U.S. helmer Nicholas Jareki and stars Richard Gere and Nate Parker, along with Al Turki, will be strutting down the red carpet of the sprawling Emirates Palace Hotel, where the fest has been relocated again following a one-off move to the less central Fairmont Hotel last year.
After its Sundance world preem, “Arbitrage” has recently been doing healthy Stateside biz since its simultaneous theatrical/VOD release Sept. 14 via Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, and generating some early awards buzz.
“What better way to showcase the talent that exists in the region than to open with a film produced by the region, and starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood,” enthused festival Abu Dhabi artistic director Ali Al Jabri in a statement.
Al Jabri replaced Peter Scarlet as the fest’s artistic director in August, after working closely for three years with Scarlet as topper of the fest’s Emirates Film Competition.
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This is also the first year the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is under direct management of government-backed media hub twofour54, as part of a plan to integrate the fest with other initiatives aimed at making Abu Dhabi an entertainment industry driver for the region.
Fest has also announced an Algerian cinema sidebar, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence.
Competitive sections will include Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and New Horizons. A Showcase section will feature selected new world cinema titles, which will compete for the Audience Choice Award.
The lineup will be announced on Sept. 25.
Sixth edition of the fest will run Oct. 11-20.