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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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Bollywood at The Middle East International Film Festival, Abu Dhabi

The Middle East International Film Festival, Abu Dhabi (MEIFF) unveils its international star-studded guest line-up at the Opening Night Gala, featuring Joe Wright’s critically acclaimed international film, ATONEMENT, and a spectacular after-party on October 14, 2007. Celebrated choreographer Otis Sallid will be producing the Opening and Closing Night presentations.

From Bollywood…

An impressive all-star Bollywood line-up ensures that MEIFF asserts itself as a major force in the international film festival calendar. Irfan Khan (METRO, THE NAMESAKE), Shiney Ahuja (WOH LAMHE, GANGTER, BHOOL BHOLAIYA) and Konkona Sen Sharma (YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA, MIXED DOUBLES, AMU) will be attending the Festival, joined by Bipasha Basu, who will be the EMCEE at the Closing Night Awards Gala.

Known for colorful dramas staged on lavish sets and in the grand musical tradition, MEIFF proudly presents a Bollywood Showcase in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of India’s Independence from the British Empire. One of the world’s most prolific motion picture industries, over 1000 feature films are produced annually in several of India’s major languages. MEIFF proudly exhibits a selection of Bollywood’s spectacular productions.

Rituparno Gosh and Shubbo Shekar Bhttacharjee will be present for their much-anticipated film, THE LAST LEAR (2007), featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Priety Zinta and Arjun Rampal. Also screening will be the all-time classic, MUGHAL-E-AZAM (1960), reminiscent of the glory days of Indian cinema. One of the most lavish productions of its time, it took Karimuddin Asif, director of several movies including LOVE AND GOD (1986) and PHOOL (1945), nine years to complete. We pay tribute to the late legendary showman of Indian cinema, Raj Kapoor, with the showing of the classic AWAARA (1951) and a documentary,KEHTA HAI JOKER (2007) that pays homage to the maestro of cinema. It examines Raj Kapoor through his films and the eyes of his family, children and other filmmakers. Kapoor had a distinctive cinematic style that is apparent in his beloved films. In his earlier films, he succeeded in layering the complexities of romance with sociopolitical undertones. Gracing the events of that night will be his son, the superstar Rajiv Kapoor, together with the director of the documentary, Bobby Bedi, one of India’s leading movie moguls.

Two very special retrospectives feature uniquely in the MEIFF line-up in celebration Carlos Saura and Ousmane Sembène.

Carlos Saura 75
A prolific film director, he has made over thirty films and brought his interest for flamenco into some of his works, including the flamenco trilogy, BODAS DE SANGRE (1981), CARMEN(1983), EL AMOR BRUJO(1985) and SEVILLANAS (1991). Among his best-known films are LA CAZA (1966), PEPPERMINT FRAPPÉ (1967), EL JARDÍN DE LAS DELICIAS (1970), LA PRIMA ANGÉLICA(1973), EL DORADO(1987) and AY, CARMELA!(1990).

In honor of Saura and in celebration of his 75th birthday, MEIFF will feature one of the Spanish master’s notable films, FLAMENCO. As a hall fills with performers, a narrator says that flamenco came from Andalusia—a mix of Greek psalms, Mozarabic dirges, Castillian ballads, Jewish laments, Gregorian chants, African rhythms, and Iranian and Romany melodies. The film presents thirteen rhythms of flamenco, each with song, guitar and dance: the up-tempo bularías, a brooding farruca, an anguished martinete and a satiric fandango de huelva. There are tangos, a taranta, alegrías, siguiriyas, soleás, a guajira of patrician women, a petenera about a sentence to death, villancicos and a final rumba. Families present numbers, both festive and fierce. The camera and the other performers are the only audience.

In Memoriam: Ousmane Sembène
The father of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène is the first film director from Africa to gain international recognition, having inspired a whole generation of young film directors. During World War II, he served in the Free French Army, and after being discharged, he moved to Marseilles and took a job in the docks. It was this work that inspired his first novel, LE DOCKER NOIR, published in 1959. By the early 1960s, Sembène had moved back to Senegal and published several acclaimed books. However, he was frustrated that his message was not getting through to most of his countrymen, as illiteracy was widespread. Thus, he pursued his childhood enthusiasm for cinema and filmmaking. BLACK GIRL, his debut feature film, is commonly referred to as the first African film. Combining realistic narrative techniques with elements of traditional African storytelling, Sembène’s wit and sense of humanity shines through his work. In total, he directed seventeen films: features, shorts, fiction and documentary. His last film was MOOLAADÈ(2004).

In memory of one of the great directors of the African continent, MEIFF presents IMPOTENCE(1974), a film about Senegal’s independence from France. In the film, Sembène explores issues of postcolonial politics, gender relations, multiculturalism, economics and governmental corruption in this brilliantly funny ironic satire.

…to Hollywood. The talent line-up from across the Atlantic is equally impressive for the Festival’s inaugural year. At the forefront of the red carpet for the opening night Gala will be Jake McLaughlin, star of IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, Academy AwardÒ-winning Paul Haggis, the writer, director and producer of IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH and film business magnate Harvey Weinstein who will be presenting the keynote speech at the Film Financing Circle. Joining them will be top comedian Dave Chapelle and actress Francine Fisher.


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