Matalqa feature nabs grand prize

Jordanian helmer Amin Matalqa’s “Captain Abu Raed” picked up top honors at the Heartland Film Festival last night in Indianapolis, winning the $100,000 grand prize for dramatic feature.

The win marks another in a string of awards for Jordan’s Oscar entry, which nabbed top prizes in Durban, Newport Beach, Seattle and Sundance, where it preemed this year.

Pic follows an elderly airport janitor who befriends a group of children. Mistaking him for a pilot, they beg for stories outside their poor neighborhood in Amman, Jordan.

Focusing on stories that recognize hope and respect for human values, the Heartland fest doles out $200,000 in cash prizes.

Matalqa received Variety‘s Middle East filmmaker of the year award during Abu Dhabi’s Middle East Intl. Film Festival.

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