Last Updated: Thu Oct 28, 2010 18:08 pm (KSA) 15:08 pm (GMT)

Abu Dhabi film festival wraps up with winner movies

Uma Thurman and Egyptian actor Khalid al-Nabawi announce names of the winner movies
Uma Thurman and Egyptian actor Khalid al-Nabawi announce names of the winner movies

On Friday’s closing ceremony for The Abu Dhabi Film Festival, crowds of actors and actresses hailing from both east and west came to the premiere of Lebanese film “Here Comes the Rain” and Russian film “Silent Souls”.

Lebanese film "Here Comes the Rain" (Shatti Ya Dini) that tells the story of missing persons from the country's civil war won a Black Pearl award at the film festival on Friday.

"I dedicate my film to all those who are in love with freedom and peace in Lebanon," said director Bahij Hojeij, after his film won the $100,000 prize in the Best Narrative Film from the Arab World category.

Meanwhile, the Russian film "Silent Souls", directed by Aleksei Fedorchenko, won a Black Pearl in the Best Narrative Film category "for its poetic depiction" and the "excellence of its cinematic language."

The oil-rich emirate's festival, which ended on Friday, is the most richly endowed among its regional rivals, with Black Pearl awards for each category worth nearly $1 million (€724,000) altogether.

Glamorous attendance

 We get a cultural exchange through festivals, which are great for independent cinema and international cinema 
Uma Thurman

The festival’s crowds were treated to some of the world’s leading actors and actresses as they walked down the red carpet.

Uma Thurman who was in the UAE for the first time, said it was also her first time to she feel real energy coming from a festival in the region, and she pointed out to the growing importance of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

“We get a cultural exchange through festivals, which are great for independent cinema and international cinema,” she told the UAE-based The National on Friday.

“From the Middle East we have not had a strong influx of film exchange yet, but I think it is important so I wanted to come.”

British actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers added his charm to the festival after enjoying a tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the F1 track on Yes Island in Abu Dhabi.

Actor Tamar Hagras from Egypt said he was impressed with the lineup of films adding that his favorite was Miral, a pro-Arab movie with actors and actresses coming from different Arabic countries, emphasizing “unity” he told The National.

Indian actress Nandana Sen, star of autograph, graces the red carpet last night

Egypt’s Basma, Khalid Nabawy and Yasmine Al Masri, and Indian actress Nandana Sen also attended.

“The important thing is to realize is that the Middle East and the International film community is still what we are all about, “said Peter Scarlet the festival’s director.

“For me, there is a different spirit this year. Last year, I had only been here for four months, and there was more of an apprehension about pulling off the event. This year we were more confident, but of course I wanted to make sure we concentrate on quality of film and event rather than the size.”

Scarlet also said it is important to realize is that the Middle East and the international film community “is still what we are all about”.

The festival was renamed from Middle East International Film Festival.

Other awards included: Best Actor:Andrew Garfield in "Never Let Me Go" directed by Mark Romanek, United Kingdom/USA: Best Actress: Lubna Azabal in "Incendies" directed by Denis Villeneuve, Canada/France; and Best Narrative Film by a New Director from the Arab World: "Ok, Enough, Goodbye" (Tayeb, Khalas, Yala) directed by Raniah Attieh and Daniel Garcia, Lebanon, United Emirates.

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