GFF hands out US $131,000 in cash prizes

Entries from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq win most awards.
Sanya Kirpalani won the first prize for her documentary on young fashion designers in Dubai.
Sanya Kirpalani won the first prize for her documentary on young fashion designers in Dubai.


The third edition of the Gulf Film Festival (GFF) concluded last week with a total of US $131,000 cash prizes awarded to winners. The festival, which was launched three years ago to give Arab filmmakers an exclusive platform to showcase their films, screened 194 films from 41 countries this year.

54 films competed in the official Competition for best feature, documentary and shorts sections while 33 entries from students were entered into a separate competition for best documentary (12) and shorts (21) categories.

The film jury was headed by Moroccan filmmaker Jillali Ferhati. Other jury members included Saudi Arabian filmmaker and critic Mohammed Aldhahri; Emirati actor Ibrahim Salim; Yemeni filmmaker Khadija Al-Salami; and artistic director of the International Film Festival Bratislava in Slovakia, Matthieu Darras. The jury for the Script Competition comprised Qatari scriptwriter Widad Al Kuwairi, Saudi columnist Badriya Abdullah Al Bashar and UAE writer Amina Abu-Shehab.

Listed below are the winners for each category.

Script Competition for Emirati Short Films:

• Third prize: Film Hindi by Muhsen Suliman Hassan.
• Second prize: Sebeel by Mohammed Hassan Ahmed.
• First prize: Malal (Bored) by Nayla Al Khaja.

Student Competitions:

Short films:
• Third prize: Malak Quota for SET IN SOLITUDE - USA.
• Second prize: Muzna Al Musafir for NIQAB - Oman.
• Special Jury prize: Mohammed Al Tamimi for AL JANTTA (THE BAG) - Saudi Arabia.
• First prize: Amjad Al Hinai and Khamis Ambo-Saidi for TASREEB (LEAKING) - Oman.

• Third prize: Mohammed Naeem for AL HALLAQ NA'EEM (NA'EEM THE BARBER) - Iraq.
• Second prize: Moath Bin Hafez For AHLAM TAHT AL INSHA'A (CONSTRUCTING DREAMS) - UAE.

Official Competition:

Short films:
• Best script: Hussam Alhulwah For AWDAH (RETURN) – Saudi Arabia.
• Third prize: Jassim Mohammed Jassim For THUMMA MATHA? (SO WHAT?) - Iraq.
• Second prize: Ahd Kamel For AL QUNDARJI (THE SHOEMAKER) – Saudi Arabia.
• Special Jury prize: Sahar Al-Sawaf For UM ABDULLA - Iraq.
• First prize: Abdullah Al-Eyaf For AAYESH – Saudi Arabia.

• Third prize: Hameed Haddad For 80-82 – Iraq.
• Second prize: Luay Fadhil For PASTEL – Iraq.
• First prize: Soniya Kirpalani For DOBUY – THE FABRIC OF FAITH – UAE, India.

Feature films:
• Second prize: Haider Rashid For AL MIHNA (TANGLED UP IN BLUE) - UK, Iraq, Italy, UAE.
• Special Jury prize: Ali F. Mostafa For DAR AL HAYY (CITY OF LIFE) - UAE.
• First prize: Shawkat Amin Korki For KICK OFF - Iraq, Japan.

Lifetime Achievement Awards:
Internationally renowned Iraqi actor and playwright Khalil Shawki; Emirati actress Raziqa Al Tareshand internationally Kuwait’s applauded actress Hayat Al Fahad received the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the opening ceremony of the festival.

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