhabi to collect a lifetime achievement award for a three-decade career to be showcased with a screening of her 1999 film Closed Doors.

Films: Cut and Paste, Cairo 678, Scheherazade Tell Me A Story

Fact: Badr is known as Egyptian cinema's Nefertiti.


Nate Parker

2012 has arguably been the standout year for this rising American actor, with performances in Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer, alongside Cuba Gooding Jr in Red Tails and now going toe-to-toe with Richard Gere in Arbitrage. You may also remember him as Alicia Keys' love interest in 2008's The Secret Life of Bees.

Films: Pride, The Great Debator, Tunnel Rats

Fact: He used to be a wrestler (proper, not WCW), so you might want to be nice to him.


Claudia Cardinale

Another lifetime achievement award will be heading to the Tunisian-born Italian screen legend Cardinale, who was something of a siren in her day and starred in a number of the most renowned European films from the 1960s and 70s, with a career dating back to 1958.

Films: Once Upon a Time in the West, Rocco and His Brothers, The Pink Panther

Fact: She won 'Most Beautiful Italian Girl In Tunisia' in 1957.