Abu Dhabi Film Festival to honour Egyptian author Mahfouz

The fifth annual Abu Dhabi Film Festival will celebrate the Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz.

Abu Dhabi Film Festival to Celebrate 100th Birthday of Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz
Abu Dhabi, UAE Ñ July 13, 2011
 The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) announced today that to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of this unique and enormously influential artist, it will present screenings of eight major films drawn from his work, many in newly struck or newly subtitled copies, to mark its fifth edition October 13-22.
Photo showing Naguib Mahfouz
Courtesy ADFF
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ABU DHABI // The 2011 Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) will open with a series of films celebrating the 100th birthday of one of Egypt's most influential writers.

Naguib Mahfouz, the first Arab winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, died in 2006, aged 94.

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In a career that spanned seven decades, Mahfouz penned more than 100 short stories and 30 novels, including the highly lauded The Cairo Trilogy.

The eight films based on the author's work were even more significant in light of the Arab uprisings, said Peter Scarlet, the executive director of the ADFF, which runs from October 13 to October 22.

"At this moment in history as the world turns its attention anew towards that ancient and fascinating nation, the work of Naguib Mahfouz, both on the page and on screen, gives a unique sense of what life was like there for much of the preceding century," Mr Scarlet said.

Intishal Al Tamimi, the main curator of the programme, said deciding how to represent the Egyptian author through the films he helped to influence was impossible.

But Mr Al Tamimi said the programme would offer something for newcomers and fans of Mahfouz's work.

"We recognise the impossibility of fully encompassing Mahfouz's long career in this retrospective but we hope to shed light on some of the key landmarks in the creative path of the writer of such important novels as The Children of Gebelawi.

"To this end, ADFF has chosen to present a multi-faceted programme that reflects Mahfouz's diversity," Mr Al Tamimi said.

The retrospective, the details of which have yet to be announced, will include films from several acclaimed Egyptian directors.