Major Shakeup At Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Film festival veteran Peter Scarlet, who has previously been the topper at such festivals as San Francisco and Tribeca, has officially left the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), where he has served for five years. Ali Al Jabri, who worked under Scarlet in his expansion of the event, has replaced him as the new festival director. The news follows internal rumors that either Scarlet resigned or was fired. With the event taking place in October, it is highly unusual for a festival director to leave so close to its dates. The ADFF launched in 2007 with the goal of helping to create a vibrant film culture throughout the region. Earlier this year, it came under the purview of TwoFour54, the government-backed media and creative industries hub in the emirate, which has attracted media and entertainment companies to make Abu Dhabi a player in the industry and a key place for Hollywood companies looking for a presence or production location in the Persian Gulf region. The new festival director said he was “proud and excited about the new role,” adding: “This shows the tremendous opportunities that are now opening up in the media industry for United Arab Emirates nationals, and I hope that I can encourage a new generation to want to be a part of such an exciting industry as we position Abu Dhabi as a creative hub for film production in the region.”

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