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CAIRO – 17 December 2017: The Dubai International Film Festival, which started on December 6, ended on December 13 with a grand red carpet exit and the handing out of the Muhr Awards to the winners.
In a press release on the official website, Abdulhamid Juma, chairman for the DIFF, said, “DIFF’s 2017 Festival saw new talent emerging and communities brought together through the power of cinema. The 14th edition’s extensive lineup of films – both close and far from home – have once again thrilled audiences, and we are honored to have brought this splendor to life. We extend our thanks not only to all the filmmakers, actors, directors and producers that have shared their stories with us this December, but also to our DIFF volunteers, selected from more than 7,000 applicants, who have worked tirelessly to make this year’s edition another success.”
The latest installment in the “Star Wars” franchise, “The Last Jedi”, was screened at the closing night in the Madinat Jumeirah, with members of the audience dressed up as the characters.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum presented the Muhr Awards to the festival’s winners in Madinat Jumeirah’s Souk Madinat Theater. At the Muhr Emirati, the Best Director award went to Abdullah Aljunaibi for “Camera”, while the winner of the Best Emirati Feature was “Sharp Tools” by Nujoom Alghanem, with “Escape” by Hana Alshateri and Yaser Al Neyadi winning the Best Muhr Emirati Short award.
For the Muhr Short category, the winners were “The President’s Visit” by Cyril Aris for Special Jury Prize and Mahdi Fleifel's “The Drowning Man” winning Best Muhr Short. The Muhr Gulf Short category saw “Fædreland” (Land of Our Fathers) by Ulaa Salim receive the Best Muhr Gulf Short, while Dhyaa Joda won the Special Jury Prize for “Sabyea”.
Next, in the Muhr Feature category, winners included Lucien Bourjeily receiving the Special Jury Prize for “Heaven Without People”, and “Taste of Cement” by Ziad Khalthoum receiving the Best Muhr Non-Fiction Feature Prize. Sofia Djama of “The Blessed” was awarded Best Director. Menha El Batroui of the Egyptian film “Cactus Flower” went home with the Best Actress award for the Feature category, while Mohammad Bakri and Saleh Bakri from “Wajib” both shared the award.
Other awards handed out at the festival included Sajda Almuallemi receiving the Arab Film Studio Scriptwriting Award for “Unexpected Holiday”, while the DIFF’s audiences elected “Goodbye, Christopher Robin” for the People’s Choice Award.
In the press release, Shivani Pandya, managing director for the DIFF stated, “This year has been another fantastic edition of the Dubai International Film Festival. We are particularly thrilled to continue our commitment to shining a spotlight on Arab filmmakers by working to create unmatched networking opportunities and connections through the Dubai Film Market… We are delighted to have hosted such a collaborative festival for 2017, and look forward to continuing cross-cultural conversations in the next edition.”
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