'Elah' tapped as closing pic at Mideast fest


Paul Haggis' "In the Valley of Elah" has been selected as the closing-night film of the Middle East International Film Festival -- Abu Dhabi, which takes place Oct. 14-19 at the Emirates Palace.

The festival also said Wednesday that the Abu Dubai Media Co. will sponsor a $100,000 prize in support of Emirati filmmakers and listed its selections in its Arab Women Directors category.

More than 20 films in the festival are from six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, "most of which were recently produced," noted film critic and festival consultant Samir Farid. "I also like to point out that in regards to the question of women in the Gulf and the Arab world, for the first time in a single festival most of the films are by Arab women directors," he added.