Magazine article Screen International

Touch of Sin, Still Life Win at ADFF

Magazine article Screen International

Touch of Sin, Still Life Win at ADFF

Article excerpt

Actor prizes go to Dame Judi Dench and Jesse Eisenberg; Enough Said, starring the late James Gandolfini, wins audience award.Scroll down for full list of winners

The 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival handed out its Black Pearl awards at a closing ceremony tonight (Oct 31), including cash prizes amounting to around $700,000.

The Black Pearl for Narrative Feature, worth $100,000, went to A Touch of Sin (Tian zhu ding) directed by Jia Zhangke.

The film, which played in competition at Cannes where it won the best screenplay award, revolves around four threads set in vastly different geographical and social milieus across modern-day China and features random acts of violence.

The Narrative jury, presided over by two-time Oscar nominated actress Jacki Weaver, gave the special jury award ($50,000) to Hiner Saleem's My Sweet Pepper Land, centred on a law man in a small town on the border of Iran, Iraq and Turkey.

In addition, Dame Judi Dench won best actress for her performance in Stephen Frears' Philomena, playing a women searching for her long lost son.

New Horizons

The Black Pearl in the New Horizons competition went to Still Life, a British comedy drama about a case worker - played by Eddie Marsan - who tracks down relatives of those found dead and alone.

The New Horizons section focuses on narrative works of first and second-time directors that display "fresh styles and challenging ideas".

Still Life is Uberto Pasolini's second film, following Machan in 2008.

The jury, led by Turkish director Yesim Ustaoglu, also awarded the best actor prize to Jesse Eisenberg, who stars in Richard Ayoade's doppleganger drama The Double. Eisenberg is best known for roles in The Social Network and summer blockbuster Now You See Me.


The Documentary Feature competition saw These Birds Walk win the $80,000 prize.The film, which won the Black Pearl Award in memory of Jake Ebert for Best Documentary Film, was directed by Omar Mullick and Bassem Tariq, and centres on the struggle of wayward street children in Karachi and the good samaritans who look out for them.

The jury, presided over by Toronto co-director and artistic director Cameron Bailey, gave Marc Silver's Who Is Dayani Cristal? the special jury award, worth $40,000.

Other prizes saw the Abu Dhabi Film Festival Audience Choice Award ($40,000) go to Enough Said, directed by Nicola Holofcener and starring the late James Gandolfini.

Child Protection

As well as its top doc prize, These Birds Walk also won the Child Protection Award.

The child-focussed awards were created in partnership with the Ministry of Interior in a bid to call attention to films that raise awareness of abused or neglected children or promote prevention measures in this regard.

The section also saw best script awarded to Hirokazu Kore-eda's Like Father, Like Son, about two families who discover their sons were switched at birth.

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) gave its ADFF award to Harmony Lessons, directed by Emir Baigazin.

As previously announced, Palestinian actress and director Hiam Abbass received the Black Pearl Career Achievement Award.Full list of winnersNarrative Feature Competition

Black Pearl Award - Best Narrative Film ($100,000)A TOUCH OF SIN (Tian zhu ding) directed by Jia Zhangke (China, Japan)Special Jury Award ($50,000)MY SWEET PEPPER LAND directed by Hiner Saleem (Iraq, France, Germany, UAE)Best Film from the Arab World ($50,000)IN THE SANDS OF BABYLON directed by Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji (Iraq, NL, UK)Best Director from the Arab World ($50,000)MERZAK ALLOUACHE for the Film THE ROOFTOPS (Algeria, France, Qatar)Best Actor - in partnership with Jaeger LeCoultreDIEGO PERETTI in THE RECONSTRUCTION,directed by Juan Esteban Taratuto (Argentina)Best Actress - in partnership with Jaeger LeCoultreJUDI DENCH in PHILOMENA, directed by Stephen Frears (UK, USA)New Horizons Competition

Black Pearl Award - New Horizons ($100,000)STILL LIFE directed by Uberto Pasolini (Italy, UK)Special Jury Award ($50,000)BLIND DATES directed by Levan Koguashvili (Georgia)Best Film from the Arab World ($50,000)BEFORE SNOWFALL directed by Hisham Zaman (Iraq, Norway, Germany)Special Jury Award for a Film from the Arab World ($25,000)VILLA 69 directed by Ayten Amin (Egypt, UAE)Best ActorJesse Eisenberg, in THE DOUBLE, directed by Richard Ayoade (UK)Best Actress, the award is shared between:Tillotama Shome, in QISSA, directed by Anup Singh (India, Germany, Netherlands, France)andJulia Wildschutt, in LOVE ME (Elsk meg), directed by Hanne Myren (Norway)Special MentionCANOPY directed by Aaron Wilson (Australia)Documentary Feature Competition

Black Pearl Award in memory of Jake Ebert for Best Documentary Film ($80,000)THESE BIRDS WALK directed by Omar Mullick, Bassem Tariq (Pakistan, USA)Special Jury Award ($40,000)WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL? …

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