The Abu Dhabi Film Festival has promoted Ali Al Jabri to be its new festival director after the departure of Peter Scarlet, as twofour54 assume management of the festival.
Al Jabri has worked for the Abu Dhabi festival for five years, and was previously the director of the Emirates Film Competition, a key part of the festival’s program.
Scarlet has directed one of the biggest film events in the Middle East for the past three years after working as the creative director of the Tribeca Film Festival.
His decision to resign his post follows the decision to swap management of the festival from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage to media zone and filmmaking facilities hub twofour54 in March.
Since it was founded in 2008, twofour54 has extended its reach to offer post-production facilities and training courses in the region. Last year, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission was integrated into twofour54.
The first stage of the transfer process saw the festival team move offices to twofour54’s Khalifa Park campus, a media industry community hub.
The festival said in a statement: “This is a positive for both organisations as they work to showcase regional and international cinema, support the development of emerging Arab cinema, Arabic media and entertainment content to establish Abu Dhabi as an international centre of excellence.”
CEO of twofour54 Noura Al Kaabi said: “Today is a very important milestone in the event’s history. Ali has been instrumental in developing the Emirates Film Competition and we are sure he will bring the same level of passion and enthusiasm to his new role.”
Al Jabri said of his new role as festival director: “This shows the tremendous opportunities that are now opening up in the media industry for UAE 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.”