World premiere of From A to B by Emirati director Ali Mostafa first Emirati film to open festival.

The 8th Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) (Oct 23-Nov 1), is to open for the first time with a locally produced film - From A to B by Emirati director Ali Mostafa and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

The closing film of the festival has been confirmed as Disney’s animation Big Hero 6.

From A to B marks Mostafa’s second full length feature film after City of Life (2009) and follows three Western-educated Arab youths who travel 1,500 miles from Abu Dhabi to Beirut in memory of their deceased best friend, who passed away five years earlier.

ADFF director Ali Al Jabri said: “We are delighted to feature a locally produced film as opening title of this year’s festival. The success of high-calibre Arab filmmakers like Ali Mostafa is a testament to the vibrancy of filmmaking in the region.

“This year’s festival will highlight the growth of the film industry in the region and showcase the best Arab filmmaking talent alongside the best in world cinema.”

Mostafa added that he was “proud to have the first Emirati film to ever open the festival”.

The festival will close on Nov 1 with Big Hero 6, just a week after after its world premiere in Tokyo on Oct 23.

The film was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph) and was directed by Don Hall and Chris Evans.

The comedy adventure centres on plus-sized robot Baymax and young prodigy Hiro, who team with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

Ali Al Jabri said its choice as closing feature “shows the wide range of great films the festival brings year after year”.

ADFF’s 10-day programme of Arab and international cinema will include premieres, co-production meetings and associated events. Films compete for Black Pearl Awards in the Narrative, Documentary and New Horizons sections of the line-up.