Fest's exec director may be on his way out

There are unconfirmed rumors that Peter Scarlet has exited his role as Abu Dhabi Film Festival executive director, though fest honchos were not available for comment.

In March, the fest was folded into government-backed media hub twofour54 as the emirate consolidated media initiatives.

The consolidation follows last year’s integration of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission under twofour54, a media zone and filmmaking facilities hub that has been extending its reach since it was founded in 2008 to offer post-production facilities and training courses.

“By moving the film festival to twofour54 we can ensure all events and activities are aligned under a single vision — to position Abu Dhabi as a creative hub for the region supporting film production,” said twofour54 deputy CEO and COO Wayne Borg at the time. “Through these combined efforts, we will be able to better harness opportunities for talent development and facilitating film projects.”

One source said the new topper could be Ali Al Jabri, who in 2011 was the festival’s Emirates Film Competition coordinator.

Scarlet began his tenure at Abu Dhabi in 2010, coming off a year-long stint as the first non-French director general of the Cinematheque Francaise. Before that, he spent seven years as the artistic director at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was AD of the San Francisco Intl. Film Festival for 19 years, from 1983 to 2001.

The Abu Dhabi Festival has, since its launch in 2007, established itself as a premier stop in the fall festival calendar for Arab filmmakers. This year, the fest runs Oct. 11-20.

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