Abu Dhabi Film Festival’s four competition sections offer combined prize money of $1m

The fifth Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Oct 13 – 22) will include eight world premieres and six international premieres and open with Philippe Falardeau’s comedy-drama Monsieur Lazhar, starring Monhamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse and Émilien Néron in the story of an Algerian immigrant who is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who dies tragically.

The Festival will close with the Black Pearl Awards ceremony on October 22.

The eight world premieres are Absolutely Tame As A Horse by Abdolreza Kahani (Iran), Almost in Love by Sam Neave (US), Asma’a by Amr Salama (Egypt), The Double by Michael Brandt (US/UAE), El Gusto by Safinez Bousbia (Algeria, Ireland, France, UAE), Sea Shadow by Nawaf Al-Janahi (UAE), Skeem by Timothy Greene (South Africa), and Wilaya by Pedro P. Rosado (Spain).

The festival includes four competitions for features that offer cash awards totaling $1m: Narrative, New Horizons, Documentary and the renamed environmental programme, Our World Competition, as well as the Showcase strand of films eligible for the $30,000 Audience Award.

Five of the competition features were co-produced with SANAD, the festival’s fund that provides development and post-production support for films from the Arab world.

Narrative Feature Competition entries include Marjane Satrapi’s Chicken with Plums, David Conenburg’sA Dangerous Method, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Elena, Oren Moverman’s Rampart, Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna and Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation.

Films in the Showcase section include Albert Nobbs, Contagion and The Ides of March.

Festival executive director Peter Scarlet remarked: “A film festival like ours – in fact any film festival worthy of the name - exists for very different reasons. We are showing the films in our program simply because, at one point or another, one of us here on the programming team fell in love with it. We travel the world all year, we explore, we are detectives, we try to find the most wonderful work made everywhere, and we bring it back to Abu Dhabi to help to open windows to what’s happening in the rest of the world for the people here.”

The festival also has sections dedicated to Swedish Cinema, Nobel Prize Winners Naguib Mahfouz and Rabindranath Tagore and experimentation in Arab Cinema.

For a complete list of films visit http://www.abudhabifilmfestival.ae