The 25th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2015) will feature for the second consecutive year the Black Box Cinema project by Emirati filmmaker Nawaf Al Janahi, underlining the importance of motion pictures to the emirate’s overall cultural scene.
Celebrating its Silver Jubilee, ADIBF 2015, which is organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), has broadened the horizon of Black Box Cinema’s programme to include movies from different Arabic countries, building on the success of last year’s experience which was dedicated to UAE films and screened in a mini-theatre accompanied by workshops and discussion panels.
“Black Box Cinema was very well received when we first introduced it in ADIBF 2014, as movie shows attracted more than 1,000 viewers and the level of interaction across all workshops and seminars was truly remarkable. Besides, Black Box Cinema’s ‘Wall’ feature, which enabled visitors to express what cinema meant to them, was the talk of the show. This motivated us to come back this year with a more intensive programme that offers more perspective on Arabic cinematic production, in a step that aims to promote the region’s film industry and provide a platform for activating ideas and discussions about it,” said H.E. Juma Al Qubaisi, ADIBF Director and Executive Director of the National Library.
Black Box Cinema’s mini-theatre will this year show fourteen short movies, five of which are Emirati while the others are produced in Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon. Five workshops will also be held throughout the event including “Emirati Cinema Facts” by Nawaf Al Janahi, who offers an objective look at the Emirati film movement, “A B C of Writing Film Critique” by Hauvick Habechian, discussing the basics of writing a film article and “From the Book to the Screen” by Marwan Hamed, director of Yaacoubian Building (Emarat Yaacoubian), who traces the journey of the story from literature to filmmaking.
Also available will be “The Relationship between Novel and Film”, in which a Bahraini screenwriter analyses the process of adapting a novel into a film and finally “The Screenplay: What Producers Look For” led by Talal Al Asmani from Image Nation Abu Dhabi, who will explain how to choose the idea and shape its structure and then have it written in a professional format that is acceptable to filmmakers.
“I am delighted to cooperate with ADIBF for the second consecutive year and provide visitors with a high-quality cinematic experience that complements the wide variety of ideas in MENA’s most ambitious book fair, the perfect meeting place for intellectuals, men of letters and also filmmakers who all take part in creative works that enrich receivers’ tastes, develop their interest in knowledge and encourage them to enquire more,” said Nawaf Al Janahi.
“This year, I thought of expanding Black Box Cinema’s scope by inviting films from across the Arab World to underline the notion of unity of Arabic cinema that most certainly needs our collective efforts to grow and advance. The selected films reflect the diverse interests of Arab filmmakers, and despite the difference in topics, in essence, all of them relate to the pure human dimension of our daily lives – which is a pervasive thought in international cinema in general due to its ability to have an emotional impact on the receiver,” added Al Janahi.
The film screenings include Agoraphobia (UAE), directed by Ruslan Bekshenov; Colors Of Silence (Morocco), directed by Asmae El Moudir; Sunset State (UAE), directed by Mustafa Abbas; Dinosaur (Kuwait), directed by Meqdad Al Kout; Mr. Ideas (UAE), directed by Belal Antepli; Shadows (UAE), directed by Mohammed Magdy; Ayesh (KSA), directed by Abdullah Al Eyaf; In Her Eyes (UAE), directed by Sara Saber; The Aftermath Of The Inauguration Of The Public Toilet At Kilometer 375 (Egypt), directed by Omar El Zohairy; Nation Estate (Palestine), directed by Larissa Sansour; People Disappear All The Time (Lebanon), directed by Cyril Nehme; This Is London (Bahrain), directed by Mohamed Rashid BuAli and Wooden Hand (Tunisia), directed by Kaouther Ben Hania.
The region’s fastest-growing book fair, ADIBF attracted more than 1,125 publishing houses last year with more than 100 authors and intellectuals of several nationalities participating in its seminars and discussions. More than 248,000 people visited ADIBF 2014 and sales were up to Dhs35m.
ADIBF was launched by the late Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE, in 1981 under the designation of the Islamic Book Fair, which would, in 1986, become the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.