San Sebastian's Cinema In Motion programme has selected Najwa Najjar's romantic drama Pomegranates And Myrrh, Mohamed Chrif Tribak's political tale Le Temps Des Camarades and De Gaulle Eid's moving film Chou Sar' as this year's winners.
The three were chosen from a shortlist of five projects all from the Maghreb region and Portuguese-speaking African countries.
Set in Palestine, Najjar's Pomegranates And Myrrh tells the story of a free spirited dancer who is married to a prisoner, but falls in love with a Palestinian returnee. The film will receive $30,000 (Eu20,000) worth of digital calibration provided by Mikros Image, $22,000 (Eu15,000) for mixing work provided by Mac'tari, subtitles in French and English worth $3,700 (Eu2,500) from Titra Films, and one 35mm copy without subtitles offered by the Fribourg International Film Festival.
'This is a dream come true,' Najjar told ScreenDaily, who has been working on the production for a long time. 'Originally the film had several European co-producers, but then it fell apart, and I decided to make it a predominantly Palestinian project with Ustura Films Palestine.'
Le Temps Des Camarades, which follows the travails of two students caught up in the political movement of Morocco in the early 1990s, and is produced by local outfit Clipper Films, will receive $22,000 (Eu15,000) from the National Cinema Centre (National de Cinematographie) for post production work to be held in France.
Chou Sar' sees director De Gaulle Eid return to his home town Edbel in Northern Lebanon where his parents, youngest sister and eleven other members of his family were gunned down in 1980 during the Lebanese Civil War. Produced by France's CRM 114 and CINED Productions, the film has been awarded $30,000 (Eu20,000) for video to film transfer provided by Swiss Effects and Kodak Suisse, and a non-subtitled copy in 35mm from the Amiens film festival.