Fipresci Home the international federation of film critics  
  about us | festival reports | awards | undercurrent   contact | site map 
home > festival reports > Abu Dhabi 2013  

coming soon

7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival, 2013

The Rooftops
"The Rooftops" (Merzak Allouache)

The 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival offered a great variety of programming. There was a Narrative Feature Competition with international productions, among which were films from the Philippines, Bosnia, Egypt, Algeria and France; co-productions with the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Qatar; and the latest films by Philippe Garrel, Kelly Reichardt and Stephen Frears. The New Horizons section presented a director's first or second feature film. There was also a Documentary Feature Competition and a Short Film Competition with a special programme of short films from the United Arab Emirates and GCC countries. More than US $800,000 was available to the juries for the Black Pearl Awards.

A country which doesn't have an established tradition in cinema and which didn't even know movie theatres has discovered film. In the great theatre at the Emirates Palace and before the eight screens of the cinemas VOX at the Marina Mall an attentive and interested audience followed the stories told by international pictures. The motto in Abu Dhabi: Let's celebrate film!

The audience's look was dominated by the white of bearded men wearing the kandura and the black of women's abayas. The cool air-conditioned cinemas were well attended; outside the sun was shining and providing temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius. (Wilfried Reichart)

7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Abu Dhabi, Emirates, October 24 — November 2, 2013). Jury: Wilfried Reichart, Germany ("Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger"), Janusz Wróblewski, Poland ("Polityka"), Madhu Eravankara, India ("The Hindu"), Mostafa El Mesnawi, Morocco ("Almassaa Almaghribiyya"), Vicky Habib, Lebanon ("Dar Alhayat"). The jury awards an Arab feature-length fiction film and can present an award to a long Arab documentary. Best Narrative/Fiction Film: The Rooftops (Es-stouh) by Merzak Allouache (Algeria, France, Qatar, 2013). Print Source: Elle Driver (66 rue Miromesnil, Paris 75008, France), Phn: +33 1 56 43 48 70, Fax: +33 1 45 61 46 08, web:, e-mail : Best Documentary: El Gort (Jamal al-barrouta) by Hamza Aouni (Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, 2013). Print-Source: Link Production, Karim Rmadi, e-mail:, Phn: +21653584949.


It Happened on Rooftops. The film The Rooftops offers a unique treatment. It has five stories occurring on five different rooftops in the historic neighborhood of Algerian Capital set across the five different daily Muslim calls to prayer. The stories take place at five different places in the five quarters of Algiers namely Casbah, Bab el Oued, Balcount, Notre Dame d’Afrique and Telemly. Madhu Eravankara's review. arrow.
Silent Spirits. Quiet and unassuming on first impression, Paweł Pawlikowski's Ida is in fact a provocative, gripping movie. This passionate and well thought-out story successfully debunks national and religious stereotypes associated with identity. Janusz Wróblewski's review. arrow.
The Film That Didn't Receive An Award. One film didn't win a prize in any category, although it should have, because it was unusual, significant, formally radical, experimental, and because it reduced the documentary film to its simplest denominator: showing, observing, and not judging. The film is called Whispers of the Cities, and the director is Kasim Abid from Iraq. Wilfried Reichart's review. arrow.
Dancing to the Tune of Politics. Arab Films at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Vicky Habib's report. arrow.



recent festivals


Abu Dhabi 2013

bullet. Index
bullet. It Happened on Rooftops
bullet. Silent Spirits
bullet. The Film That Didn't Receive an Award
bullet. Dancing to the Tune of Politics

Language editor:
Carmen Gray