The second Doha Tribeca Film Festival came to an end Saturday night with more than $400,000 given out in prizes.
In the new Arab Film Competition, Ibrahim El Batout’s Hawi won Best Arab Film and Josef Fares’ Balls (Farsan) won Best Arab Filmmaker for its screenplay (written by Fares and Torkel Petersson).
The audience awards for best narrative film and best documentary went to Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader and Mahmoud Kaabour’s Grandma, A Thousand Times.
Each of those four awards comes with $100,000.
Hawi is an Egypt-Qatar production showing slices of life in modern Alexandria.
Balls, a Swedish production, is a comedy about a widower re-entering the dating scene.
Grandma, A Thousand Times (Teta, Alf Marra) is a personal documentary about a larger-than-life grandmother in Beirut. The film is a collaboration between the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Lebanon.
The First Grader (UK) is about a teacher and an elderly farmer who wants to enroll in a local school in Kenya
Kaabour’s Grandma also received a special jury mention in the Arab Film Competition.
The jury was comprised of Yosra, Salma Hayek Pinault, Nick Moran, Bavna Talwar, and Danis Tanovic.
The Best Arab Short Film prize, with $10,000, went to Sirwar Zirkly’s Missing.
A local children’s jury gave its prizes to Pictogram Story and Transit.
The festival closed with a gala screening of The First Grader and an outdoor concert by Ragheb Alama, at the Katara Cultural Village. The contingent representing The First Grader at closing night included director Chadwick, stars Naomie Harris and Oliver Litondo and producers David M. Thompson, Penny Wolf, Richard Harding, Anant Singh and Sam Feuer.
Amanda Palmer, Executive Director of DFI said: “Over the past year we’ve worked hard at DFI to grow our film festival and incorporate more films- and more incredible events into this year’s programme. From Family Day to TEDxDoha, to World Premieres and successful community Outdoor Screenings, the past five days have been packed with inspiring events and unique experiences. This is a fantastic moment for Qatar. We’re glad our local community has supported this year’s Festival with such enthusiasm and we look forward to building on this for next year.”
Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, added: “The Festival took a giant step forward this year with a film program that has brought together a wide range of perspectives and filmmaking approaches…DTFF is now not only a destination festival in this region but also a spectacular platform for Arab and international cinema.”
The second DTFF ran Oct 26-30, screening 51 feature films. Guests included Robert De Niro, Kevin Spacey, Freida Pinto, Mira Nair, Paula Wagner, Nitin Sawhney, Najwa Najjar, Harvey Weinstein, Julian Schnabel, Randall Wallace, Andrew McCarthy, Rachid Bouchareb, Yasmine Al Massri, and Peter Webber.