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GFFPress Releases 2013CURTAIN FALLS ON 6th GULF FILM FESTIVAL WITH AWARDS FOR BEST FILMS FROM GCC AND BEYOND
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CURTAIN FALLS ON 6th GULF FILM FESTIVAL WITH AWARDS FOR BEST FILMS FROM GCC AND BEYOND
Sun Apr 21, 2013
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Dubai, UAE: April 17, 2013: The sixth annual Gulf Film Festival, the largest and most comprehensive showcase of the best in cinema from the GCC and beyond, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, drew to a close last night with an award ceremony honouring the best in feature-length and short cinema from the GCC, along with a selection of cutting-edge short films from around the world.

During the ceremony the Festival presented a Special Recognition Award to the Emirati veteran actor of Mansoor Al Feeli for his outstanding contribution to the industry over a career spanning two decades.

His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Gulf Film Festival Chairman Abdulhamid Juma and Festival Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali presented more than AED 500,000 in awards to winners of the Official Gulf Features, Official Gulf Shorts, Official Gulf Student Shorts and International Shorts Competitions.
The winners of GFF 2013 competitions were:
New York Film Academy Award:
• Fatima Al Baloushi
• Fatema Abdulla

Official Competition: International Shorts:
• Special Mention: Ivan Bogdanov, Moritz Mayerhofer, Asparuh Petrov, Veljko Popovic, Rositsa Raleva, Dmitry Yagodin For FATHER - Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany
• Best Director: Natalia Saufert For ANA - Moldova
• Second Prize: Andrea Iannetta For ALLAH IS GREAT - India
• Special Jury Prize: Kike Mesa For FUGA - Spain
• Best Film: Eva Blondiau For DIE SCHAUKEL DES ARGMACHERS (THE SWING OF THE COFFIN MAKER) – Germany

Official Competition: Gulf Students’ Shorts:
• Special Mention: Latifa Al-Darwish, Sara Al-Saadi, Maaria Assami For BADER - Qatar
• Best Emerging Talent: Khaled Al Bayati For BALLOONS - Iraq
• Best Director: Ebrahim Najem Al Rasbi For MOMENTS - UAE
• Third Prize: Hikmat Al Baidhani and Hedar Jama For 48 SAA'A (48 HOURS) - Iraq
• Second Prize: Essam Jafar For NISAA MIN TABOOQ (WOMEN OF BRICKS) - Iraq
• Special Jury Prize: Nawaf Alhoshan For MUJARRAD SOURA (JUST A PICTURE) - Saudi Arabia
• Best Film: Ebrahim Najem Al Rasbi For MOMENTS – UAE

Official Competition: Gulf Shorts:
• Best Script: Abdulla Aljunaibi For THE PATH - UAE
• Best Director: Luay Fadhil For COTTON - UAE, Iraq
• Third Prize: Bader Alhomoud For SCRAP - Saudi Arabia
• Second Prize: Jérôme Bleitrach For LA SAINTETÉ (SANCTITY) - France, Saudi Arabia
• Special Jury Prize: Kamiran Betasi For SILHOUETTE - Iraq
• Best Film: Kobe Van Steenberghe, Hendrik Verthé For BAGHDAD MESSI - Iraq, UAE, Belgium

Official Competition: Gulf Features:
• Special Mention: Zamand Taha and Sarwar Fazil For their role in BEKAS - Sweden
• Special Mention: Waad Mohammed For her role in WADJDA - Germany, Saudi Arabia, UAE
• Best Director: Karzan Kader For BEKAS - Sweden
• Third Prize: Haider Rashid For STA PER PIOVERE (IT'S ABOUT TO RAIN) - Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, UAE
• Second Prize: Wendy Kuan and Zhu Yan For A FALLIBLE GIRL - UK, China
• Special Jury Prize: Sandra Harms For BEKAS - Sweden
• Best Film: Roman Paul, Gerhard Meixner For WADJDA - Germany, Saudi Arabia, UAE

The Official Gulf Competition jury comprised of prominent Egyptian director Oussama Fawzi, joined by scriptwriter and journalist Faiza Ambah, and award-winning Emirati filmmaker Saeed Salmeen Al-Murry. The International Shorts Competition and the Gulf Student Competition jury was headed by French filmmaker and author Frederique Devaux, along with renowned Emirati director Waleed Al Shehhi and Rima Mismar, film critic and Programming Manager for The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.
GFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “Each year, our juries have a more difficult deliberation process—the quality of submissions is improving exponentially and artists who were only embarking into the film industry at the first GFF are now firmly established and pushing the boundaries of their craft. We would like to thank our jury and congratulate the members of the GCC film community for consistently building a new and vibrant industry that reflects the lives, values and vision of the people of the Gulf.”
Masoud Amralla Al Ali commented on the public reception of the Festival’s 2013 edition: “Our audience response was overwhelming this year; through previous editions, word of mouth and a growing cinema community, audiences understand that the GFF offers something unique, a chance to be immersed in an exciting, pioneering cinema that is constantly offering up firsts and charting unexplored territory. On the industry side, our programmes received very positive feedback, and our audiences can look forward to reaping the benefits of the training, mentorship and development that took place this week in future editions.”
The Festival opened its week-long programme of free public screenings with a star-studded Opening Night gala featuring Wadjda, the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia by Haifaa Al-Mansour, the country’s first female director. In the year since its release, Wadjda has won numerous awards and audience acclaim around the world, including 3 awards at the prestigious Venice Film Festival as well as the Muhr Arab Feature and Best Actress awards at the 2012 Dubai International Film Festival. The project’s starting point was at the Gulf Script Market, the GFF’s mentoring and pitching platform for aspiring screenwriters.

This year, the Gulf Script Market took place under the umbrella of the inaugural Gulf Film Market, a comprehensive industry initiative conceived to further GFF’s core mandate of developing and nurturing the film industry in the wider GCC. With an array of discussion panels, ‘how-to’ sessions and networking events, the Gulf Film Market was widely attended by GCC film professionals of all levels, as well as students and emerging artists. The initiative also comprised two funding initiatives for regional artists, including the Enjaaz Gulf Shorts award, which selected three short scripts by GCC filmmakers.

In a further boon to the GCC film community, GFF announced during the festival run that it would partner with Robert Bosch Stiftung, one of Germany’s major philanthropic foundations, which will allow emerging Gulf-based filmmakers to access a wider audience, prominent training programmes and potential collaborators in Europe.

The 2013 edition of the Gulf Film Festival presented by the Investment Corporation and supported by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority in association with Dubai Studio City.
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