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a complete guide on abu dhabi festival 2021

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The Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which is also known as the Middle East International Film Festival, was founded in 2007 to help to develop a vibrant film culture across the region. Presented every October by the Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and Heritage under the patronage of H.E. Sheik Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, is committed to curating outstanding programs to engage and inform the local population, inspire filmmakers and promote the development of the regional film industry. This article provides a complete guide on Abu Dhabi Festival 2021.

THEME

For its 18th edition in 2021, the Abu Dhabi Festival returns, featuring 16 world premieres, 12 festival productions, eight co-productions worldwide, and four creative commissions.

The theme of the forthcoming event hosted by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), is The Future Starts Now.' It refers to tolerance, transparency, and humanity as core values.

FOUNDER OF ADMAF

This 18th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival comes at a time of exceptional circumstances. The pandemic has changed our lives and now, more than ever, the community must unite to cultivate hope, spark creativity, and foster innovation through culture and the arts, said the founder of ADMAF, Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo.

“The UAE is blessed with a wise and forward-thinking leadership that recognizes the value of art and culture and sees it not as a luxury but as a necessity”, she added.

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CREATIVE COMMISSIONS

ADF has commissioned four artists to perform in this year's event.

  • The 'Fifth Symphony' was written by the Emirati composer Mohammed Fairouz, influenced by the life of the founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. In the British capital, the London Symphony Orchestra will premiere this piece.
  • 'Opera L'Apocalypse Arabe' is a world premiere, co-produced by the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the LUMA Foundation in France, based on poems by the Lebanese-American artist Etel Adnan, with composition and libretto by the Palestinian-Israeli Avant-Garde composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi, directed by the French-Lebanese artistic director Pierre Audi. It will be performed by Ensemble New, based in Frankfurt, and conducted by Ivan Volkov.
  • 'Hekayat: Symphonic Tales' by the Emirati composer Ihab Darwish, which revolves around the ideals of the UAE, will be performed by the  Beethoven Academy Orchestra from Poland.   It features star tenor José Cura, international soloist Sara Andon, the traditional Japanese drum ensemble Kodō, and flamenco guitarist Carlos Piñana, conducted by Tomasz Tokarczyk.
  • 'Al Hayat' is another world premiere. With Arab musicians, Naseer Shamma composes and forms the piece, inspiring hope, and humanity in the face of challenges.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • In addition to the assignments, ADF will work with the Al Ain Film Festival. ADF will also co-produce a documentary with the Emirati filmmaker, Nasser Al Dhaheri, which explores the life of the late UAE founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with a focus on when he was the representative of the city ​​Al Ain was – ‘Al Ain Hajar Al Ruha (1946-1966)’.
  • They will also produce a comedy film 'Uncle Naji' by Emirati filmmaker Ahmad Zain Al Hashmi, starring Ibrahim Al Meresi, social media influencer Mohammed Al Kindi and more.
  • The festival also includes a platform for youth, a platform for composers, and a showcase for visual arts. The latter includes 'Dance Me to the End of the Night: Spirituality in Art Influenced by Islam from the 10th century until Today', an exhibition in the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, featuring works by contemporary artists from the UAE and the Arab world.

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CONCLUSION

The dates for this festival will be announced closer to the event. A full list of talents and sessions is available online on the ADF website. 

With its dedication to present the works of Arab filmmakers in the competition alongside the big talents of world cinema, the Festival offers Abu Dhabi's diverse and enthusiastic audiences the means to engage with their own and other cultures through the art of cinema.  At the same time, a strong emphasis on the bold new voices of Arab cinema connects with Abu Dhabi's role as the emerging cultural capital of the region and marks the Festival as a place for the world to discover and gauge the pulse of recent Arab filmmaking. This information is a complete guide on Abu Dhabi Festival 2021.

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