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‘Plums’ tops Abu Dhabi’s Pearl

Fest unveils award winners

LONDON — Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s “Chicken With Plums” nabbed best narrative feature as the fifth Abu Dhabi Film Festival announced winners of its Black Pearl Awards on Friday.

The French-German-Belgian co-production, which snapped up the $100,000 prize, is the story of a musician who loses the will to live after his wife breaks his instrument in an argument.

Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian pic “A Separation” picked up the special jury award, worth $50,000, in the narrative feature competish. – Ismael Ferroukhi won best director from the Arab world for his pic “Free Men,” a Paris-set pic, which sees an Algerian immigrant become inspired to join the resistance in WWII by his unexpected friendship with a Jewish man.

Ziad Hamzeh and Ridha Behi won the $25,000 cash prize for best producer from the Arab world for “Always Brando.”

Woody Harrelson won best actor at the fest for his role in Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” while “Lucky” thesp Jayashree Basavaraj won best actress.

In the New Horizons competish, which focuses on the work of first- and second-time directors from around the world, Julia Murat’s “Stories Only Exist When Remembered” won best film and nabbed a $100,000 cash prize.

Gurvinder Singh’s “Alms for a Blind Horse” nabbed the special jury award while Amr Salama was awarded the best director from the Arab world for “Asma’a.”

Sooney Kadouh won best producer from the Arab world for “The Narrow Place” while “Asma’a’s” Maged El Kedwani won best actor and “Tears of Sand’s” Memona Mohamed and “Stories Only Exist When Remembered” thesp Sonia Guedes both tied for the best actress prize.

In the documentary feature competish, “Position Among the Stars,” helmed by Leonard Retel, won the $100,000 best docu prize and Tatiana Huezo’s “The Tiniest Place” nabbed the $50,000 special jury award.

Gemma Atwal, who helmed “Marathon Boy,” was awarded best new director while “El Gusto’s” Safinez Bousbia won the award for best director from the Arab world.

Mohamed Hefzy took the prize for best producer from the Arab world for “Tahir 2011: The Good, the Bad and the Politican.”

“The Last Mountain,” helmed by Bill Haney, won an award in the fest’s Our World competish — its first edition — for best film about significant environmental issues, and the audience choice award went to Tim Greene’s “Skeem.”

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