ADACH screens commercial films to meet public demand

ABU DHABI — Close on the heels of criticism from many art lovers in Abu Dhabi who complained about a large number of commercial movies being screened by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the main cultural institution in the capital, an ADACH official has attempted to clear the air to some extent.


Silvia Radan

Published: Sun 29 Jul 2007, 8:37 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:22 AM

Explaining the choice of films for the Cultural Foundation, Abdulla Al Amri, director of culture and arts at ADACH, said, “Commercial movies are far more in demand than art films and in order to attract people here we have to provide both genres.”

He said that while blockbusters like ‘Spiderman’, ‘Shrek’ or ‘Die Hard’ are screened during weekends, the videoteque is reserved only for art movies that are shown on weekdays.

“In addition to the artistic films, we also organise movie festivals regularly, which present some of the best movie productions of a particular country,” mentioned Al Amri.

One of the major difficulties in screening art films, though, is finding the distribution agent. “For example, if I want to show a commercial movie produced by a large company like Miramax, that company will send me a list of offers for 20 not just one motion picture, while art films, normally produced on low budgets, are made by independent individuals or small companies,” explained Al Amri.

According to him, the videoteque at the Cultural Foundation, which is closed during July and August, always attracts a steady, though small, number of film enthusiasts. “We usually project films presented or awarded at various film festivals, which come from all parts of the world, from Korea to Iran or from France and Germany to India and Latin America,” he emphasised.

He also pointed out that each spring the ADACH organises a major Emirati film competition, which also includes a highly appreciated art films programme with worldwide production.

“For the next season, one movie I would like to bring here is the Russian Ark, which was shot only with one camera, without editing,” said Al Amri. The Russian Ark is an art film about art and Russian history, filmed in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and it was much praised by movie critics across Europe.

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