Khadija Al-Salami’s I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced was awarded best fiction film in the Muhr Feature competition at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), while Nujoom Al Ghanem’s Nearby Sky won the award for best non-fiction film.
Al-Salami’s Yemen-UAE-France co-production is based on the true story of a Yemeni teenager who fought to escape an arranged marriage to a much older man.
Al Ghanem’s Nearby Sky is about a female Emirati camel owner who ignores the disapproval of local society to enter her camels into beauty pageants and auctions. Based in the UAE, Al Ghanem has previously made several award-winning documentaries.
The Jury Prize in the Muhr Feature competition went to Salim Abu Jabal’s documentary Roshmia, about an old couple who face losing their home due the building of a road between Mount Carmel and the sea. Hisham Zaman’s Letter To The King, Yacine Mohamed Benelhadj’s I’m Dead and Yahya Alabdallah’s The Council were all awarded Special Mentions.
In the Muhr Shorts competition, Tunisian filmmaker Hinde Boujemaa’s And Romeo Married Juliette won best film, while the jury prize went to Kurdish filmmaker Sahim Omar Kalifa for Bad Hunter. Special mentions went to Rami Yasin’s In Overtime (Jordan & Palestine) and Karim Rahbani’s With Thy Spirit (Lebanon).
In the Muhr Emirati competition, best film went to Aisha Alzaabi for The Other Dimension, while Mohammed Swaidan won the jury prize for The Confession.
The awards were presented at DIFF tonight (December 16) by His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at a ceremony at the Burj Al Arab. The evening started with the presentation of the Ministry of Interior Award for Best Societal Screenplay, which went to Saeed Salmeen Al Murry for Going to Heaven (see separate story).
DIFF closes on December 17 with a screening of Rob Marshall’s musical fantasy Into The Woods.