ADFF Unveils Winners of 2011 Black Pearl, FIPRESCI and NETPAC Awards
Abu Dhabi, UAE – October 22, 2011
Narrative Feature Competition

This competition centers on exciting vision and original storytelling in narrative feature films by international filmmakers.
In 2011, the Narrative Feature Competition presented a selection of 16 films from 11 countries. The jury awarded the following Black Pearl Awards:

Best Narrative Film ($100,000)
Chicken With Plums (Poulet Aux Prunes), directed by Marjane Satrapi

Special Jury Award ($50,000)
A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), directed by Asghar Farhadi

Best Director from the Arab World ($50,000)
Ismaël Ferroukhi for Free Men (Les Hommes Libres)
“For his excellent telling of an unknown and important story, the award for Best Arab Director goes to Ismaël Ferroukhi for Free Men.”

Best Producer from the Arab World ($25,000)
Ziad Hamzeh and Ridha Behifor Always Brando (Dima Brando), directed by Ridha Behi
“In recognition of their determination to realize their cinematic dream against all odds.”

Best Actor ($20,000)
Woody Harrelson in Rampart, directed by Oren Moverman
“For his riveting and complex performance as a derailed LA cop in Rampart, the award for Best Actor goes to Woody Harrelson.”

Best Actress ($20,000)
Jayashree Basavaraj in Lucky, directed by Avie Luthra
(South Africa)
Jury Special Mention
The jury gives a Special Mention to four young actresses, Soufia Issami, Mouna Bahmad, Nouza Akel and Sara Betioui, who gave impressively authentic performances in the film On the Edge, by Leila Kilani.

The Jury
President: Nabil Maleh, Director/Writer/Producer, Syria
Marianne Denicourt, Actress, France
Lucinda Englehart, Producer, UK
Laila Eloui, Actress, Egypt
George Sluizer, Director, Netherlands

New Horizons Competition

Held for the second time this year, this awards section focuses on the work of first- and second-time directors from around the world, featuringfresh styles and challenging ideas in narrative films.
In 2011, 12 films from 11 countries competed in the New Horizons Competition. The jury awarded the following Black Pearl Awards:

Best Film ($100,000)
Stories Only Exist When Remembered (Histórias Que SóExistem Quando Lembradas) directed by Julia Murat
“It was a unanimous decision by the jury to award this the Best Film prize.  It's a film that opened a window onto a new perspective of both life and death.  At once subtle but full of emotion, the story is universal and resonates days after the viewing experience.”

Special Jury Award ($50,000)
Alms for a Blind Horse (Anhey Ghohrey Sa Daan) directed by Gurvinder Singh
“For its visual style and a poetic journey indicating a new and intriguing voice to emerge from the cinematic landscape of India.”

Best Director from the Arab World ($50,000)
Amr Salama for Asma’a
“For the bold and important choice of a topic that will engage conversation about the significance of cinema in raising awareness.”

Best Producer from the Arab World ($25,000)
Sooney Kadouh for This Narrow Place, directed by Sooney Kadouh
“For an independent spirit and determined effort.”

Best Actor ($20,000)
Maged El Kedwani in Asma’a, directed by Amr Salama
“A natural and restrained performance bringing to life a character with human complexity and emotional conflict."

Best Actress ($20,000) shared by
Memona Mohamed in Tears of Sand (Lagrimas de Arena), directed by Pedro Pérez Rosado
“For skillful achievement and a graceful simplicity in creating a complex, understated and unexpected performance.”


Sonia Guedes in Stories Only Exist When Remembered (Histórias Que SóExistem Quando Lembradas), directed by Julia Murat
“For an elegant performance played with a haunting resonance and ageless gravitas.”

The Jury

PRESIDENT: Bahman Ghobadi, Director, Iran
Paul Baboudjian, Editor/Cinematographer/Producer, Lebanon/UAE
Marwan Hamed, Director, Egypt
Annemarie Jacir, Director/Writer, Palestine
Aimee Mullins, Actress/Athlete/Model, USA

Documentary Feature Competition

In 2011, the Documentary Feature Competition comprised 12 films from 11 countries. The jury awarded the following Black Pearl Awards:
Best Documentary ($100,000)
Position Among the Stars (Stand Ven De Sterren)directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich (Netherlands)
“For its distinguished cinematic language, the visualization and the way the life of a family is presented in the film takes us to their world and lets us experience the complexities of the society that family lived in, with a sense of humor that turns their tragedy into happy moments.”

Special Jury Award ($50,000)
The Tiniest Place (El Lugar Más Pequeño)directed by Tatiana Huezo
“This film uses the camera as a professional, artistic means of telling a story in a different way, building a strong cinematic language that helps get to the depth of a tragic experience, yet doesn’t simply dwell in tragedy.”

Best New Director ($50,000)
Gemma Atwal for Marathon Boy
(India/United Kingdom/USA)
“This film demonstrates a strong ability to build a scenario that manipulates the expectations of the scenes and its relation with the characters. Throughout the film the audience takes a long, deep look at an individual life, exploring it step by step, and living through all the happy and sad moments.”

Best Director from the Arab World ($50,000)
Safinez Bousbia for El Gusto
(France/Algeria/Ireland/United Arab Emirates)
“For its accomplishments in linking the past with the present, linking the characters with the scenes, and using the screen to make a dream come true.”

Best Producer from the Arab World ($25,000)
Mohamed Hefzy for Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad & the Politician (Al Tahrir 2011: Al Tayib wa al Shariss wa al Siyassi) directed by Ayten Amin, Tamer Ezzat and Amr Salama
“For the work and effort done to let the audience have a closer look at a historical moment that the Arab World is living currently, through three different and complete points of view.”

The Jury

PRESIDENT: Tahani Rached, Director/Writer, Egypt/Canada
Anwar Jamal, Director, India
Victor Kossakovsky, Director, Russia
Mahmoud Al Massad, Director/Writer/Cinematographer, Jordan
Mostafa Messnaoui, Writer/Film Critic, Morocco

Our World Competition
The first edition of the Our World Competition is presented in cooperation with Official Partner Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy hub. Our World celebrates films devoted to broadening public awareness of significant environmental issues.
In 2011, Our World selection included ten films from seven countries. The jury awarded the following Black Pearl Award:
Best Film About Significant Environmental Issues ($15,000)
The Last Mountain, directed by Bill Haney
“A powerful documentary that shows a community living next to a mountain as it fights to save their environment from a damaging coal company and their own government. The documentary shows both the problem and the consequences, and proposes a renewable energy solution.”

The Jury
The Our World jury consists of graduate students from Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST).
Khasiaba Al Dalel, Student
Yu-Kuang Lin, Student
Mohamed Asaad Taher, Fellow
Dr. Amal Al Ghaferi, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering/Advisor to the Jury

Abu Dhabi Film Festival Audience Choice Award 2011

The audience takes on the role of the jury in this competition, which is open to all films in the Showcase section, as well as the Opening Night film.

The 2011 Abu Dhabi Film Festival Audience Choice Award ($50,000) goes to:

Skeem, directed by Tim Greene
(South Africa)

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival (formerly the Middle East International Film Festival) was established in 2007, with the aim of helping to create a vibrant film culture throughout the region. Presented each October by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the event is committed to curating exceptional programs to engage and educate the local community, inspire filmmakers and nurture the growth of the regional film industry.
With its commitment to presenting works by Arab filmmakers in competition alongside those by major talents of world cinema, the Festival offers Abu Dhabi’s diverse and enthusiastic audiences a means of engaging with their own and others’ cultures through the art of cinema. At the same time, a strong focus on the bold new voices of Arab cinema connects with Abu Dhabi’s role as a burgeoning cultural capital in the region and marks the Festival as a place for the world to discover and gauge the pulse of recent Arab filmmaking.
ADFF 2011 is made possible in part through the generous support of its partners: MAKE UP FOR EVER (Principal Partner); Jaeger-LeCoultre and Emirates Motor Company/Mercedes-Benz (Major Partners); Etihad Airways, VOX Cinemas, TwoFour54, YahLive, Blackberry and Abu Dhabi Media (Official Partners); CNN, Radio 1, Radio 2, OSN, MUBI, Synaxis Media and Variety (Media Partners) and Masdar (Our World Partner).
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– End of Black Pearl Awards –


The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) was created in 1930 to promote and develop international film culture and safeguard the professional interests of film critics and journalists. With the protection of the freedom and ethics of the film press as its main objective, the federation’s worldwide network of national committees also works to expand the idea of cinema as an art form as well as a tool of cultural education. The International Film Critics’ Award was established to promote film art and support innovation in cinema.
The ADFF FIPRESCI jury focused on Arab films in the Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition and the New Horizons Competition.
The jury awarded the ADFF FIPRESCI Award 2011 to:
El Gusto, directed by Safinez Bousbia
(France/Algeria/Ireland/United Arab Emirates)
Gyôrgy Báron, Hungary
Adnan Madanat, Jordan
Andrea Martini, Italy
Mohamed El Rouby, Egypt
ADFF NETPAC Award 2011
NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) is the leading platform for the discovery and promotion of Asian cinema. To acknowledge and recognize the emergence of new cinematic talent among Asians, it brought the NETPAC Award to international film festivals. As more Asian films are selected for exhibition to world audiences, a yardstick for quality was necessary that matched the competitive spirit fuelling the creative urges of young Asian filmmakers. The NETPAC Award is now given at 28 international film festivals in 21 countries on five continents.
The jury awarded the ADFF NETPAC Award 2011 to:
Marathon Boy, directed by Gemma Atwal
(India, United Kingdom, USA)
“For the great Indian story of a child told locally but brilliantly integrated into the problems of Asian societies.”

Gulnara Abikeyeva
Fatemeh Simin Motamed-Arya
Jocelyne Saab

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