EXCLUSIVE: Leon Siminiani fiction-doc wins at MUBI’s Dialogue of Cultures festival, which plans expansion.

Leon Siminiani fiction-doc Mapa has won the $5,000 Audience Award bestowed by the Dialogue of Cultures International Film Festival, hosted on VOD service MUBI.

Siminiani’s feaure debut, also nominated for a Goya Award this year, follows a young Spanish director who goes to India in search of his first feature.

The online festival, which ran exclusively on streaming platform MUBI from Nov 4-14, was created to promote films that tackle questions of identity.

The films were available free of charge in every country in the world.

Festival titles included Lav Diaz’s Century of Birthing, Yousry Nasrallah’s After the Battle, Jonas Mekas’ collaboration with JL Guerin Correspondence and Locarno winner She, A Chinese.

Festival founder and president, Boris Cherdabayev said of future editions: “We’re already excited for next year; we will expand with an offline location and continue our mission to investigate shifting identities in our modern world.” 

Efe Cakarel, founder and CEO of MUBI, said: “It’s been a great pleasure to host the 2nd DCIFF on MUBI. The festival was an important and incredibly rare opportunity to show films that are typically under-distributed to a wide, hungry audience.

“We want to thank Boris Cherdabayev and Aliya Uvalzhanova for their support and we look forward to hosting the 2014 edition of the festival.”

The festival continues with an open call short film competition that runs until Feb 2014 with a $3,000 prize. Films can be uploaded for free to an open platform with the only criteria that the work promotes dialogue between cultures.