Al Jabri replaces Scarlet as Abu Dhabi fest chief

Move follows transfer of fest management to twofour54

LONDON — The Abu Dhabi Film Festival has tapped Ali Al Jabri as director. This follows the departure of Peter Scarlet, as first reported on Variety.com on Aug. 2.

Al Jabri, who has been with Abu Dhabi for five years, was previously director of the fest’s Emirates Film Competition.

He worked closely with Scarlet, who led the event for three years after a stint as creative director of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Scarlet’s exit follows the decision in March to transfer fest management from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) to twofour54, a media zone and filmmaking hub that has been extending its reach since it was founded in 2008 to offer post-production facilities and training courses.

Adach and twofour54 have been working to integrate the festival into its new home, the fest said in a statement. The first stage of this saw the fest team move its offices to twofour54’s Khalifa Park campus.

The fest said the relocation was “positive for both organizations as they work to showcase regional and international cinema, support the development of emerging Arab cinema, Arabic media and entertainment content to establish Abu Dhabi as an international center of excellence.”

The Abu Dhabi Film Commission was integrated into twofour54 last year.

Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, said, “Today is a very important milestone in the event’s history. Ali has been instrumental in developing the Emirates Film Competition and we are sure he will bring the same level of passion and enthusiasm to his new role.”

Al Jabri said, “This shows the tremendous opportunities that are now opening up in the media industry for UAE nationals and I hope that I can encourage a new generation to want to be a part of such an exciting industry as we position Abu Dhabi as a creative hub for film production in the region.”

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