The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award, arguably one of the highlights of this year's Dubai International Film Festival, was announced last night.
From the four GCC scripts that had been nominated for the US$100,000 (Dh367,322) production grant, only one could be selected, and this year - which will hopefully be the first of many for the award - the prize went to Maysoon Pachachi for Nothing Doing In Baghdad.
Set in Iraq in 2006, a time of intense sectarian violence and daily unpredictability for its citizens, the plot follows the intersecting lives of several people living in a mixed neighbourhood, including a novelist who is trying to regain her creative spark.
Pachachi received her award from Cate Blanchett, who headed up this year's jury and, along with Kevin Spacey, provided some A-list glamour to the event held in the One&Only Royal Mirage.
"We're really keen to start this project," said Pachachi. "And this is a huge boost to begin the production process."
Given that Pachachi, who was born in Baghdad but lives in London, has a UAE passport, Nothing Doing In Baghdad could well be the local film to open a future DIFF.
"My dream is to open the festival with a really nice, big UAE or GCC film," said Abdulhamid Juma, the DIFF chairman and also an IWC jury member.
Following the award, the celebrations carried on into the night, with a live performance from Bryan Ferry and his band.
The Roxy Music star, without any consideration for his 67 years, belted through the hits for a good 45 minutes, including I Put A Spell On You, Slave To Love and finally closing on a cover of Jealous Guy.