What’s On has the news the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is to close. The festival for film in Abu Dhabi showcased local and international films.

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) won’t return to the big screen this year. The Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi announced that the annual event would be cancelled in order to focus on new projects.

Hosted from 2007 to 2014, ADFF attracted a number of celebrities and showcased a range of foreign films, documentaries, shorts and Hollywood blockbusters.

Movie stars Tilda Swinton, Richard Gere and Forest Whitaker, as well as Bollywood actors Priyanka Chopra, Saif Ali Khan and Irrfan Khan have previously attended the events.

The shift on new projects will see the Media Zone Authority focus primarily on promoting Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a regional hub for film and TV productions.

In the last two years alone, two major Hollywood blockbusters, Universal Pictures’ Fast and Furious 7 (released in April this year) and Disney’s highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens (to be released in December this year), shot portions of their movies here in the capital.

“Over the last few years we have built a strong foundation for a self-sustaining film and television industry,” said Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of the Media Zone Authority.


“It is now the right time to deepen our commitment and further develop programmes to take the local industry to the next level. We attracted several major international and regional productions to shoot in the Emirate which brought large-scale investment, further built the film industry infrastructure in the region, and created significant opportunities for local talent.”

Aspiring Arab filmmakers can still take advantage of the SANAD fund, which was previously linked to ADFF, and provides support to Emirati and Arabs during the development and post-production stage of filming. Details for the next submissions will be announced soon.