'Arbitrage' Starring Richard Gere to Open Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Nicholas Jarecki's thriller set against the backdrop of high finance is produced by Saudi filmmaker Mohammed Al Turki.

LONDON – Nicholas Jarecki's Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere and Nate Parker, will open this year's Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

The movie is brought to the screen by Saudi film producer Mohammed Al Turki and is a thriller set against the backdrop of hedge fund manipulation.

Al Turki, Jarecki, Gere and Parker are all expected to be on hand for the red carpet event to herald the start of the festival which runs Oct. 11-20, organizers said Tuesday.

Now in its sixth year, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival will be staged at the Emirates Palace Hotel, one of Abu Dhabi’s landmarks.
 The festival aims to position the emirate event as a showcase for Arab cinema and a way of supporting emerging and established Arabic filmmakers.

"Abu Dhabi will once again be the center of attention for filmmakers and cinema lovers in the region and for followers of Arab cinema around the world,” said festival director Ali Al Jabri. The former director of the festival's Emirates Film Competition replaced Peter Scarlet, a veteran of the festival scene, this summer to run the event for Abu Dhabi media hub twofour54.

This is the first year the Abu Dhabi Film Festival will 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 a creative hub for the region.

"What better way to showcase the talent that exists in the region than to open with a film produced by the region and starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood?" said Al Jabri. "It promises to be a great start to an exciting 10 days of films."

This year's festival includes a special program of Algerian films to mark the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence. The festival will also have its usual competitive elements, handing out prizes in its narrative feature, documentary feature and New Horizons sections. Films unspooling in the showcase section, a selection of new world cinema, will compete for the audience choice award.

Organizers will unveil the full program on Sept. 25.

"Abu Dhabi Film Festival has established itself as a leader in Arab cinema and this year’s program will only serve to enhance that reputation," added Al Jabri. "Selection has been intense for contenders in the five high profile competitions at the Festival with jurors in all competitions set to be tested by the high quality."