Sundance hit Arbitrage to open the Abu Dhabi Film Festival; festival to include Algerian films sidebar; programme announced September 25.

Sundance hit Abritrage, which opened on an impressive $2.1m from 197 theatres in the US last weekend, will open the sixth Abu Dhabi Film Festival (October 11 – 20).

Director Nicholas Jarecki, star Richard Gere and Saudi producer Mohammed Al Turki will attend.

Thriller Arbitrage follows a troubled hedge fund magnate who makes a grave error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

“Abu Dhabi will once again be the centre of attention for filmmakers and cinema lovers in the region, and for followers of Arab cinema around the world,” commented festival director Ali Al Jabri. “What better way to showcase the talent that exists in the region than to open with a film part-produced by the region and starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood? It promises to be a great start to an exciting 10 days of films.”

This year the festival includes a special programme of Algerian films celebrating the 50th anniversary of Algerian Independence. Competition sections include narrative feature, documentary feature and new horizons.

Films screened in the showcase section will compete for the Audience Choice Award. The full programme will be released on September 25th.

This is the first year the festival has been presented under the management of twofour54.