‘Silent Souls’ earns kudos at Abu Dhabi

Film fest announces winners of Black Pearl Awards

London– The fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival announced winners of its Black Pearl Awards on Friday with Russian pic “Silent Souls” nabbing best narrative feature.

Pic, directed by Aleksei Fedorchenko, nabbed the $100,000 prize and tells the story of a man who travels to cremate his dead wife on a riverbank where they once honeymooned.

Lebanese pic “Here Comes the Rain” (“Shatti Ya Dini”), helmed by Bahij Hojeij won the $100,000 best narrative film from the Arab world prize.

“Never Let Me Go” thesp Andrew Garfield snapped up a $25,000 best actor prize for the pic while “Incendies'” Lubna Azabal was awarded the same amount for best actress prize in the pic.

Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos” was given a special jury mention for “rendering the complex portrait of an era, a region and a controversial character.” Jury was headed up by helmer-scribe Luis Puenzo with actor-helmer Faouzi Bensaidi, thesp Sulaf Fawakherji, helmer-producer Siddiq Barmak and helmer and visual artist Karim Ainouz.

Docu competish was voted by separate jury, which included Ossama Mohammed, Louie Psihoyos, Samir, Salah Marei and Behrooz Hashemian.

Patricio Guzman’s “Nostalgia for the Light” and Kim Longinotto’s “Pink Saris” shared the $100,000 best docu prize while George Sluizer’s “Homeland” and Maher Abi Samra’s “We Were Communists” shared the $100,000 best docu by an Arab helmer or related to Arab culture.

Special mentions went to Vibeke Lokkeberg’s “Tears of Gaza” and Mohamed Soueid’s “How Bitter My Sweet!” (“Bahebbak Ya Wahsh!”).

New prizes were awarded through the New Horizons/Afaq Jadida Competition where Iranian helmer Vahid Vakilifar snapped up $100,000 for best narrative film by a new director and Rania Atteih and Daniel Garcia walked away with the same amount for “Ok, Enough, Goodbye” (“Tayeb, Khalas, Yalla”) for best narrative pic by a new director from the Arab world.

Best docu for new helmer prize was shared by Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano and Adriana Yurcovich for their pic “El Ambulante” and Richard Press’s “Bill Cunningham New York.

Jury special mention for best narrative film from a new Arab director went to Egypt’s Fawzi Saleh for his pic “Living Skin.”

And Brit pic “West Is West,” helmed by Andy De Emmony, won the fest’s $30,000 Audience Choice Award.

The Abu Dhabi Film fest wraps Saturday and brought a slew of stars to the emirate including Adrien Brody, Clive Owen, Uma Thurman and Julianne Moore.

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