Young female filmmakers took home the lions share of awards in Emirates and International Shorts competitions of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

Scroll down for full list of winners

The next generation of Emirati filmmakers will made up in large part by women, guaging by the winners of the Emirates Film Competition (EFC) at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

The ceremony to announce the ‘Black Pearl Awards’, held at the Emirates Palace, saw all six student prizes won by women including Noura Al Zarouni for her narrative short I Don’t Understand and Reem Al Meqbali for her short documentary Oops!.

Hosting the event, presenter Said Al mamari said: “Congratulations to the female winners. And they say it’s a macho society!”

Now in its 12th year, this year’s selection comprised 49 short films from across the Gulf region, including 36 from the UAE.

The EFC jury was led by Ahmed Rachedi (Algeria) and comprised Oday Rasheed (Iraq), Taleb Al-Refai (Kuwait), Hafiz Abdulla (Qatar) and Fadel Al Muhairi (UAE).

Before presenting one award, Kuwaiti writer Taleb Al-Refai said: “I am from a generation that had a dream. That dream has been shattered. The only saving grace is art.

“We are behind the rest of the world technologically, economically, politically. Art is all that is left and in that regard we are up to everyone else’s standards. I want to pay tribute here to all Arab artists despite these dark times.”

The biggest cheer of the night, with people rising to their feet, went to short documentary competition winners Rafed Al Harthi and Ray Haddad for their film Feeding Five-Hundred, which centres on a man who has spent the last 15 years feeing 500 stray cats a day.

In the international short film competition, the best narrative prize went to Russia’s Anna Budanova for her animated short, The Wound (Obida). The nine-minute film is about a little girl whose emotional wound turns into a shaggy creature that becomes her friend but begin to control her life as they grow up together.

Now in its seventh edition, 20 films competed in the international short competition, which was programmed by Alice Kharoubi.

That jury was presided over by Mohamad Malas (Syria) and included Hala Khalil (Egypt), Jenle Hallund (Denmark), Khalid Al Mahmood (UAE) and Matthieu Darras (France).

The main competition will be held tomorrow night (Oct 31), handing out Black Pearl Awards for best narrative film, best documentary and best New Horizons film for first and second-time directors among others.

The 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which opened on Oct 24 with Daniel Schechter’s Life of Crime, will close on Nov 2, with screenings of the competition winners throughout the last two days.

Emirates Film Competition 2013

Short Narrative Competition

  • First Prize: Bidoon, Mohammed Al Ibrahim (AED 30,000)
  • Second Prize: With Time, Malak Quota (AED 25,000)
  • Special Jury Award: Daddy ABC, Hamad Al Awar (AED 25,000)

Student Short Narrative Competition

  • First Prize: I Don’t Understand, Noura Al Zarouni (AED 20,000)
  • Second Prize: Mirror, Ameera Madhi (AED 15,000)
  • Third Prize: Grief, Omnia Al Afifi (AED 10,000)

Short Documentary Competition 

  • First Prize: Feeding Five-Hundred, Rafed Al Harthi & Ray Haddad (AED 30,000)
  • Second Prize: Temsa7, Latifa Al Darwish & Rouda Al Meghaiseeb (AED 25,000)
  • Special Jury Award: Bader, Latifa Al Darwish, Sara Al Saadi & Maaria Assami (AED 25,000)

Student Short Documentary Competition

  • First Prize: Oops!, Reem Al Meqbali (AED 20,000)
  • Second Prize: Silent Art, Hana Mire (AED 15,000)
  • Third Prize: Against The Wind, Aisha Abdulla (AED 10,000)

  • Best Emirati Film (AED 25’000)
    Daddy ABC, Hamad Al Awar 

  • Best Cinematography Award (AED 10,000)
    Mirror, cinematographer Hamda Al Qubaisi 

  • Best Script Award (AED 10,000)
    Bidoon, writer Mohammed Al Ibrahim

Short Film Competition

  • Best Narrative ($25,000)
    The Wound (Obida), Anna Budanova (Russia)

  • Best Film from the Arab World ($20,000)
    Though I Know The River Is Dry, Omar Robert Hamilton (Palestine, Egypt, Qatar)

  • Best Documentary ($20,000)
    Le Jour A Vaincu La Nuit, Jean-Gabriel Periot (France)

  • Best Animated Short Film ($20,000)
    Reality 2.0, Victor Orozco Ramirez (Germany, Mexico)

  • Best Producer ($10,000)
    Saïd Hamish for the film Zakaria, Leyla Bouzid (France, Tunisia)

  • Best Producer from the Arab World ($10,000)
    Djaber Debzi for the film The Days Before, Karim Moussaoui (Algeria)