Abu Dhabi: About Elly, by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, a gripping tale filled with heartache and mystery set during a weekend getaway, made its Middle East debut at the Middle East International Film Festival on Thursday.

The superb cast and crew not only managed to bring this story to life, but they managed to do something slightly trickier — they made it real. It includes Golshifteh Farahani, who appeared alongside Leonardo DiCapiro in Body of Lies, and Mani Haghighi, who co-wrote internationally acclaimed Fireworks Wednesday with Farhadi in 2006.

Because she has worked in both Hollywood and Iran, Farahani revealed her observations of the two industries.

"In Hollywood, there are eight cameras for a shot, while in Iran there would probably be one. Hollywood movies are structured around certain elements, while filmmakers in Iran use more experimental methods. But I enjoy working in both industries," she said.

About Elly will represent Iran at the 82nd Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film Category, which will take place in March 2010.

"Of course I'm very happy about that. But that isn't the whole thing; it's just a part of the process of enjoying the film," Farhadi said.