REGION’S STAND-OUT FILMS HONOURED AT AWARDS CEREMONY

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Hotly-contested Muhr Awards Reward Region’s Best Filmmakers
Dubai, December 17, 2014 – The hotly-contested annual Muhr Awards have once again rewarded the region’s best filmmakers for their dedicated work in the industry at the Dubai International Film Festival’s 11th edition. The Muhr Awards were presented to recipients by His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum during a glittering ceremony at the Burj Al Arab.

Categories in this year’s Awards are the Muhr Feature (for non-fiction and fiction feature films); the Muhr Emirati and Muhr Shorts. An array of competitive entries were received, making judging the films tougher than ever.

The ceremony started by announcing the winner of the inaugural Ministry of Interior Award for Best Societal Screenplay, which goes to Emirati filmmaker Saeed Salmeen Al Murry for his project “Going to Heaven”. The inaugural Award will bestow a prize of $100,000 for Al Murry’s screenplay which this year addressed issues of child welfare.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman, DIFF, said: “The past 11 years have brought out the best in the region’s filmmakers, whose work continues to evolve in leaps and bounds every year. Our aim at DIFF has always been to foster talent, encourage creativity and build the UAE – and the regional – film industry. I can proudly say that we have taken huge strides towards constructing this successful industry, which flourishes more and more every year. This is exemplified by the increasing number, and incredible standard, of works that are entered into these Awards.”

“I am also proud of the number of films and filmmakers who are being nominated for – and successfully winning – international awards and accolades. This shows how the world is recognizing the wealth that Arab cinema has to offer.”

The Awards were established in 2006, to foster and reward artistic excellence from within the Arab world and beyond. The coveted prize award funds that have been used to create some of the globe’s most unique films.

DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali, said: “The breadth and depth of the films being made here continue to astound me. Our filmmakers are not bound by the creative constraints of international markets, meaning their cinematic artistry isn’t fenced in. We at DIFF are proud that we have nurtured and supported such amazing works.”

The 2014 winners are:
MOI Award
Saeed Salmeen Al Murry for “Going to Heaven”
Muhr Emirati

Best Jury Prize
Mohammed Swaidan
LA CONFESSION (THE CONFESSION)
France & UAE

Best Film
Aisha Alzaabi
AL BU’AD AL AKHAR (THE OTHER DIMENSION)
UAE
Muhr Short
Special Mention
Rami Yasin
FI AL WAQT AL DAE’A (IN OVERTIME)
Jordan & Palestine
Special Mention
Karim Rahbani
WITH THY SPIRIT
Lebanon

Best Jury Prize
Sahim Omar Kalifa
THE DEEBAD HUNTER
Belgium & UAE

Best Film
Hinde Boujemaa
ET ROMEO EPOUSA JULIETTE (…AND ROMEO MARRIED JULIETTE)
Tunisia

Muhr Feature
Special Mention
Hisham Zaman
BREV TIL KONGEN (LETTER TO THE KING)
UAE & Norway

Special Mention
Yacine Mohamed Benelhadj
RANI MIYET (I’M DEAD)
Algeria & UAE

Special Mention
Yahya Alabdallah
AL MAJLIS (THE COUNCIL)
Jordan & UAE

Best Jury Prize
Salim Abu Jabal
ROSHMIA
Palestine, United Arab Emirates, Qatar & Syria

Best Non-Fiction Film
Nujoom Al Ghanem
SAMMA QARRIBAH (NEARBY SKY)
UAE

Best Fiction Film
Khadija Al-Salami
ANA NOJOOM BENT ALASHERAH WAMOTALAGAH (I AM NOJOOM, AGE 10 AND DIVORCED)
Yemen, UAE & France

ABOUT DIFF
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the region. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region. The 11th edition of DIFF will take place from December 10 – 17, 2014.

For further Information please contact:

Rachel Lewis
M: +971 50 6118369

Amjad Saqer
Mobile +971 50 617 9301
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