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Seventh edition of DIFF concludes with honouring ceremony for winners of Muhr Emirati, Arab and AsiaAfrica Awards

Sun Dec 19,2010

The seventh Dubai International Film Festival wrapped on Sunday with a glittering awards ceremony honouring the best of world and regional cinema and talent of the last year and shining a light on outstanding emerging filmmakers.

The closing red carpet and awards ceremony drew UAE royalty including HH Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HH Sheikh Saeed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as international and regional stars.

The 2010 Festival, considered the strongest, most accessible and exciting yet, played host to a line-up of 157 films from 57 countries including an outstanding array of contemporary Arab cinema; a robust competition focused on the UAE, the Arab world, Asia and Africa; a growing industry dimension and new public initiatives. The Sunday night awards ceremony, held at the Madinat Jumeirah, showcased the highlights of each section.

DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: “This week, at DIFF 2010, we sampled the best cinema from around the world with a particular emphasis on work from the Arab world, Asia and Africa. All three of our competitions – the Muhr Arab, Muhr AsiaAfrica and Muhr Emirati – were outstanding this year, and one of our greatest challenges was to whittle the entries down to an initial shortlist. Tonight’s winners come from that shortlist, but even those who leave without a Muhr Award have reason to be proud.”

More than 36 of the Festival’s prestigious Muhr Awards were presented to the finest Arab, AsiaAfrica and Emirati films and talent. The winners of the Muhr Arab competition, which drew more than 400 entries from 42 nations, are:

For Muhr Arab Short Films:
Second Prize: Halima Ouardiri for MOKHTAR - Canada
Special Jury Prize: Abdenour Zahzah for GARAGOUZ - Algeria
First Prize: Sabine El Chamaa for UN MARDI (A TUESDAY) - Lebanon

For Muhr Arab Documentary:
Special Mention: Iman Kamel for BEIT SHA’AR (NOMAD’S HOME) - Egypt, Germany, Kuwait, UAE
Special Mention: Abdallah Al Ghoul for TATHKARA MIN AZRAEL (TICKET FROM AZRAEL) - Egypt, Germany, Kuwait, UAE
Second Prize: Soudade Kaadan for SAQF DIMASHQ WA HYKAYAT AL JANNAH (DAMASCUS ROOF AND TALES OF PARADISE) - Syria, Qatar
Special Jury Prize: Omar Sharqawi for FRA HAIFA TIL NOERREBRO (MY FATHER FROM HAIFA) - Denmark
First Prize: Mahmoud Al Massad for HATHIHI SWRATI WA ANA MAYET (THIS IS MY PICTURE WHEN I WAS DEAD) - Netherlands, USA, UAE

For Muhr Arab - Feature
Best Cinematography: Xavier Castro for PEGASE (PEGASUS) - Morocco
Best Composer: Essam Rafea for MATAR AYLOUL (SEPTEMBER RAIN) - Syria
Best Editor: Hicham Saqer for MICROPHONE - Egypt
Best Screenplay: Jillali Ferhati for DES L’AUBE (AT DAWN) - Morocco
Best Actress: Bushra for 678 (SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT) - Egypt
Best Actor: Maged El Kidwaany for 678 (SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT) - Egypt
Special Jury Prize: Mohammed Al Hushki for MUDON AL TRANZIT (TRANSIT CITIES) - Jordan
First Prize: Georges Hachem for RSASSA TAYCHEH (STRAY BULLET) – Lebanon

The Muhr AsiaAfrica competition drew 445 entries from 62 countries, including 110 documentaries, 136 features and 199 short films. The winners of the Muhr AsiaAfrica awards include:

Muhr AsiaAfrica Short Films:
Second Prize: Jong-chul Park for UNFUNNY GAME - South Korea
Special Jury Prize: Chih Yi Wen for SLEEPING WITH HER - Taiwan
First Prize: Nargiza Mamatkulova for SOIKO (THE EARRINGS) - Kyrgyzstan

Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary:
Special Mention: Ashvin Kumar for INSHALLAH, FOOTBALL - India
Special Mention: Shahin Parhami for AMIN - Iran, Canada, South Africa
Second Prize: John Akomfrah for THE NINE MUSES - Ghana, UK
Special Jury Prize: Ariane Astrid Atodji for KOUNDI ET LE JEUDI NATIONAL (KOUNDI AND THE NATIONAL THURSDAY) - Cameroon
First Prize: Jia Zhang-Ke for HAI SHANG CHUAN QI (I WISH I KNEW) - China

Muhr AsiaAfrica - Feature
Special Mention:  Lee Min-Ji for JIMSEUNG UI KKUT (END OF ANIMAL) - South Korea

Best Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom and Yukonteorn Mingmongkon for LOONG BOONMEE RALEUK CHAAT (UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES) - UK, Thailand, Spain, Germany, France
Best Composer: Jonny Greenwood for NORWEGIAN WOOD - Japan
Best Editor: Marie-Helene Dozo for UN HOMME QUI CRIE (A SCREAMING MAN) - France, Chad, Belgium
Best Screenplay: Mohsen Abdolvahab for LOTFAN MOZAHEM NASHAVID (PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB) - Iran
Best Actress: Kobra Hasanzadeh Esfahani for MARHAM (SALVE) - Iran
Best Actor: Youssouf Djaoro for UN HOMME QUI CRIE (A SCREAMING MAN) - France, Chad, Belgium
Special Jury Prize: Oliver Schmitz for LE SECRET DE CHANDA (LIFE, ABOVE ALL) - South Africa, Germany
First Prize: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun for UN HOMME QUI CRIE (A SCREAMING MAN) - France, Chad, Belgium

For the first time, DIFF presented the Muhr Emirati Awards for excellence in filmmaking to UAE filmmakers. Fourteen films made by UAE nationals competed in the first Muhr Emirati shortlisted from more than 30 entries.

The winners are:

Muhr Emirati:
Special Mention: Waleed Al Shehhi for REEH (WIND) - UAE
Second Prize: Khalid Al Mahmood for SABEEL - UAE
Special Jury Prize: Nujoom Alghanem for HAMAMA - UAE
First Prize: Nayla Al Khaja for MALAL (BORED) – UAE

The Festival also presented a series of special awards, including the FIPRESCI International Prize of the Critics Award, the Human Rights Film Network Award, the Damas People’s Choice Award, and a brand new ‘People Who Make a DIFFerence’ Award. Additional prizes for the DIFF Young Journalist and Dubai Film Connection were presented earlier in the week.

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, went to: ‘2 ½’ directed by Elie Kamal (Lebanon); ‘Zelal’ by Marianne Khoury and Mustapha Hasnaoui (Egypt/France/Morocco/UAE) and ‘Mudon Al Tranzit – Transit Cities’ by Mohammed Al Hushki (Jordan) in the shorts, documentary and feature film categories, respectively.


The Damas People’s Choice Award for 2010, voted by the members of the public after watching the movies at the festival screening venues – Cinestar at the Mall of the Emirates, First Group Theatre, at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Madinat Arena, and The Walk at JBR - was clinched by Omar Sharqawi for FRA HAIFA TIL NOERREBRO (MY FATHER FROM HAIFA) - Denmark

DIFF also presented Sarah Al Gethami, a Saudi student at Middlesex University in Dubai, with the DIFF Young Journalist Award.

The awards ceremony also feted the three DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award honourees for 2010, including American film icon and international social and political activist Sean Penn; leading African director Souleymane Cisse and Egyptian-Lebanese icon Sabah.

The Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica award winning films will be screened at Cinestar cinemas at Mall of the Emirates on Monday, Dec. 20, 2010.

The seventh edition of the Dubai International Film Festival showcased an impressive line-up of 157 films from 57 countries including an outstanding array of contemporary Arab cinema. These included 41 world premieres, 13 international premieres, 58 Middle East premieres and 32 Gulf premieres, and a host of A-list talent. Nearly half the DIFF 2010 films – 70 – were by or about Arab people, subjects and places.

DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The event is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com

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