Under the special program section, the festival celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Naguib Mahfouz, the only Arab writer who won the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1988. It also celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore who became ‘the first non-European Nobel’ by earning the Prize in 1913.
Mahfouz and Tagore are representatives of their countries, which they contributed to put on the cultural map. They tell stories about their nations and then these stories go far beyond their homelands. And the most important thing is that they left a heritage for their people. The choice of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival to celebrate these widely successful and meaningful writers tells something about the festival’s ambition. By taking these two artists as models to say “Art is not a preserve for the few”, the festival is trying to put Abu Dhabi on the map of crucial cultural events.
In its fifth year, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival has been growing and flourishing. It brings many films that discuss important issues such as the youth revolutions around the Arab world, as well as films with high artistic value. This means that our region is not just the place for wars! We hope such events continue to prove this to the whole world, and to provide us, youth passionate about cinema, with an opportunity to showcase our works to a community that supports us.
By Fuad Hindieh