The Middle East International Film Festival - Abu Dhabi Announces Its Special Presentation Films



    ATONEMENT Launches Inaugural Film Festival

    ABU DHABI, UAE, September 25 /CNW/ - The Middle East International Film
Festival - Abu Dhabi (MEIFF) is thrilled to announce their Special
Presentations including the Opening Night Film. MEIFF will kick off its
impressive first annual event on Sunday, October 14th with Joe Wright's
ATONEMENT starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. Veteran choreographer
Otis Sallid will direct the Opening Night and Closing Night Galas' dance
numbers.

    His Excellency Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, Director General of Abu Dhabi
Authority for Culture and Heritage, said, "We are honored to present these
outstanding films by such talented directors, and look forward to celebrating
the art of filmmaking here in Abu Dhabi."

    "It is an honor to receive such outstanding support from international
studios in our inaugural year," said Executive Director Nashwa Al-Ruwaini. "We
are extremely proud of our Special Presentations and look forward to
announcing an equally impressive selection of festival competition films."

    Festival Director Jon Fitzgerald said, "It is indicative of our
dedication to the community and demonstrates the support we have from the
international and studio communities in our mission to launch a world-class
festival."

    An accomplished director and choreographer in theater, television, and
film, Otis Sallid conceived the hit Broadway show Smokey Joe's Cafe, and he
has choreographed the Academy Awards(R). He has worked with such artists as
Faith Hill, Bill Cosby, Christina Ricci, Patti LaBelle, Denzel Washington,
Billy Crystal, Sam Jackson, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Janet Jackson,
Prince, Vanessa Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and Queen Latifah. He was
recognized for his work on Thomas Carter's SWING KIDS with the Bob Fosse L.A.
Choreographers Dance Award.

    Counting some of the most promising talents in film today, the Special
Presentations consist of five of this year's best films from around the world
including:

    OPENING NIGHT--

    ATONEMENT, directed by Joe Wright. With Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

    Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the
course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's (Keira Knightley)
lover (James McAvoy) of a crime he did not commit. Already garnering award
buzz, the film is based on the acclaimed British novel by Ian McEwan.

    Premiered at the 2007 Venice Film Festival and screened at the Toronto
International Film Festival.

    I'M NOT THERE, directed by Academy Award(R)-nominee Todd Haynes. With
Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Charlotte
Gainsbourg, Julianne Moore, and Michelle Williams.

    Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where seven characters embody a
different aspect of the musician's life and work.

    Premiered at the 2007 Venice Film Festival where it won the Special Jury
Prize, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will screen at
the New York Film Festival.

    REDACTED, directed by Brian De Palma. With Francois Caillaud, Patrick
Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz, Mike Figueroa, Ty Jones, Ohad Knoller, and
Paul O'Brien.

    A montage of stories about U.S. soldiers fighting in the Iraq conflict
with a focus on the modern forms of media covering the war.

    Premiered at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, where De Palma won the Silver
Lion for Best Director. The film also played at the Toronto International Film
Festival and will screen at the New York Film Festival.

    RENDITION, directed by Gavin Hood. With Reese Witherspoon, Jake
Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin, and Peter Sarsgaard.

    When Egyptian-born terrorism suspect, Anwar El-Ibrahim (Omar Metwalley)
disappears on a flight from South Africa to Washington DC, his American wife,
Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) travels to Washington DC to try and learn the
reason for his disappearance. Meanwhile, at a secret detention facility
somewhere outside the U.S., CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) is
forced to question his assignment in an attempt to save thousands as he
becomes a party to the unorthodox interrogation of El-Ibrahim. Gavin Hood
directed the Academy Award(R)-winning TSOTSI.

    Premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival

    ROMAN DE GARE, directed by Academy Award(R)-winner Claude Lelouch. With
Dominique Pinon, Fanny Ardant, and Audrey Dana

    Judith Ralitzer, femme fatale and popular writer, is seeking characters
for her next best-seller. A serial killer has just escaped from the Sante
prison in Paris's 13th arrondissement. Huguette, a hairdresser in a top
Parisian beauty salon, is going to change their destiny. Some encounters are
more fatal than others...

    Premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

    The Middle East International Film Festival - Abu Dhabi (MEIFF) is a
cultural event dedicated to bringing a diverse slate of international films
and programs to the community and introducing filmmakers from around the world
to the resources of the region. Presented by the Abu Dhabi Authority for
Culture and Heritage (ADACH), MEIFF is committed to nurturing relationships
and providing opportunities to those looking to invest in the future of film.
In this regard, the Festival will launch the inaugural Film Financing Circle
(FFC), which will become a significant annual conference on the subject of
international co-productions. MEIFF debuts October 14-19, 2007 and FFC
launches October 15-17, 2007. Abu Dhabi is a city unprecedented in its ability
to develop and grow in response to the global marketplace.

    For more information and accreditation forms, please visit www.meiff.com.




For further information:

For further information: Middle East International Film Festival USA:
Jennifer Chikes, +971 50 813 5851 jenny@meiff.com UAE: Hana Al-Hirsi, +971 50
818 7518 hana@meiff.com

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MIDDLE EAST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

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