Red carpet glamour at Abu Dhabi Film Festival
Annual film event kicks off in star-studded style with the screening of 'Stockholm East'
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival kicked off in star-studded style last night with the waterfront screening of Stockholm East. The UAE's new outdoor cinema - which was launched specially for the event - will offer six free screenings this week. Scores of Arab and Middle Eastern film stars flooded the red carper to launch the week-long festival, including including Huda Al Khatib Janah, Dr Habib Ghuloom, Haifa Hussein and Mohammed Al Mansour. Two other screenings at the opening night of the film festival were Chicken with Plums and George Clooney's Ides of March. There are more than 200 features and short films on display this year, among them the international premiere of Bobby Fisher Against the World, directed by Academy Award-nominated Liz Garbus. There is an all-new venue for this year’s film festival. The majority of films, which used to be screened at Emirates Palace, are being moved to the 500-seat Abu Dhabi Theatre near Marina Mall. Festival organisers have hinted that more Hollywood and Bollywood stars such as Viggo Mortensen and Woody Harrelson, will be making appearances during the week. Emirati film Sea Shadow is premiering for the first time in Abu Dhabi. The film was the first to be made in a series of five feature films produced by the Abu Dhabi-based company Imagenation. Other films set to show this week include Buck, Project Nim, A Separation, Dangerous Method, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Cave of Frorgotten Dreams. The line up includes international blockbusters as well as Gulf premieres. During the fifth installment of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival the world’s biggest celebrities will be pampered at the VIP lounge where a host of international brands and regional newcomers are set to impress. Last year the festival boasted guests such as A-listers Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore and Adrian Brody. George Clooney is rumoured to be attending this year's event. The Abu Dhabi Film Festival was launched in 2007, under the former name name of the Middle East International Film Festival. The aim was to help create a vibrant film culture throughout the region. Each October it is presented by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. This year, a new award known as 'Our World award', in partnership with Masdar, will go to the film with the highest potential to broaden public awareness of significant environmental issues. The Emirates Film Competition is another key part of the Abu Dhabi film festival. As well as recognising local and regional talent, it promotes the continual development of filmmaking and the film industry in the UAE. The Abu Dhabi Film Festival runs from 13 to 22 October. Visitors pay approximately AED25 for most movies screenings, and can get a full list of films and prices online at abudhabifilmfestival.ae. The new open-air venue at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr seats 1200 people.