Emirati announces new film project at Cannes

Emirati announces new film project at Cannes (Staff Reporter) / 18 May 2013 The award-winning director behind the country’s first feature film is back with another — this time with an all-Arab crew, including a Hollywood producer. Emirati filmmaker Ali F. Mostafa, who directed 2009’s City of Life and has been crowned the Best Emirati Filmmaker at the Dubai International Film Festival, will start his next film project in October, according to a Press release from his publicist. Mostafa will be teaming up with Egyptian writer Mohamed Hefzy, who produced Tahrir 2011, award-winning Lebanese producer Paul Baboudjian and the Saudi Arabian producer who has worked on Hollywood films Arbitrage and At Any Price , Mohammed Al Turki. The announcement of the film, called A to B , was made as the group is in Frances for the Cannes Film Festival, which will end on May 26. Mostafa said he had been searching for the “right follow up project” to City of Life. “I think A to B will appeal to audiences internationally as well as across the Arab region. It’s very exciting to be working with Mohamed Hefzy, who wrote the script and to also collaborate with Paul Baboudjian. The support of Mohammed Al Turki as well has been great added value to the project itself.” The Press release says the film is about three young Arabs who undertake a road trip from their home-city, Abu Dhabi, to Lebanon’s Beirut in memory of their best friend. “Their plan to cover 2,500km over three days is beset with obstacles, with their adventure at times hilarious, as they face the challenges of travelling across the region.” Al Turki said he had been a fan of City of Life, while he was impressed by the script of the coming film. “As an Arab, I am very excited about the prospect of working on a project from one of the rising stars of our region’s film industry. We have assembled a great team and I believe A to B will have international audience appeal.” Baboudjian said as soon as Mostafa had pitched the project, he immediately felt a strong bond to it. “The story is compelling, full of adventure, laughs but also with a lot of meaning. I am excited to bring all my production experience to this project: working with Ali’s powerful cinematic language and Mohamed’s experience and creative input will be an amazing journey.” Al Turki’s involvement was “the cherry on top of the cake”, he said. Writer Hefzy describes the film as both universal and Arab. The film, projected to take six weeks of filming and feature cameo performances from top Arabic actors, would include footage from Abu Dhabi, Oman, Jordan and Lebanon. The movie will be funded by government Arabic media company twofour54 Abu Dhabi. Taylor Scott International

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