DIFF Daily 2011

Women on Top at DFC Awards

Dec 12,2011 - 05:28 PM

BY RANIA HABIB

Women ruled the Dubai Film Connection Awards last night, as prizes were presented to filmmakers from all over the Arab world. With three grand prizes of USD25,000, the Dubai International Film Festival Awards went to ‘Eyes of A Thief’ by director Najwa Najjar and producer Hani Kort, ‘The Eye of the Devil’ by director Katia Jarjoura and producer Jerome Bleitrach, and ‘When Home Becomes Hell’ by director Dalila Ennadre and producer Damien Froidevaux.

It was a bittersweet moment for Ennadre, whose partner Froidevaux passed away last month. ‘It’s so difficult to make a film that winning a prize is so much more than just winning money,’ she said. ‘It’s crucial support for a scriptwriter, because the creative process can be very lonely. So I’m very happy, and this is in honour of Damien.’

Jarjoura says she is relieved and looks back on the past few days as an enriching experience, and can now look to the future. ‘I will use this prize to write the
final version of the script,’ she said. ‘It’s a huge relief, I can breathe now, knowing that the film will be made. It’s a positive kind of pressure now, it’s creative
and artistic, because I will be writing knowing that I have people behind me who believe in my project.’

The Screen Institute Beirut DIFF Documentary Award went to ‘Zaineb Hates The Snow’ by director Kaouther Ben Hania and producer Habib Attia, which
revolves around the life of a nine year old Tunisian girl dealing with her changing family life.

The Film Clinic DIFF Debut Feature Award was presented to Wissam Charaf’s ‘Back To The Jungle’, a drama that follows two brothers who rediscover their
brotherhood after Lebanon’s civil war has kept them apart for 15 years.

‘Blessed Benefit’ by Mahmoud Al Massad won the International Relations ARTE Award for its originality and unique writing style, while ‘Beirut Hold’Em’ by Michel Kammoun received the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie Prize.

Producers Habib Attia, Orwa Nyrabia, Rula Nasser, Hani Kort, and Mohammed Samir were awarded registration to the Producers Network at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.

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