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Abu Dhabi Film Festival

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), powered by twofour54, is presented each October to help create a vibrant film culture throughout the region. With a focus on Arab cinema and the wealth of emerging and established film talent from around the world, ADFF has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in Abu Dhabi, helping to enhance the Emirate as a hub of creativity.  

Abu Dhabi Film Festival is committed to curating exceptional programs and engaging and educating the local community with their own and other cultures through the art of cinema. The work of Arab filmmakers is presented in competition with that of the international film industry’s most acclaimed talent.


Short Film Winners Abu Dhabi 2011

Best Producer Arben Zharku for The Wedding Tape 

Short Film Winners! (ADFF PRESS)Jim Poe

20.10.2011 - On Thursday, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival announced the winners of the Black Pearl Awards for its two shorts competitions: the Emirates Film Competition (EFC) and the Short Film Competition. The awards were presented to the filmmakers in a ceremony at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel.

The EFC observes its 10th anniversary this year. It was one of the first outlets for filmmakers in the country, and in the past decade has become a key platform for regional filmmakers. The competition was showcased at ADFF in 2008 and 2009 before joining the Festival as a regular competition last year. EFC films are selected from the UAE as well as other GCC countries. The 2011 EFC selection comprised 44 short films – both narrative and documentary – from the region, including 29 from the UAE.

The international Short Film Competition is made up of narrative, documentary and animated films from around the world. The 2011 selection featured 31 films from 23 countries. New this year are two awards for producers of short films.

Eissa Saif Rashed Al Mazrouei, Director of Special Projects for the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), introduced the ceremony, saying, “Short films convey big ideas and can offer ample room for creativity and cinematic exploration. Shorts empower filmmakers to explore new topics or techniques and, in turn, enable audiences to experience a truly vast diversity in subject, scope and sentiment.”

Al Mazrouei also announced the launch of a new ADFF initiative: SANAD Emarati, which will each year provide up to five Emirati and GCC filmmakers with funding and support to help them complete narrative short films. The program will function as part of the Festival’s SANAD postproduction and development fund for Arab filmmakers, which is now in its second year of supporting important feature films from the region.

Two separate juries of made up of established filmmakers and industry professionals decided on the awards for the EFC and the short films this week.

The Emirates Film Competition Jury President was Moroccan filmmaker Ahmed El Maânouni. The jury members were: Saudi Arabian director and film critic Abdullah Al Eyaf; Iraqi-British filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi; Yemeni producer Khadija Al Salami; and Emirati director Hani Al Shaibani.

The International Short Film Competition Jury President was Tunisian producer Attia Habib. The jury members were Emirati director Nujoom Alghanem and US film curator and exhibitor Ellen M. Harrington.

The Black Pearl Awards in the 2011 Emirates Film Competition are:

Short Narrative Competition

First Prize: Soul, directed by Fatma Abdulla (UAE)Second Prize: Dreams of Rice, directed by Yasser Al Neyadi and Hana Al Shatri (UAE)Third Prize: Telephoni, directed by Hassan Kiyany (UAE)Special Jury Award: Raneen, directed by Maitham Al Musawi (Oman)Best Emirati Film: Soul, directed by Fatma Abdulla (UAE)Best Script: Dreams of Rice, directed by Yasser Al Neyadi and Hana Al Shatri (UAE)Best Cinematography: Wind, directed by Waleed Al Shehhi (UAE)Short Documentary Competition

First Prize: A Falcon Will Not Breed a Dove, directed by Mansour Al Dhaheri (UAE)Second Prize: Photon, directed by Awadh Al Hamzani (Saudi Arabia)Third Prize: A Night to Remember, directed by Fahmi Farahat (Saudi Arabia)Special Jury Award: Letters to Palestine, directed by Rashid Al Marri (UAE)Student Short Narrative Competition

First Prize: Maher’s Camera, by Mansour Al Badran (Saudi Arabia)Second Prize: Mad Camel, by Mohammed Fikree (UAE)Third Prize: Dinner #7665, by Salma Serry (UAE, Egypt)Student Short Documentary Competition

First Prize: 6 on 18, by Salma Serry (UAE, Egypt)Second Prize: Layers, by Manal Wicki (UAE)Third Prize: Lahjatna (Our Accent), by Mariam Al Nuaimi (UAE)Special Jury Mention

Houda Al Ghanem, actress, Dreams of Rice (UAE)Student Short Special Jury Mentions

Abdel Karim Al Badran, actor, Maher’s Camera (Saudi Arabia)Humnaid Al Suwaidi, cinematographer, Layers (UAE)During the ceremony, Dr. Simon Hunter from the New York Film Academy announced a new award for EFC filmmakers sponsored by his school: The New York Film Academy Inspiring Filmmaker Award. The award provides the winners with 12 weeks of training in film production, during which they will be able to produce three short films. The Inspiring Filmmaker Awards for 2011 went to: Lamya Al Mualla and Maitha Al Haddad for their film Al Kandorah; and Eissa Al Sabousi for his film In Mirror.

The Black Pearl Awards for the 2011 International Short Film Competition are:

Best Narrative: A Marriage, directed by Henning Rosenlund (Norway)Best Documentary: Written in Ink, directed by Martin Rath (Poland)Best Animation: Luminaris, directed by Juan Pablo Zaramella (Argentina)Best Animation: Specky Four-Eyes, directed by Jean-Claude Rozec (France)Best Film from the Arab World: Farewell Exile, directed by Lamia Alami (Morocco)Best Producer: Arben Zharku, The Wedding Tape (Kosovo, Germany)Best Producer from the Arab World: Yacine Bouaziz, Tomorrow, Algiers? (Algeria)



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