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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Abu Dhabi Film Festival

I had the fortune the other night to attend the opening night of the fourth annual Abu Dhabi Film Festival. I cabbed it from the moonbase to the very tony Emirates Palace hotel where the event was held and checked in at the press room in the Island Lounge.

Shiny New Building Downtown

Interior of the Emirates Palace

A Well Heeled Nautical Guest Moored Nearby

Atrium of the Emirates Palace

Press Room, Island Lounge
I retrieved my badge and hung out drinking expressos until the ceremonies began. I earlier applied for access to the Red Carpet area where the celebrities parade before the various media types but invitations to this event are rare. I thought I would wait until the names of the chosen were called and expected to go back home empty handed. Imagine my surprise when the coordinator pictured above called out my name. I was in!

The chosen were quickly rushed down two floors into the bowels of the hotel past a gauntlet of cordial security personnel to the Red Carpet press area. It resembled a piranha feeding frenzy as all the media types vied for the best vantage points. I chose a raised stage against the back wall which gave me a good view.

Red Carpet Press Area

Red Carpet Press Area

Red Carpet Press Area

The room was very hot and crowded but everyone was having a good time. The folks standing on both sides of me were very friendly and I felt like I made some good new buddies. I had a scare right before the ceremony as my trusty Canon camera started to act weird. All it would do was make a sickening beep when I tried to take a photo. Panicked, I changed batteries and memory card to no avail. I finally selected "restore factory settings" and that fixed it. I still don't know what happened.

The celebrities paraded before us stopping every 10 meters or so for photo opportunities. I have to admit that I didn't know the identity of most of the people I was photographing and will have to do some post event research.

Girl Talk....Slackistan's Shahana Khalil and Aisha Akhtar

Oscar Winning Actor Adrien Brody

British Actor Clive Owen

Unknown But Nice Dress...Help Me

Don't know Him Either

Or Her....

Or Them

Some Guy With His Mom

Maybe I am out of touch with the entertainment industry but I really feel ignorant that I don't recognize some of these people. I think that I should. Like I said, I will have to do some research.

After the event, I went to the lobby lounge to have some post-ceremony beers. At the bar, I met a motivational speaker from America and a hydrological engineer that is helping to restore the UAE's water aquifer. We all had a good chat and some laughs. I then cabbed it back to the Moonbase. Don't drink and drive!

It was a very fun night for me. I got outside my envelope and flat and really enjoyed it. Quite a big do for this redneck from the Florida panhandle but I clean up pretty well when I have to. Look for more ADFF updates here as I plan to attend press conferences with Uma Thurman, Adrien Brody and Juliette Moore in the following days.


Prince said...

the arabic actress in the silver shiny dress is 'Yosra' and the gentleman below her is the UAE Director of the UAE film 'City of Life' named- Ali F Mustafa.

hope this helps! ;)
thanks for the post.

Ace said...

Thank you Prince. I am embarrassed to have to ask the identities of the people in the photos. I knew my readers could help. I am happy you enjoyed the post. More to come.

Chuck said...

Well, I can't help with identities in the photos, but I'm glad you had a good time! Rock on.

Hotels in Abu Dhabi said...

rock the world and stay happy what ever came in you way (hurdles)

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