Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, UAE
MEIFF name changed to Abu Dhabi Film Festival from 2010.
The Middle East Film Festival (MEIFF), presented by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage, is an annual film festival in Abu Dhabi that started in 2007, following in the footsteps of the successful Dubai Film Festival. Films are screened in the spectacular Emirates Palace Hotel, or the less spectacular Abu Dhabi Marina Mall nearby. Screenings were complimentary at the first session in 2007, 10 dhs per ticket for 2008, and 20 dhs for 2009. The MEIFF is a great opportunity to see some obscure films, especially related to the Arab world, which you'll never see in the mainstream cinema. There's also a good selection of international movies and upcoming blockbusters.
For 2009, Peter Scarlet is the new executive director of the Middle East International Film Festival. Mr Scarlet was previously director of the Tribeca Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, and Cinematheque Francaise (or more correctly, Cinémathèque Française).
2009 MEIFF Middle East International Film Festival
- MEIFF 2009 held from 08-17 October 2009 at the Emirates Palace Hotel
- Executive Director of MEIFF is Peter Scarlet, formerly Creative Director for the Tribeca Film Festival (reported 23 March 2009)
- Volunteers wanted for administration department, guest assistance, usher services, visitor registration. Volunteers should be over 15, fluent in English. Fluency in another language, especially Arabic, is an advantage. Volunteers get free movie tickets and the opportunity to network with film industry personnel. Applications open September 2009, contact the MEIFF office.
- MEIFF partnering with the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and The Circle International Film Conference.
- Films shown at the Emirates Palace Hotel Auditorium and/or Cinestar Cinemas at Abu Dhabi Marina Mall.
- Movie stars and other famous personalities attending MEIFF 2009 include Cyrine Abdelnour, Demi Moore, Eva Mendes (Friday night only), Frida Pinto, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts, Orlando Bloom.
- Black Pearl award handed to Vanessa Redgrave who wasn't in attendance, but husband Franco Nero picked it up for her.
MEIFF 2009 ticket information
- Tickets on sale from 28 September 2009
- Tickets available online at MEIFF website, or festival box offices from 1200-2200 at Emirates Palace
Hotel lobby and auditorium level, Cinestar Cinemas in Abu Dhabi Marina Mall, and Grand Cinemas in Abu Dhabi Mall.
- Other events at the MEIFF Festival Tent on
the main terrace behind Emirates Palace Hotel, open from 1200-0200 daily
- For students and senior citizens (over 65), ID needed.
- Good for all shows except opening and closing night gala films.
MEIFF 2009 Gala Film Screenings
Opening and closing night Gala screening attendance are by invitation only.
- The Traveler (Al Mosafer) by Ahmed Maher, Egypt 2009 (Middle East Premiere) – Opening Night Gala Film. Egyptian history and one man's search for himself.
- The Men Who Stare At Goats by Grant Heslov, USA 2009 (Middle East Premiere) - Closing Night Gala Film. Comedy about US military personnel trying to kill goats by staring at them (based on a true story of course). Starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey.
- Oceans (Océans) by Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, France 2009 (World Premiere) – Centerpiece Screening. An underwater documentary (a spectacular one).
- Blue by Anthony D'Souza, India 2009 (World Premiere). An underwater thriller out of Bollywood with sharks and treasure. Starring Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, and Lara Dutta. Music by A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) and Kylie Minogue.
- Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore, USA 2009 (Middle East Premiere). American capitalism through the eyes of Mr Moore.
- The Informant! by Steven Soderbergh, USA 2009, (Middle East Premiere). Comedy with Matt Damon. Price fixing conspiracy exposed by biochemist. Based on a true story.
- The Messenger by Oren Moverman, USA 2009 (Middle East Premiere). Another Iraq war film, dealing with emotional fallout when people die. Starring Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson.
- Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story (Ehky ya Schahrazad) by Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt 2009 (Gulf Premiere) - female sexual desire and male–female relationships in Egypt, starring Mona Zaki.
- Shorts by Robert Rodriguez, United Arab Emirates/USA 2009 (Middle East Premiere) - children's film about a colored rock that makes wishes come true. With William H. Macy and James Spader (from Boston Legal).
MEIFF Circle Conference 2009 Speakers
- Amr Arafa - actor and director
- Barbara De Fina (Barbara DeFina) - film producer, films include Cape Fear
- Nancy Tellem - CBS Television Studios Entertainment Group president)
- Sanford Panitch (Sandford Panich according to the press release)- News Corp Fox International Productions president
- Sheikha Al Zain Al Sabah (Skeikha according to the press release) - producer, and member of the Kuwait royal family
- Stewart Till - Chairman and CEO of United International Pictures (UIP), Chairman of Millwall football club in the UK, and Chairman of the UK Film Council until July 2009.
- Walter Parkes - film producer, films include Awakenings, and Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Shasha Grant Award for screenwriting nominees
- Annemarie Jacir - "When I Saw You"
- Engi Wassef - "The Beautiful Game"
- Haifaa Al Mansour - "Wajda"
- Nadeem Thabet -"A Lebanese Story"
- Rezah Abi Rafeh - "Zahra"
2008 Middle East International Film Festival
- See the MEIFF 2008 topic in the forum for a list of films, stars, and other information.
- MEIFF dates 10-19 October 2008
- International films include
- The Brothers Bloom (USA) - Opening night gala (200 dhs per ticket)
- Body of Lies (USA) - Closing night film (200 dhs per ticket)
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona (USA/Spain)
- Miracle at St. Anna (USA/Italy)
- The Lucky Ones (USA)
- Easy Virtue (UK)
- Igor (USA/France)
- MEIFF 2008 sections include
- MEIFF 2008 Special International Presentations
- International Competition Feature Film and Documentary
- Arab Women Directors
- Retrospective on Palestine - 60 Years Since the Division of Palestine (16 films)
- Environmental Films (7 films)
- Festival of Festivals
- MEIFF films screened at Emirates Palace Hotel and Abu Dhabi Marina Mall.
- Ticket prices AED 20 per show, or AED 200 for the Gala shows.
- Special guests include
Adrien Brody, Antonio Banderas, Ben Kingsley, Carole Bouquet, Catherine Deneuve, Dino Morea, Elham Shahin, Euzhan Palcy, Eva Green, Gulshan Grover, Jane Fonda, Joseph Fiennes, Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith, Nacer Khemir, Susan Sarandon, Priyanka Chopra, Govinda, Ritesh Deshmukh, Sohail Khan, Tulsi Kumar, Yamina Benguigui, Youssra.
2007 Middle East International Film Festival
- 14-19 October 2007 at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi
- Executive Director is Nashwa Al-Ruwaini
- Director is Jon Fitzgerald
- Films include
- "Atonement" - opening night gala
- "In the Valley of Elah" - closing night
- "Redacted", Brian De Palma
- "Rendition", Gavin Hood
- "I'm Not There", Todd
- "Roman De Gare", Claude Lelouch
- Filmmakers can enter a competion for a Black Pearl and funding towards
their next project, called
the InCircle Pearl
- Most film screenings free to the public (not the gala shows) but
you still need to register for a ticket on their website.
- Festival passholders get access to film premieres, screenings of competition films, Middle East Showcase, Bollywood Spotlight, Gala Reception on the opening night, Awards Ceremony on the closing night, panels at the Film Financing Circle.
AED 367,000 award to finance a UAE film project
Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) has pledged US$100,000 (AED 367,000) in support
of the MEIFF 2007. The film festival board has decided to use this
fund production of a film produced by a UAE filmmaker.
MEIFF 2007 - Film Financing Circle (FFC)
- 15-17 October 2007
- Film Financing Circle conference director is Adrienne Briggs.
- Harvey Weinstein, Miramax co-Chairman and Producer, will attend MEIFF
2008 and launch the
Film Financing Circle conference.
- Paul Haggis (won 2 Academy Awards), will teach a master writing class
for 50 filmakers. Mr Haggis was the writer of Casino Royale, Crash,
Flags of our Fathers, Million Dollar Baby, and The Valley of Elah
- the Closing Night Gala at MEIFF 2007.