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Jeremy Colson


Jeremy Colson's festival coverage.

Film Festival ambassador to filmfestivals.com
Visiting Athens, Bangkok, Cairo, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Kathmandu, Neasden and more.


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The Hedgehog scoops three, but Haro bags best film at Cairo

The Hedgehog (Le Herisson) scooped three awards in Cairo last night.

In only her third film as a director, Mona Achache won the Critics' Prize, Best Director and the Special Jury Prize.

The Hedgehog was inspired by the eponymous novel by Muriel Barbery. The screenplay was written by Achache.

The film tells the story of Renée Michel a fifty-something female concierge with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a passion for great works of literature.

Paloma is a 12-year old girl who has become so disgusted by the adults around her that she has decided to kill herself. 

The fortunes of these two solitary and sensitive females are changed forever when a strange Japanese man, Kakuro Ozu, enters their lives.

Produced by Les Films des Tournelles (France), The Hedgehog appealed to the festival's international jury "for accomplishing a high degree of artistic integrity and novelty."

In winning the Special Jury Prize, Achache also won the prestigious Silver Pyramid award; but the Golden Pyramid for Best Film in the festival's international competition went to Letters to Father Jacob, directed by Finland's Klaus Haro, and produced by Risto Salomaa (Kinotar Oy Company).

Haro was also awarded Best Screenplay for the film which has achieved wide critical acclaim since being premiered in January this year.

The Cairo jury praised the film for its "excellent cinematic form and deep study of [the] human condition."

The US$10,000 Golden Award for Best Digital Film went to The Rapture of Fe and was shared by director Alvin B. Yapan and producer Alemberg M. Ang from the Philippines.

The digital jury liked the film "for its sensitive portrayal of a woman caught between an abusive husband and an impotent lover, in the process illuminating our understanding of human relationships. The film stood out for its unflinching realism and strong performances that brought alive the complexity of a woman's quest for fulfillment."

The Rapture of Fe was also well received at the Chicago International Film Festival in October.

Whilst there was no doubt in the minds of the jury that Rapture of Fe was the best digital entry, they were divided on who should win the category's US$6,000 second prize and ended up awarding it to be shared between First Time, directed by Krishnan Seshardi Gomatam (India), and Exile in Paris directed by: Ahmet Zirek (France).

The biggest cheer of the night and the award for Best Actor went to Fathy Abdel Wahib for his performance in the Egyptian film Nile Birds, directed by Magdy Ahmed Aly and produced by Al-Arabia Cinema Production & Distribution (Egypt).

The Best Actor prize was shared with the Subrat Dutta for his role in Madholal Keep Walking directed by Jai Tank
and produced by Dream Cuts (India).

Another popular winner was the enchanting Karolina Piechota who won Best Actress for her performance in Splinters directed by Maciej Pieprzyca and produced by Akson Studio (Poland). The jury liked "the warmth, humour and credibility she brought to her role."

There were two awards for Arabic language films, each of them worth 100,000 Egyptian pounds (US$20,000). Best Arabic Film went to Amreeka directed by Cherien Dabis and produced by Christina Piovesan (Palestine). Not unsurprisingly, Amreeka also won Best Arabic Screenplay.

Amreeka has been feted worldwide since May when it was screened at Cannes.


 

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About Jeremy Colson

Colson Jeremy

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This is the diary of a festival ambassador travelling throughout Asia and elsewhere around the world.  Festivals covered include: Bangkok, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, London, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Chennai, Neasden and more


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