Abu Dhabi is hosting, for the first time, international film festival Better Cities from February 8 to 13, as part of the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum –  an international gathering held by UN-Habitat, discussing sustainable urbanisation and the various impacts of urbanisation on cities.

Founded by Joshua Paget in 2013 and originally titled 'New Urbanism Film Festival', Better Cities collects, curates, and screens “the very best films on the theme of making better cities, towns, and neighborhoods.”

One of the only large-scale forums to incorporate creative expression and voices in its various discussions, the WUF is hosting the film festival with an aim of becoming more inclusive and presenting local and community experiences of urbanism.

Abu Dhabi is the first Arab city to host both the forum and the film festival, and appropriately, the 10th edition of the forum will be themed “connecting culture and innovation.”

The city is currently pursuing ‘Sustainable Abu Dhabi’, a holistic approach to sustainable development that rests on four pillars – economic, environmental, social and cultural. Abu Dhabi Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM) will develop strategic partnerships with civil society, government and the private sector to deliver four long-term initiatives (one per pillar) that will deliver content for four sessions at WUF10.

While Abu Dhabi is known for its innovation – and its rich culture – the discussion of sustainable urbanisation – not only in the environmental sense, but cultural as well – is a continuing, integral conversation for the city.

The festival screens both award-winning films related to the subject, and will also curate films related to the particular host city. It is also accepting relevant film entries and will be screening the official entries during the four-day flagship event.