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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Cannes: Annemarie Jacir's Wajib wins big at Arab Cinema Centre awards 

The Palestinian road movie has picked up three awards at the annual ceremony

Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir AFP
Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir AFP

Annemarie Jacir’s Wajib has swept the board at this year’s Arab Cinema Centre Critics’ Awards, presented at the Cannes Film Festival last night.

Jacir’s father-and-son road movie picked up awards for Best Film, Best Actor for Mohamed Bakri, and Best Screenplay, adding to an awards haul that already included Muhr Awards for Best Film and Best Actor (shared by Bakri and his real-life and on-screen father Saleh) at last December’s Dubai International Film Festival, and a Best Film gong at Kerala International Film Festival a week later.

Watch the trailer for Wajib:

The film beat stiff competition from Ziad Doueri’s hotly tipped The Insult, which was previously shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, although Doueri did pick up the prize for Best Director. Wajib was also selected as Palestine’s Oscar nomination, but did not reach the final shortlist.

Elsewhere, Mariam Al Ferjani picked up Best Actress for her role in the harrowing Beauty and the Dogs, which tells the story of a Tunisian student who is raped by police officers, and Ziad Khalthoum’s paean to Syrian refugee workers in Beirut, A Taste of Cement, picked up the Best Documentary award.

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The ACC Critics’ Awards are in their second year this year, having debuted at Cannes last year. The awards seek to recognise the best of Arab cinema each year, and are voted on by more than 50 film critics and industry figures from across the Arab world and beyond.

The awards were just part of a busy week for Jacir, who is serving as a jury member on this year's Un Certain Regard section of the festival.

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