Lights, Camera, Action | Abu Dhabi Film Festival

ADFF has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in Abu Dhabi, helping to enhance the Emirate as a hub of creativity.” ADFF

Every October the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) lights up the capital with showbiz glamour, red carpets and film stars to bring a scattering of diverse film culture to the region with a series of screenings and events at various venues, centred around the majestic Emirates Palace.


Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014 (


Along with Hollywood blockbusters there is a focus on Arab cinema, showcasing both the established and emerging talent from this region, exhibited alongside international film making talent. This years festival opened with the World Premiere of ‘From A to B‘, the newest offering from Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa and a follow-up to his 2009 excellent film ‘City of Life‘ (if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend that you do).


A very important fixture on Abu Dhabi’s cultural calendar, this years eighth annual film festival runs for ten days from 23rd October to 1st November and features one hundred and ninety-seven films from sixty-one countries. This year it includes nine Feature Film world premieres and forty-eight Short Film world premieres showing at Emirates Palace and Vox Cinemas in Marina Mall. Alongside the premieres and packed film schedule there are also awards in several categories for feature-length or short narrative, animation and documentary films and the winners will be announced at the gala’s closing ceremony on Saturday.


The other half and I have attended screenings at previous years Film Festivals at the Emirates Place (poshest cinema ever) with some success (Flight, Philomena) and one absolute shocker last year (Only Lovers Left Alive) so this year I was hoping my movie choice was more on point. I choose the comedy drama ‘Men, Women and Children‘ which tackled the social issue of mobile phones, the internet, communication and its impact, good and bad on our modern-day society, very apt I thought.


Not your average cinema, the Emirates Palace auditorium 

The film, which was surprisingly uncut and very risqué for this region, follows a group of high school teenagers and their parents attempting to navigate the internet and the way it has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image and even their love lives. It starred Adam Sandler (one of my favourites, who doesn’t like Water Boy, Grown Ups etc), Jennifer Garner and British veteran actress Emma Thompson as the narrator (bit of an odd choice I thought with her very British accent narrating a very American movie).


Discover How Little You Know, About The People You Know (source:IMDb)

Directed by observational comedy master Jason Reitman (he also wrote the screenplay adapted from Chad Kultgen’s book of the same name) of ‘Juno‘ and ‘Up in The Air‘ fame, the film looks at the changes that the internet and social networking has bought to our society, the benefits but also the dangers of online friends, potential predators and general over-sharing (ironically sharing this on a blog post). It highlights the impact of modern society choices such as playing video games, eating disorders (in this case anorexia), teenage pregnancy, infidelity, fame hungry teens, the wide-spread use of illicit material by teenagers and parents alike (not surprisingly the other half’s favourite bits) as well as a particularly over protective and controlling parent. Great cinematography was cleverly used throughout to show the constant overuse of mobile phones, tablets and computers.


The stars of Men, Woman and Children (source:IMDb)

Men, Women & Children‘ may make you want to put down your phone, turn off your i-pad or just reboot your computer and clear your history, but whatever you decide to do, go and see the movie, it’s really good.

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 23.16.51

For more information about this years Film Festival and the remaining days schedule visit the ADFF website


Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2014. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply