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MEIFF Announces Winners of 2009 Black Pearl Awards

The Closing Ceremony for the third annual Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) was held at the Emirates Palace Hotel on Saturday evening.
During the ceremony, celebrity guests including Naomi Watts, Orlando Bloom and Eva Mendes presented the 2009 Black Pearl Awards to the winners of MEIFF’s competitions.
The awards were the culmination of 10 days of cinema, with 128 films screened. Seventeen Narrative Features, fourteen Documentary Features, twenty‐five Short Films, and ten Student Shorts competed for Black Pearl Awards.
A special Black Pearl Award for lifetime achievement was presented to Vanessa Redgrave on October 8, the festival’s Opening Night.
AWARDS & PRIZES
Narrative Feature Competition
Black Pearl Award for Best Narrative Film ($100,000) – Hipsters (Stilyagi), directed by Valery Todorovsky (Russia)
Black Pearl Award for Best New Narrative Director ($50,000) – Glendyn Ivin, Last Ride (Australia)
Black Pearl Award for Best Middle Eastern Narrative Film ($100,000) – The Time That Remains (Al Zaman Al
Baqi), directed by Elia Suleiman (Palestine, UK, Italy, Belgium, France)
Black Pearl Award for Best New Middle Eastern Narrative Director ($50,000) – Pelin Esmer, 10 to 11 (11’e 10
Kala), Turkey, France, Germany
Black Pearl Award for Best Actor ($25,000) – Hamed Behdad, No One Knows About Persian Cats, directed by
Bahman Ghobadi (Iran)
Black Pearl Award for Best Actress ($25,000) – Alicia Laguna and Sonia Couoh, Northless (Norteado), directed by
Rigoberto Pérezcano (Mexico)
Jury Special Mention – Northless (Norteado), directed by Rigoberto Pérezcano (Mexico)
Documentary Feature Competition
Black Pearl Award for Best Documentary Film ($100,000) – The Frontier Gandhi: Badshah Khan, A Torch for
Peace, directed by T. C. McLuhan (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, USA)
Black Pearl Award for Best New Documentary Director ($50,000) – Johan Grimonprez, Double Take (Netherlands,
Belgium)
Black Pearl Award for Best Middle Eastern Documentary Film ($100,000) – On the Way to School (İki Dil Bir
Bavul), directed by Orhan Eskiköy and Özgür Doğan (Turkey)
Black Pearl Award for Best New Middle Eastern Documentary Director ($50,000) – Mohamed Zran, Being Here
(Zarzis), Tunisia
Jury Special Mention – The Age of Stupid, directed by Franny Armstrong (UK)
Short Film Competition
Black Pearl Award for Best Narrative Short ($25,000) – The Six Dollar Fifty Man, directed by Mark Albiston and
Louis Sutherland (New Zealand)
Black Pearl Award for Best Documentary Short ($25,000) – Wagah, directed by Supriyo Sen and Najaf Bilgrami
(Pakistan, India, Germany)
Black Pearl Award for Best Middle Eastern Short ($25,000) – Tripoli, Quiet (Trablos Al‐Hada), directed by Rania
Attieh and Daniel Garcia (Lebanon)
Black Pearl Award for Best Student Short – First Prize ($15,000) – Anna, directed by Runar Runarsson (Denmark)
Black Pearl Award for Best Student Short – Second Prize ($10,000) – Kasia, directed by Elisabet Llado (Belgium)
Black Pearl Award for Best Student Short – Third Prize ($5,000) – Schautag, directed by Marvin Kren (Germany)
Jury Special Mention (Short Narrative) – The Employment (El empleo), directed by Santiago “Bou” Grasso (Argentina)
Jury Special Mention (Short Documentary) – The Herd, directed by Ken Wardrop (Ireland)
Jury Special Mention (Middle Eastern Short) – Fatenah, directed by Ahmad Habash (Palestine)
Jury Special Mention (Middle Eastern Short) – Spring 89 (Rabie 89), directed by Ayten Amin (Egypt)
Jury Special Mention (Student Short) – Our Neck of the Woods, directed by Rob Connolly (USA)
JURIES
Narrative Feature Competition
• Abbas Kiarostami, President
• Joan Chen
• Sunil Doshi
• Michael Fitzgerald
• Nayla Al Khaja
• Mohamed Khan
Documentary Feature Competition
• James Longley, President
• Gonzalo Arijón
• Joslyn Barnes
• Rashid Masharawi
• Hend Sabry
Short Film Competition
• Yousry Nasrallah, President
• Deepa Mehta
• Gary Meyer
• Menna Shalabi
• Chadi Zeneddine
MEIFF
The Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) was established in 2007 and is presented annually in Abu Dhabi,
the United Arab Emirates, by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH). MEIFF’s mission is to affirm
the key place Abu Dhabi holds as an emerging cultural center and to foster the growth of its local film community.
The Festival celebrates cinema in all its forms by creating a vibrant forum for storytellers from the Middle East and
around the world.
ADACH
The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) is the government institution in charge of conserving and
promoting the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi. ADACH aspires to harness the pride of Abu Dhabi’s people by
developing the Emirate as a capital of art and culture. ADACH commits all its resources to the preservation of cultural
treasures as well as the development of international art, music, literature, and cinema. ADACH promotes a holistic
vision of culture by creating and promoting projects that encourage the sharing of traditions and experience from all
over the world.
For more information please visit the festival website www.meiff.com

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