And the Black Pearl goes to...Silent Souls

The Best Narrative Film Award in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF went to Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Silent Souls (Russia) for its poetic depiction.

By (Silvia Radan)

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Published: Sat 23 Oct 2010, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:33 PM

The Best Narrative Film Award in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), which comprises not only the top trophy, but also $100,000, went to Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Silent Souls (Russia) for its poetic depiction of the echoes of a cultural heritage for the people of today and for the excellence of its cinematic language.

With 71 movies and documentaries and 55 short films from 43 countries, and after 46 shorts from the UAE and other GCC countries, the ADFF saw a festive end on Friday night, when it announced the award winners.

The top Black Pearl award in most categories is accompanied by a $100,000 cheque.

The other top award went to Here Comes the Rain (Best Narrative Film from the Arab World), a film by Bahij Hojeij (Lebanon) telling the story of 55-year-old Ramez, who returns to his family after being kidnapped 20 years ago during Lebanon’s civil war.

The Best Actor award ($25,000) was won by Andrew Garfield for his role in Never Let Me Go (UK, USA). He portrays a young man lacking social grace, but yearning for companionship.

The Black Pearl and $25,000 for Best Actress went to Lubna Azabal, who played a young mother, victim and survivor of the horrors of the Civil War in Lebanon in Incendies (Canada/France), a movie by Denis Villeneuve.

Carlos by Olivier Assayas, which narrates the story of the notorious international revolutionary Carlos the Jackal, was awarded the Jury Special Mention for rendering the complex portrait of an era, a region and a controversial character.

In the documentary section, the Black Pearl with a $100,000 cheque went to Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light (Chile/Germany/France) for Best Documentary. The award ($100,000) for Best Documentary by an Arab Director or Related to Arab Culture was shared by twofilms: Homeland by George Sluizer (Netherlands), a tragic portrait of the Palestinian dispersal, and We Were Communists by Maher Abi Samra (Lebanon/France/UAE) for its attempt to unlock time and its multiplicity.

New at the ADFF this year was New Horizons, a competition for first or second time directors. The three awards, each with $100,000 prize money, were offered to: Gesher by Iranian director Vahid Vakilifar for Best New Narrative, OK, Enough, Goodby (Lebanon/UAE) by Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia for Best New Narrative from Arab World, “El Ambulante (Argentina) by Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano and Adriana Yurcovich, shared with Bill Cunningham New York (USA) by Richard Press Best New Documentary.

The Best Narrative Short went to Album by Shiraz Fradi (Tunisia) and The City with a Dirty Face by UK’s Peter King won the Best Documentary Short.

In the Emirates (Film) Competition, UAE’s Ahmed Zain won the first prize in the Best Short Narrative for Gheamt Shroog while the first prize for the Best Short Documentary went to Hadi Shuaib (UAE) for The Queen. Mohammed Al Hammadi (UAE) won the first prize in the new Best Emirates Script Competition.

West is West by Andy De Emmony (UK) won this year’s ADFF Audience Choice Award.

Earlier in the evening, the festival’s last red carpet was graced by Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, Mission Impossible 3, The Tudors).

“I never go to a film festival unless I have a movie playing in it,” said Jonathan Rhys. “I decided to come here because the Abu Dhabi festival is a young one and I believed it needs western support.”

“The ADDF is growing and growing and I am so pleased that I was finally invited here,” said Uma Thurman. “I can’t wait to see who is going to win.” Saying this she rushed out of the red carpet to return to her fans.

Mohammed Losty, Egyptian actor, loves the Abu Dhabi Film Festival because lots of different cultures from the world gather here. “It makes me feel I am still learning from them,” he said. —

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