DIFF honours Muhr winners

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) drew to a close last week with an award ceremony to recognise the best films in the festival and in the AsiaAfrica and Arab Muhr Competitions. DIFF gave out a total of $576 000 in cash prizes on the night of the awards.
DIFF honours Muhr winners
By Vijaya Cherian
Sun 21 Dec 2008 05:21 PM

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) drew to a close last week with an award ceremony to recognise the best films in the festival and in the AsiaAfrica and Arab Muhr Competitions. DIFF gave out a total of $576 000 in cash prizes on the night of the awards.

The Muhr Awards was expanded this year to include a new AsiaAfrica segment, which embraces films from emerging markets. Some of the entries were submitted from Afghanistan, Turkey, Cameroon and Kazakhstan. The Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema was strong than ever this year, with an increased number of applications from filmmakers all over the Middle East and around the world.

"This year, our jury members were hard at work trying to evaluate the merits of truly excellent films," commented Masoud Amralla al Ali, DIFF's artistic director. "We are extremely proud of the films that we have screened, and choosing between them was very difficult. However, we are pleased with the results, and hope to see these filmmakers back at DIFF in following years with new projects."

At the beginning of the evening, three awards were presented to Emirati filmmakers. Haydar Mohammed won the prize for Best Emirati Talent while Best Emirati Female Filmmaker was presented to Nujoom Al Ghanem, and Best Emirati Filmmaker went to Saeed Salmeen Al-Murry.

For the first time, the International Federation of Film Critics, or FIPRESCI, also awarded a Best Arab Film prize to one of the films in the Arab Muhr Competition. This was awarded to MASQUERADES by Lyes Salem.

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