Ali Mostafa’s From A to B will open Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Also: Sarah Geronimo returns to the UAE; Miss America's strange way of drumming up support; and the Bollywood star Deepika Padukone lashes out at newspaper's comments about her clothes

A scene from Ali F Mostafa's From A to B. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Film Festival
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From A to B, the new film by the Emirati director Ali F Mostafa, will open the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) on October 23. The film, produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi (which is owned by The National's parent company Abu Dhabi Media), is the long-awaited follow-up to Mostafa's successful 2009 debut City of Life. Disney's latest animated film, Big Hero 6, will close the festival on November 1. From A to B tells the tale of three western-educated Arab youths who travel from Abu Dhabi to Beirut to honour the memory of a dead friend. "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," says Mostafa. "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." Ali Al Jabri, the ADFF director, says that the film's prestigious opening slot reflects the growing confidence within the local film industry. "We are delighted to feature a locally produced film as the opening title of this year's festival," he says. "The success of high-calibre Arab filmmakers such as Ali Mostafa is a testament to the vibrancy of filmmaking in the region." – Saeed Saeed

Sarah Geronimo returns to the UAE

Two Filipino pop stars are coming to Dubai to perform. After wowing crowds at Abu Dhabi's du Forum earlier in the year, Sarah Geronimo and her energetic G Force dancers are reportedly returning to Dubai for a show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on December 1. The concert is considered an encore performance to her Perfect 10 tour, which celebrates her decade-long career and features her latest hits It Takes a Man and a Woman and Ikot-Ikot from last year's album Expressions. Ticket details and prices will be released soon. Also coming to Dubai is the young starlet Anne Curtis, who is bringing back her popular Forbidden Concert tour to the city on November 7. The show will feature tracks from her latest album, Annebisyosa, including her latest hit Made in the Philippines. The promoters Sundance Live will release venue details and prices soon. Watch this space. – The National staff

Miss America drums up support with plastic cup act

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America on Sunday night, winning the beauty-pageant title after singing the Pharrell Williams song Happy while sitting cross-legged on the stage and banging a red plastic cup on the floor. She revealed that the unusual performance, in the talent portion of the contest, had been inspired by a similar scene in the 2012 movie Pitch Perfect, in which a character auditions for an a cappella group by performing using a cup. She also said she did it to show future contestants that they can win with any talent routine, regardless of what other people may think of it. Despite winning the contest, which was held at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, Kazantsev came under withering criticism on social media sites for her talent performance. But she said she had the time of her life performing the cup routine. Her success marked the third year in a row that a Miss New York has won the televised pageant. She chose combating sexual assault in the military as the issue that she wants female senators to raise with male counterparts. – AP

Bollywood star lashes out at newspaper’s lack of respect

The Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has hit out at a newspaper that published what she considered an insulting and demeaning story about an outfit she wore to a movie event, the Indian Express reported. Last year, Padukone was photographed at a launch of Chennai Express in a low-cut dress designed by Anaita Shroff Adajania, and on Sunday morning, The Times of India newspaper retweeted a story they had run, with the comment "OMG: Deepika Padukone's cleavage show!" The normally laid-back actress was not impressed and replied with a series of tweets: "Supposedly India's 'LEADING' newspaper and this is 'NEWS'!!? YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!? Don't talk about Woman's Empowerment when YOU don't know how to RESPECT Women!" Fans of the actress also voiced their support, with 1,550 retweets within an hour. The Finding Fanny director Homi Adajania also tweeted in support and registered his anger, wri­ting: "We just slam ourselves back into the dark ages." – The National staff