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Sherif El Bendary, Koutaiba Al-Janabi share top $20,000 Cairo Film Connection award

Sherif El Bendary, Koutaiba Al-Janabi share top $20,000 Cairo Film Connection award
Cairo International Film Festival (Ciff) co-production platform event meted out $100,000 worth of prizes.

Egyptian director Sherif El Bendary’s female suppression drama Spray and Iraqi director Koutaiba Al-Janabi’s experimental thriller The Woodman shared the top $20,000 Badya prize at the fifth edition of the Cairo Film Connection, running Nov 26-28.

The co-production platform, at the heart of the Cairo International Film Festival (Ciff) industry programme (Nov 20-29), showcased 16 projects from across the Arab world, 10 in development and six in post-production.

The winners were representative of the increasingly adventurous and diverse stories and styles emerging out of the Arab world’s burgeoning indie film scene.
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Raheb, Haffaf clinch top Dfc prize

Raheb, Haffaf clinch top Dfc prize
Lebanese filmmaker Eliane Raheb’s The Great Family and Algeria Is Still Far Away, from Algerian-French filmmaker Omar Haffaf, shared the $25,000 top prize at Dubai Film Connection (Dfc) yesterday.

“We were dazzled by the quality of the 13 projects. It was a difficult process. There is such diversity in these films,” said jury member Mike Goodridge, CEO of the UK’s Protagonist Pictures. He was joined on the jury by Misr International Films’ Gabriel Khoury and Tribeca Film Institute’s Molly O’Keefe.

The Great Family follows an adopted French woman as she investigates her roots after discovering she may be the daughter of Palestinian refugees. In Algeria Is Still Far Away, Haffaf explores his native country through the prism of Chinese immigrants.

The $10,000 Cinescape/Front Row Award went to Iraqi director Mohanad Hayal’s drama Haifa Street set against the backdrop of an infamous sniper-infested neighbourhood in Baghdad.

The $10,000 Art Award went to Jordanian director Darin J. Sallam
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