'Secretariat' to open Abu Dhabi Film Festival


The fourth Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which runs from Oct. 14-23, will open with Randall Wallace's "Secretariat," starring John Malkovich and Diane Lane. Tsui Hark's "Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame" will serve as the closing night film.

The festival has programmed twelve world premieres: "Here Comes the Rain" by Bahij Hojeij; "Taming," Nidal Al-Dibs; "Homeland," George Sluizer; "A Man’s Story," Varon Bonicas; "Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace," Harry Hunkele; "In/Out of the Room," Dina Hamza; "Living Skin," Fawzi Saleh; "OK, Enough, Goodbye," Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia; "Qarantina," Oday Rasheed; “Sun Dress," Saeed Salmeen; "Wrecked," Michael Greenspan; and "Paan Singh Tomar," Tigmanshu Dhulia.

The festival will include three competitions for features that offer cash awards totaling $1 million. The narrative and documentary competitions will be joined this year by the New Horizons section, a competition for first- and second-time directors.

"This has been a year of numerous exciting developments for our young festival, from our name change and rebranding to the addition of the New Horizons Competition and the launch of our fund SANAD. Showing films from the likes of Abbas Kiarostami, Julian Schnabel, Olivier Assayas, François Ozon and Patricio Guzmán, to name just a few, is always a pleasure. But it's particularly gratifying to see these directors' films alongside works from the region. And in particular, we're very excited to be showing the first fruits of SANAD in the form of several films in our competition sections. As the festival plays an ever-greater role in helping develop and promote filmmaking from the Arab world, we look forward to seeing even more new discoveries, whether from familiar names or new talents," fest exec director Peter Scarlet said. 
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