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Abu Dhabi’s Film Festival’s line up

The lineup of Gala evening screenings was announced today for the third Middle East International Film Festival to be held October 8-17 in Abu Dhabi. Among the festival’s highest-profile offerings, these nine films include, in the words of the Festival’s Executive Director Peter Scarlet, ‘’far more than the minimum daily requirement of big-names - in the cast, or behind the camera, and on the Festival’s red carpet.”

The Festival’s Centerpiece offering will be the World Premiere of the extraordinary underwater documentary OCEANS, directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, the masterly pair behind MICROCOSMOS. Closing Night will be THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, Grant Heslov’s hilarious dark comedy which stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. The Opening Night selection, the Egyptian film THE TRAVELER (EL MOSAFER) was announced earlier this week.

All of MEIFF ‘s Gala screenings will be held in he Auditorium of the Emirates Palace Hotel , with some of them receiving second screenings at Cinestar Cinemas at Marina Mall.

A complete list of all the films selected for this year’s Gala Screenings follows:
Blue by Anthony D'Souza, India 2009 (WORLD PREMIERE)
Bollywood’s first underwater thriller hits Abu Dhabi in Anthony D’Souza’s hyper-charged remake of The Deep. Three friends seek a sunken treasure surrounded by deadly sharks – and deadlier humans. A megastar-studded cast includes Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta. Music by A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) and Kylie Minogue.

Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore, USA 2009 (MIDDLE EAST PREMIERE)
Michael Moore returns to examine the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans. Using his trademark sardonic humor, Moore asks what price America must pay for its love of capitalism.

The Informant! by Steven Soderbergh, USA 2009, (MIDDLE EAST PREMIERE)
A biochemist exposes his company’s role in an international price-fixing conspiracy in this black comedy – based on a true story. Matt Damon gives a stellar performance in one of Soderbergh’s finest and funniest works.

The Men Who Stare at Goats by Grant Heslov, USA 2009 (MIDDLE EAST PREMIERE) – CLOSING NIGHT
In this quirky dark comedy inspired by a real-life story, astonishing revelations about a top-secret wing of the U.S. military come to light. “Warrior Monks” with unparalleled psychic powers that can kill a goat simply by staring at it, but the program’s founder has gone missing. George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey star.

The Messenger by Oren Moverman, USA 2009 (MIDDLE EAST PREMIERE)
Ben Foster is an Iraq War veteran who faces the emotional minefield of civilians dealing with the death of a loved one in this refreshing perspective on the casualties of war. Oren Moverman (screenwriter of I'm Not There) makes a confident directorial debut with this poignant story which also stars Woody Harrelson.

Oceans (Océans) by Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud France 2009 (WORLD PREMIERE) – CENTERPIECE SCREENING
The team behind Winged Migration and Microcosmos return with their most breathtaking work to date, a trip across and through the oceans themselves. The use of the latest High-Definition cameras allows viewers to see the sea and its astonishing inhabitants in ways never before possible.

Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story (Ehky ya Schahrazad) by Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt 2009 (GULF PREMIERE)
Borrowing the stories-within-stories framework of Arabian Nights, this taboo-breaking film scandalized Egypt with its risky portrait of female sexual desire and male–female relationships. Mona Zaki stars as a TV hostess whose successful career raises issues for her husband.

Shorts by Robert Rodriguez, United Arab Emirates/USA 2009 (MIDDLE EAST PREMIERE)
A nerdy, picked-on boy’s life changes when a rainbow-colored rock falls from the sky that grants all wishes to anyone who holds it, in this out-of-control kid’s film by the director of Spy Kids, with William H. Macy and James Spader.

The Traveler (Al Mosafer) by Ahmed Maher, Egypt 2009 (MIDDLE EAST PREMIERE) – OPENING NIGHT
Set against the backdrop of key moments in Egypt’s recent history makes it impossible not to see this enormously impressive debut as a moving meditation on a man’s fumbling search for his identity, a search which comes to reflect that of his nation.


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