Magazine article Screen International

Women Directors Take Top Prizes at Dubai Film Connection

Magazine article Screen International

Women Directors Take Top Prizes at Dubai Film Connection

Article excerpt

Two projects from women directors - Katia Jarjoura's The Eye Of The Devil and Najwa Najjar's [pictured] Eyes Of A Thief - were presented with DIFF awards at this year's Dubai Film Connection (DFC).

The Eye Of The Devil is the first feature project from Jarjoura, a Lebanese-Canadian documentary filmmaker with credits including Goodbye Mubarak! Thriller Eyes Of A Thief, from Palestinian filmmaker Najjar, already has partners including the UK's Warp Films and Iceland's Oktober Productions attached.

Female directors also scooped the DIFF award for documentary, which went to When Home Becomes Hell from Morocco's Dalila Ennadre, and the Screen Institute Beirut (SIB) award for documentary, which went to Zaineb Hates The Snow from Tunisia's Kaouther Ben Hania. All three DIFF awards came with a cash prize of $25,000 and the SIB award with a prize of $15,000.

Meanwhile, the International Relations ARTE Award (Euros6,000) went to Blessed Benefit, to be directed by Jordan's Mahmoud Al Massad, while Back To The Jungle, to be directed by Lebanon's Wissam Charaf, took the DIFF award for a debut feature ($10,000) presented by Egypt-based Film Clinic.

Beirut Hold 'Em, from Lebanon's Michel Kammoun, took the award from Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIP). Introduced for the first time this year, the Euros5,000 award is for a project from a French-speaking Arab country.

Commenting on the awards, DFC director Jane Williams, said: "There's a good regional spread and it's great to see four female directors among the winners. …

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