Abu Dhabi Festival Honors Arab Filmmaker of the Year

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival and Variety held a reception on Oct. 27 to honor Variety‘s Arab Filmmaker of the Year, Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar, whose first feature, “Theeb,” screened to warm applause in front of a packed house at the fest, marking its Middle East preem.

Theeb,” which means “wolf” in Arabic, is a desert-set adventure pic with Western tropes but grounded in Bedouin culture. It’s about a Bedouin boy who outwits potential enemies during a danger-fraught mission. Abu Nowar made it with mostly non-professional actors after spending more than a year living with a Bedouin tribe. Eleven-year-old star Jacir Eid and cast members Hassan Mutlag, Hussein Salameh and associate producer Eid Sweilheen (pictured) attended the balmy bash along with producers Rupert Lloyd and Bassel Ghandour.

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