Antonio Banderas (left), Omar Sharif congratulate Abdullaziz Al Nujaym who won Best Arab Short Film with 'Where Are You (Wenak)' at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Doha yesterday.
By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: The third edition of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival concluded yesterday at The Cultural village – Katara with the screening of The Lady, true story of Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman at the core of Burma’s democracy movement and her husband, Micheal Aris.
“The film speaks about freedom and democracy and it’s based on real life. We have only few women icons and she (Aung San Suu Kyi) is one of them, hope the film will inspire more people,” said Michelle Yeoh, actress who played role of Aung San Suu Kyi in the film. She spoke to the press during the red carpet welcome given for celebrities big names from the film industry and a number of guests.
A number of other international and regional filmmakers and artistes including Lebanese actress Camreen Libroose, Najib Oulesir, Mohamed Kareem graced the closing night gala and open-air concert at the Cultural Village, Katara.
The results of the Arab Film Competition were another major attraction of the last day of the third DTFF. The festival screened a total of 16 films in the Arab Documentary Film Competition.
“There are so many prestigious filmmakers here, and the reason we have the festival is to discover new talent. We hope these talented people meet each other here and are able to make films together as a result,” said Amanda Palmer, Executive Director, Doha Film Institute.
Normal, directed by Merzak Allouache, and The Virgin, The Copts and Me (La Vierge, Les Coptes et Moi), directed by Namir Abdel Messeeh, won the Arab Film Competition for Best Narrative Film and Best Documentary Film, respectively.
“Its very difficult to find money to make Arab films. I’m happy that Doha helped us to make Arab films. Governments in Arab countries should recognize film makers and help them,” said Messeeh, speaking at a press conference held yesterday to announce names of the Arab Film Competition winners.
Rania Stephan, director of The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni (Ikhtifa’aat Hosni Alt-Thalathat), and Roschdy Zem, director of Omar Killed Me (Omar M’a Tuer) took the prizes for Best Documentary and Best Narrative Director. Omar Killed Me also took home a prize for Best Performance by Sami Bouajila.
Where do we go now? by Nadine Labaki bagged the Best Audience award.
These awards included prize money of $100,000 each for Best Narrative and Best Documentary Films, $50,000 to each director in the Best Documentary and Best Narrative Filmmaker categories, and $15,000 for Best Performance.
The Best Arab Short Film ($10,000) went to Where Are You? (Wenak?) by Abdulaziz Al Nujaym, a Saudi Arabian Film maker. “We don’t have a film industry in our country but we have many filmmakers,” he said.
Honourable Mention in the same category went to My Father Is Still a Communist – Intimate Secrets To Be Published (Abi Ma Zala Sheuaayan, Asrar Hamema Leljameea) directed by Ahmad Ghossein. Ghossein will receive $10,000 in Development Services from DFI.
Mohamad Rezwan Al Islam and Jassim Al Romaihi took home a DFI Engraved iPad for their film, A Falcon, A Revolution (Is Saqar Wa is Sawra), which won in the ‘Made in Qatar’ programming segment.
In addition, most expected international celebrity Antonio Banderas held a press conference prior to the closing night, though he did not show up at the celebration.
Commenting about the DTFF’s initiatives he said: “They are going on the right direction, it’s a good thing to bring filmmakers from other places. They are not only working for Qatar but for the region too.”
The five day film festival featured a diverse selection of several feature films from the Middle East and other countries around the world. The films were screened at theatres and free screenings were held at public places. The festival included panel discussions about filmmaking and a Family Day attracted huge crowds.