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8th Dubai International Film Festival concludes with glittering Muhr Awards ceremony

Wed Dec 14,2011

Dubai, UAE; December 14, 2011: The 8th Dubai International Film Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, concluded with a glittering award ceremony, where outstanding talent from the UAE and the Arab world, Asia and Africa were presented DIFF’s prestigious Muhr Awards.

Over the past eight days, the festival screened a vivid showcase of 171 films from 56 nations, hosted live music performances that attracted thousands of spectators, and celebrated the spirit of cultural solidarity through its central credo of ‘Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.’

A strong statement on Dubai’s ability to host world-class events, the festival welcomed some of the towering names in cinema from Hollywood, Europe, India, Asia, Africa and the rest of the world. The festival also put the global spotlight on the city with the premiere of Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol, shot partly in Dubai.

DIFF’s comprehensive script-to-screen industry initiative, the Dubai Film Market, extended co-production, post-production and trade & distribution support, in addition to fostering open discussions on the current trends in cinema and encouraging the development of a new cadre of film journalists.

The presentation of the Muhr Awards, the only initiative of its kind with the clearly defined mandate of promoting filmmaking talent in the Arab world, Asia and Africa, brought a perfect culmination to the celebration of the finest in global cinema over eight days.

Some 90 shorts, documentaries and features, selected from over 1,700 entries from 106 countries, had competed for more than 36 Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards and over US$600,000 in prize money in addition to invaluable industry connections. They were also eligible for a variety of prestigious global awards including the FIPRESCI International Prize of the Critics Award and the Human Rights Film Network Award.

Earlier, DIFF presented its Lifetime Achievement Awards to veteran Egyptian actor and crossover star Gamil Ratib; Oscar- and Grammy-award winning Indian music composer A. R. Rahman and internationally renowned auteur Werner Herzog.

The festival also presented the ‘People Who Make a DIFFerence’ Award to Jafar Varzideh, for flying out from Los Angeles since the inaugural edition of DIFF to volunteer at the festival. The DIFF Young Journalist Award and Dubai Film Connection prizes were presented during the festival.


The du People’s Choice Award:  ALS DER WEIHNACHTSMANN VOM HIMMEL FIEL (WHEN SANTA FELL TO EARTH) by Oliver Dieckmann – Germany

The annual ‘Prize of the International Critics’ for Arab films from the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), the world’s foremost body of film writers, academics and critics from over 60 countries, were awarded to:
• Best Documentary: MARCEDES by Hady Zaccak - Lebanon
• Best Short: SUR LA ROUTE DU PARADIS (THE ROAD TO PARADISE) by Uda Benyamina – France
• Best Feature: HABIBI RASAK KHARBAN (HABIBI) by Susan Youssef - Palestine, USA, Netherlands, UAE

The Human Rights Film Network Award, aimed at encouraging and promoting films that address human rights issues, was won by SHOJI TO TAKAO (SHOJI & TAKAO) by Yoko Ide - Japan.

Muhr AsiaAfrica
Muhr Asia Africa Shorts:
• Second Prize: MEHFUZ (SAFE) by Rohit Pandey - India
• Special Jury Prize: TINYE SO by Daouda Coulibaly - Mali
• First Prize: MO-EDON PAE-MIL-LI (MODERN FAMILY) by Kwang Bin Kim - South Korea

Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary:
• Special Mention: JAI BHIM COMRADE by Anand Patwardhan - India
• Second Prize: ENDING NOTE (DEATH OF A JAPANESE SALESMAN) by Mami Sunada - Japan
• Special Jury Prize: NEGERI DI BAWAH KABUT (THE LAND BENEATH THE FOG) by Shalahuddin Siregar - Indonesia
• First Prize: IN FILM NIST (THIS IS NOT A FILM) by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb - Iran

Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature:
• Special Mention: Chandani Senevirathne for her role in NIKINI VASSA (AUGUST DRIZZLE) - Sri Lanka
• Best Cinematographer: Gökhan Tiryaki for BIR ZAMANLAR ANADOLU’DA (ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA) - Turkey
• Best Editor: Takashi Sato for KITSUTSUKI TO AME (THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN) - Japan
• Best Composer: Christopher Khoo for TATSUMI - Singapore
• Best Scriptwriter: Shuichi Okita for KITSUTSUKI TO AME (THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN) - Japan
• Best Actress: Phung Ho Hai Lin for TÂM HÕN MĘ (MOTHER’S SOUL) - Vietnam
• Best Actor: Kôji Yakusho for KITSUTSUKI TO AME (THE WOODSMAN AND THE RAIN) – Japan
• Special Jury Prize: BIR ZAMANLAR ANADOLU’DA (ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan - Turkey
• Best Film: TATSUMI by Eric Khoo - Singapore

Muhr Arab
Muhr Arab Shorts:
• Special Mention: ZAFIR (BREATHE OUT) by Omar El Zohairy - Egypt
• Special Mention: MAKAN YOUA’AD (A PLACE TO GO) by Wajdi Elian - Lebanon
• Second Prize: ARD AL ABTAL (LAND OF THE HEROES) by Sahim Omar Kalifa - Iraq
• Special Jury Prize: BRÛLEURS (BURNERS) by Farid Bentoumi - France
• First Prize: SUR LA ROUTE DU PARADIS (THE ROAD TO PARADISE) by Uda Benyamina – France

Muhr Arab Documentary:
• Special Mention: LA KHAOUFA BAADA AL’YAOUM (NO MORE FEAR) by Mourad Ben Cheikh - Tunisia
• Second Prize: ICI, ON NOIE LES ALGERIENS - 17 OCTOBRE 1961 (HERE WE DROWN ALGERIANS - OCTOBER 17TH, 1961) by Yasmina Adi - France
• Special Jury Prize: HALABJA - THE LOST CHILDREN by Akram Hidou - Iraq, Germany, Syria
• First Prize: SECTOR ZERO by Nadim Mishlawi - Lebanon, UAE

Muhr Arab Feature:
• Cinematographer: Raphael Bauche for SHI GHADI OU SHI JAY (BOILING DREAMS)                - Morocco
• Best Editor: Susan Youssef and Man Kit Lam for HABIBI RASAK KHARBAN (HABIBI) - Palestine, USA, Netherlands, UAE
• Best Composer: Le Trio Jubran for AL JUMA AL AKHEIRA (THE LAST FRIDAY)                Jordan, UAE
• Best Scriptwriter: Hakim Belabbes for SHI GHADI OU SHI JAY (BOILING DREAMS) - Morocco
• Best Actress: Maisa Abd Elhadi for HABIBI RASAK KHARBAN (HABIBI) - Palestine, USA, Netherlands, UAE
• Best Actor: Ali Suliman for AL JUMA AL AKHEIRA (THE LAST FRIDAY) - Jordan, UAE
• Special Jury Prize: AL JUMA AL AKHEIRA (THE LAST FRIDAY) by Yahya Alabdallah - Jordan, UAE
• Best Film: HABIBI RASAK KHARBAN (HABIBI) by Susan Youssef - Palestine, USA, Netherlands, UAE

Muhr Emirati
• Special Mention: LONDON IN A HEADSCARF by Mariam Al Sarkal - UK
• Second Prize: AKHIR DECEMBER (END OF DECEMBER) by Hamad Al Hammadi - UAE
• Special Jury Prize: CHILDREN by Mohammad Fikree - UAE
• First Prize: AMAL by Nujoom Alghanem - UAE


The award-winning films will be screened on December 16 at the Mall of the Emirates Vox Cinemas. 

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the title sponsor of the Dubai International Film Festival, held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, home to the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

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