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Mon 20 Oct 2008 06:55 AM

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Post-Apartheid movie scoops festival top prize

Disgrace is voted best picture at Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi.

Disgrace, a searing drama set in post-apartheid South Africa, scooped the Black Pearl award for best picture at the climax of the Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night.The movie, based on a novel of the same name by Nobel laureate JM Coetzee and starring US actor John Malkovich, was directed by Steve Jacobs. It was awarded the first prize of $200,000.

A total of 76 feature films and 34 shorts were submitted from filmamkers in 34 countries for the festival, which began on October 10, according to organisers.

Main awards:

Best film - "Disgrace" by Steve Jacobs ($200,000).

Best documentary - "Stranded" by Gonzalo Arijon ($150,000).

Special jury prize - "Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love" documentary by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi ($125,000).

Best actress - Ilham Shaheen for her role in "Fawzia: A Special Blend" ($75,000).

Best Actor - Luca Zingaretti for his role in "Wild Blood" ($75,000).

Best artistic contribution - Rashid Masharawi, scene writer for "Laila's Birthday" ($75,000).

Best short film - "The View" by Hazim Bitar and Rifqi Assaf ($75,000).