Lebanese filmmaker Eliane Raheb’s The Great Family and Algeria Is Still Far Away, from Algerian-French filmmaker Omar Haffaf, shared the $25,000 top prize at Dubai Film Connection (DFC) yesterday.
“We were dazzled by the quality of the 13 projects. It was a difficult process. There is such diversity in these films,” said jury member Mike Goodridge, CEO of the UK’s Protagonist Pictures. He was joined on the jury by Misr International Films’ Gabriel Khoury and Tribeca Film Institute’s Molly O’Keefe.
The Great Family follows an adopted French woman as she investigates her roots after discovering she may be the daughter of Palestinian refugees. In Algeria Is Still Far Away, Haffaf explores his native country through the prism of Chinese immigrants.
The $10,000 Cinescape/Front Row Award went to Iraqi director Mohanad Hayal’s drama Haifa Street set against the backdrop of an infamous sniper-infested neighbourhood in Baghdad.
The $10,000 ART Award went to Jordanian director Darin J. Sallam’s Farha, capturing the 1948 Palestine War through the eyes of a young Palestinian girl.
The $5,300 prize of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie went to Daoud Aoulad Syad’s Touda, about a famous Moroccan folk singer who abandons her band after discovering religion.
In two new awards, TFI invited Haifa Street to attend its co-production market at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and Norway’s Sorfond extended an invitation to its pitching forum in October to Hiam Abbass’s A Girl Made Of Dust.
Meanwhile, producers Deema Azar, Lara Abou Saifan, Hala Alsalman, Carole Abboud and Khalid Al Mahmood were also awarded accreditations to the Cannes film market’s Producers Network.