Georges Hachem's 'Stray Bullet' hits Muhr Arab prize

LONDON — The seventh edition of the Dubai Intl. Film Festival wrapped on Sunday with a glittering awards ceremony at the Madinat Jumeirah, which drew UAE royalty including Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Maktoum.

Some 36 Muhr Awards were doled out as well as $600,000 in prize money in the Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica categories.

Highlights from each section of the fest were showcased at the awards ceremony and, afterwards, winners in the three competitions were unveiled.

In the Muhr Arab category, Lebanon’s Sabine El Chamaa picked up first prize for the short “Un Mardi” (A Tuesday), while “Hathihi Swrati Wa Ana Mayet” (This Is My Picture When I Was Dead), helmed by Mahmoud Al Massad, nabbed first prize for docu.

First prize for feature went to Lebanon’s Georges Hachem for his pic “Rsassa Taycheh” (Stray Bullet).

In the Muhr AsiaAfrica competish, best short was won by Nargiza Mamatkulova for “Soiko” (The Earrings) and best docu went to China’s “Hai Shang Chuan Qi” (I Wish I Knew), helmed by Jia Zhang-Ke.

First prize in the feature category went to Mahamat Saleh Haroun’s “Un Homme Qui Crie” (A Screaming Man).

For the first time, this year the fest presented the Muhr Emirati Awards, which lauded local, UAE filmmakers. Nayla Al Khaja’s “Malal” (Bored) snapped up first prize in the category.

The ceremony also feted the three lifetime achievement award honorees for 2010, including African helmer Souleymane Cisse, Egyptian-Lebanese icon Sabah and Sean Penn, who previously pulled out from his appearance at the fest to deal with events in Haiti, where he runs the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.

Other stars at DIFF this year included Colin Firth, whose pic “The King’s Speech” opened the fest, Carey Mulligan and Colin Farrell.

This year, the fest showcased 157 films from 57 countries, including 41 world preems, 13 international preems, 58 Middle Eastern preems and 32 Gulf preems.

Nearly half of the films were by or about Arab people, subjects or places.

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