DIFF results announced

MUMBAI: The Dubai International Film Festival which closed yesterday announced the results of the Dubai Film Connection (DFC). DFC selected 15 filmmakers to consult and strategise three days with sales agents, producers and major broadcasters.

Three winning projects were awarded USD 15 000 each. These projects as well as one special mention will be invited to attend the prestigious 2008 Cannes Producers Network: Amreeka, by Canadian-Palestinian filmmaker Cherien Dabis, Man Without a Cell Phone, a satire about Palestinian Israelis by Sameh Zaobi, and One Man Village, a film about healing and reconciliation in Lebanon by Simon el Habre.

Special Mention went to Ziad Doueiri’s Man in the Middle, a thrilling story about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. A 5000 Euro prize from French broadcaster Arte went to Fix Me, a meditation on mental health and conflict by director Raed Andoni.

The Muhr Awards competition was expanded this year, and included films from all over the Middle East. Masoud Amralla al Ali, DIFF’s Artistic Director and Coordinator General of Competition, said: “This year our jury had difficulty choosing winners because of the superlative quality of most of the submissions, both from a story and production value standpoint. We intend for the Muhr Awards to instigate the production of more Arabic films in the region. The Middle East is full of creativity, and our roster of winners proves that unequivocally.”

The prizes for Short Films were as follows: Bronze went to El Ezz (Garbage), by Tunisian director Lotfi Achour, which depicts a lonely night watchman in love with his neighbour. UAE film Haresat al Ma’a (The Water Guard), from director Waleed al Shehhi, won Silver, and Sarah, by Belgian director Khdija Leclere, won Gold.

The Bronze Muhr for Documentary went to journalist, writer and filmmaker Nassri Hajjaj’s Dhil al Gheyab (Shadow of Absence), about Palestinian anxiety about what Hajjaj calls ‘the site of burial.’ Silver went to Palestinian director Buthina Canaan Khoury for Magharat Maria (Maria’s Grotto), which explores honour killing in Palestine. The Gold Muhr went to Karim Goury’s stylistically unusual Soneaa fi Masr (Made in Egypt), which follows a Frenchman as he searches for his Egyptian roots.

The winning feature films covered a broad swathe of the Middle East: Bronze feature La Graine et le Mulet (The Secret of the Grain) was directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, a Tunisian actor and set in France. The comedic Akher Film (Making Of), in which Tunisian director (who has directed Abdellatif Kechiche in previous films) Nouri Bouzid plays himself in a film depicting a film shoot in danger of being interrupted by the American invasion of Iraq, won Silver. The film also took away the Best Composer award for Nejib Charradi.

The Gold Muhr was won by Taht el Qasef (Under the Bombs), which explores interfaith love in Southern Lebanon between a Shia woman and a Christian man. Filmmaker Phillippe Aractingi reacted to the 2006 war by commencing filming in July, in the heat of the bombings. Under the Bombs also won a Best Actress Muhr for Nada Abou Fahat, who played Zeina, the Lebanese Shi’a woman who rushes into the war zone to save her son.

Best Actor went to UK-based Jordanian actor Nadim Sawalha for his role in Captain Abu Raed, where he plays an airport janitor who befriends a group of children in his poor neighbourhood.

Lebanese filmmaker Borhane Alaouie’s Khalass took away two awards: the Best Screenplay award for Alaouie himself and Best Editor Award for France Duez. Best Cinematographer went to Pierre Boffety for his photography of Burnt Hearts.

In the section of the Muhr Awards that recognizes Emirati talent, three awards were presented. The prize for Best Emirati Talent went to Mohammed Saeed Harib, creator of the Freej series. Best Emirati Female Filmmaker was presented to Nayla Al Khaja, and Best Emirati Filmmaker went to Ali Mostafa.

Latest Reads
31st October: Genuine effort wasted

Rather late in the day, 31stOctober is a film about the Sikh genocide of 1984 in Delhi in the aftermath of assassination of the then prime minister of India Indira Gandhi. She was killed by her security guards, who happened to be Sikh. That assassination, again, is attributed to the anger of the...

Movies Hindi
TV premiere of Daniel Craig's 'Spectre' on 23 October

Movies Now is all geared up to air the television premiere of the Daniel Craig starrer James Bond movie Spectre. With Diwali round the corner, the movie will hit the TV screens on 23 October at 1 pm and a repeat telecast at 9 pm.

Movies Hollywood
Jio MAMI: Royal Stag Barrel joins Star to promote short films

The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has managed to involve Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films to provide a platform within the short films category.

Movies Hindi
India against obstructing Fawad film; Maharashtra assures 'protection'

Even as PEMRA's ban on Indian content looms, the Indian Government has made it clear that it will not create any impediment for the release of producer-director Karan Johar’s 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ starring popular Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, among others.

Movies Hindi
'Thithi' to open Dharmashala fest; to screen 45 features and shorts

A total of 45 features and shorts are to screened at the fifth Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) to be held from 3 to 6 November.

Movies Hindi
New films: The business of a few lakhs

The dull pre-Diwali period has taken its toll. The films released recently as well as last Friday have fallen like nine pins. Some of these have been forced to commit hara-kiri as they would not be able to get playtime at the cinemas in peak period when the flow of star cast films is regular. The...

Movies Hindi
Bollywood supports Govt's Pak policy; pleads for ongoing projects

NEW DELHI: The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd today expressed “genuine concern of all those film producers who have invested heavily in films featuring artistes from across the border.” Even as it expressed unflinching support to the Central Government and solidarity with the...

Movies Hindi
MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D).......Kid stuff

MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D) is India’s own homebred animation film featuring characters of the popular Hindi comic strip of the same name that features in Lot Pot magazine.

Movies Hindi
Competitive short film fest to coincide with Risk Development meet

NEW DELHI: A short films competition on the theme of Risk Sensitive Development for Community Resilience will be organised at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 being held here.

Movies Short Films

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories