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Four launches Middle East international film festival

New Middle East international film festival and film commission launched Cannes, France, 18 MAY 2007

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) today announced the launch of the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF), to take place for the first time on October 12-17 2007. In addition to the festival, they are also launching the Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) which has an ambitious plan to provide an unmatched range of services and incentives to attract filmmakers. The chairman of ADACH, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan said: "With these two initiatives, we are aiming to establish Abu Dhabi as the essential destination for international filmmakers." Middle East International Film Festival MEIFF will be the first festival to embrace film in all its aspects – artistic endeavour, internationalism, finance, commercial (and truly universal) film-making. MEIFF will play host to financiers, studio executives, government film agencies, film-makers and talent from around the world. It focuses on the increasingly international nature of the film industry in both audiences and production - showcasing international co-productions, and providing a forum for the discussion of international film finance issues and of serious commercial film-making. MEIFF offers a truly unique approach among existing festivals worldwide. MEIFF, for which the main venue will be the Emirates Palace, one of world's most luxurious hotels in Abu Dhabi, is being managed by Pyramedia, one of the largest and most successful production houses in the middle east and producer of some of the region's highest rated TV shows. The Abu Dhabi Film Commission ADFC will provide a one-stop shop for motion picture production in the region offering a diversity of landscapes and populations, as well as financial and non-financial incentives unmatched in the region. ADFC will support productions through the entire term of their project in the UAE from research to permits, to staff and facilities advice to location scouting and stock footage, to advising about local customs and heritage. ADFC will assist filmmakers by offering project development funding and grants for co-productions in addition to helping local talents represent their projects in the global marketplace.

For more information please contact:
In Cannes:
Janine Azern 44 7976 678 777
Hana Al-Hirsi 971 5081 87518
Paul Philpotts 44 7776 237 492
Internationally: Four Communications plc
T: 44 (0) 870 626 1093
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is the cultural, political and economic heart of the country. It presents a predominantly modern face to the world, but the past is still very much in evidence. Spectacular new high-rise buildings and streets lined with the latest luxury cars are framed by traditional architecture, well established mosques and small shops. Abu Dhabi city accounts for a substantial percentage of Abu Dhabi emirate's 1.7 million population (out of the UAE total of 4.3 million). Even so, its location on an island makes the city compact and accessible. The city looks outwards to the blue waters of the Gulf and many places of interest to visitors and the main centre of commercial activity lies in close proximity to the sea. As the national capital and a major international economic powerhouse (with close to 10% of the world's known oil reserves), Abu Dhabi exudes an ambience of quiet confidence. Looking ahead, the city has ambitious plans for its tourist industry. With an unrivalled dedication to preserve and highlight its Bedouin heritage, The Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation demonstrates the emirate's commitment to enhancing knowledge and preserving culture. Home to the National Archives, the National Library and the Institution of Culture and Art, it houses a collection of 4,000 old manuscripts and examples of ancient Arabic poetry. It has recently signed a Memorandum of Exchange with the National Library of Spain and has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Frankfurt Book Fair. It hosts many cultural events throughout the year, with local and international speakers and artists visiting to perform or give lectures. Among the many events hosted in Abu Dhabi are the annual Abu Dhabi International Classical Music Festival, the Emirates Film Competition, and a roster of weekly art exhibitions gathered from the world's prestigious art galleries. Building on that, and creating a unique concept in cultural tourism, Abu Dhabi is now developing one of the largest cultural projects in the world: The Cultural District on the Saadiyat Island. It is a world-class cultural destination that will be home to some of the world's most prestigious museums and a performing arts centre. It will house the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi contemporary art museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi universal museum, a performing arts centre, a maritime museum, the Sheikh Zayed National Museum and a Biennale Park with 19 pavilions. Design concepts for the first four of these cultural powerhouses have been created by world renowned architectural experts including Frank Gehry (Guggenheim Abu Dhabi), Jean Nouvel (Louvre Abu Dhabi), Zaha Hadid (Performing Arts Centre) and Tadao Ando (Maritime Museum). An international design contest will be staged to create an equally unique design for the planned Sheikh Zayed museum with a jury panel now under review and a list of invitees being drawn up. An exhibition on Saadiyat Island's Cultural District and its museum and arts centre concepts is currently running at the Emirates Palace Hotel, an opulent, ultra-luxury hotel and convention centre that has already made its mark as an international tourism icon and as one of the architectural wonders of the world – which will play host to MEIFF. This iconic architectural landmark, with its 100 decorative domes, offers the ultimate in luxury and style.



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