Abu Dhabi Film Festival - set to take place from 23 October till 1 November - has just announced its opening film: From A to B by Emirati director Ali Mostafa, with a screenplay by Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy.
Hefzy is one of Egypt's most prominent producers of alternative films that aim for commercial as well as critical success through his company Film Clinic.
Among the most notable films Film Clinic produced were Amr Salama's Excuse my French and Asmaa, Ahmad Abdalla's Rags and Tatters and Microphone, and Ayten Amin's Villa 69.
Hefzy is also the president of the Ismailia Film Festival for Short Films and Documentaries, which is considered one of the most prominent state-run film festivals in Egypt.
From A to B follows the story of three Western-educated Arab youths who travel on the road from Abu Dhabi to Beirut in memory of their deceased best friend who passed away five years earlier.
The film's director Mostafa - famed for the award winning 2009 film City of Life - asserted in the festival's press release that he is "honored to have my film From A to B selected as the opening night screening of this year’s Abu Dhabi Film Festival. It is a privilege to celebrate the World Premiere in our capital city and I am proud to have the first Emirati film to ever open the festival. This is another testament to our growing industry as the festival has proven to be a great platform for launching Arab films to an international audience.”
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival was established in 2007 and is a key event on the region's cultural calendar. Its extensive ten- day programme features Arab and international cinema, co-production meetings and other events. Films compete for awards for the Black Pearl Awards in the narrative, documentary and New Horizons sections of the programme.