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Saleh Karama Named Abu Dhabi Film Festival Competition Director

The filmmaker and writer, a former award winner at the event, will oversee the film competition section at this year's festival.

LONDON – Saleh Karama has been appointed director of the Emirates film competition strand at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival, organizers said Monday.

Karama takes up the reins from Ali Al Jabri who was promoted to director of ADFF earlier this year.

The appointment is effective immediately.

Al Jabri descibed Karama as having been "a key figure throughout the competition’s rich history" and hopes his knowledge and experience will "help take the EFC to new levels."

Said Al Jabri: "He is one of the leading Emirati figures of the film industry, having made great contributions to cinema and participating in international Festivals including the Al Watba Cultural Festival in Morocco and many outstanding creative screenwriting workshops."

Karama is an established Emirati novelist, playwright, screenwriter and director, and one of the founders of Abu Dhabi Theatre in 1977.

His film What is Left? won the judges award at the 2003 Emirates Film Competition and his movie Henna picked up the best director plaudit at Abu Dhabi’s 2008 Middle East Film Festival.

Other nods include a Golden Shell from the San Sebastian International Film Festival for Soul Cart which Karama wrote, and best playwright award for his play Try Again, won at Cairo’s Arab Theatre Festival in 2007.

This year's is the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival to be presented under the management of TwoFour54, as part of the plan to strategically align the festival alongside Abu Dhabi’s other media initiatives and related events, reinforcing Abu Dhabi as the creative hub for the region supporting film production.

The festival runs Oct. 11 through 20.