x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Top award for Turkish director’s drama at Abu Dhabi Film Festival

The Turkish director Yesim Ustaglu’s drama Araf / Somewhere In Between walked away with the main prize at the Black Pearl Awards ceremony of the sixth Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

The Turkish director Yesim Ustaglu’s drama Araf / Somewhere In Between walked away with the main prize at the Black Pearl Awards ceremony of the sixth Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which closed last night at the Emirates Palace.

The film took the Black Pearl award in the Narrative Competition and producer Serkan Cakarer was in town to collect the award. “It’s an example of great teamwork, I feel like a king tonight,” he said.

A World Not Ours, the Palestinian director Mahdi Fleifel’s colourful account of his experiences in the South Lebanon refugee camp where he grew up, cleaned up in the documentary section. The film, which received funding from the festival’s own SANAD fund, picked up Best Documentary along with awards from FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, and NETPAC, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema.

“It’s been an awesome night and I dedicate everything to my late father, who I’m sure is watching me tonight,” Fleifel told the audience. “I thank Abu Dhabi for helping me make this film.”

Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani won the Best Actress award in the New Horizons section for her emotional performance in Atiq Rahimi’s drama, The Patience Stone. “We all miss Peter Scarlet,” she said when collecting the award, referring to the festival’s outgoing director who left in August. “But it’s great that the festival is still going ahead despite tensions.”

Also in the New Horizons section, which celebrates new filmmakers, Iranian drama A Respectable Family picked up the main Black Pearl Award, Søren Malling won Best Actor for A Hijacking and When I Saw You, Annemarie Jacir’s drama that is Palestine’s entry to the next Academy Awards, took home Best Film from the Arab World. “I thank ADFF and SANAD, the film wouldn’t exist without you,” Jacir said.

Other winners on the night included Saving Face, the Pakistani documentary that picked up an Oscar earlier in the year, which won the Audience Choice Award and Nouri Bouzid, who picked up Best Director from the Arab World for her Tunisian drama Hidden Beauties. “I am in heart and mind with Tunisian women,” she said.

The awards ceremony came on the penultimate evening of the 10-day festival, which featured 165 films from 48 countries.

aritman@thenational.ae