DUBAI, (AFP) – “Stray Bullet” by Lebanese director Georges Hachem won first prize at the the Dubai International Film Festival on Sunday, this year a showcase for new Arab talent.
The film, set shortly after the start of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, tells the story of a young woman who is torn between a fiance picked by her family and a former lover who suddenly reappears in her life.
The film stars Nadine Labaki, director of the highly acclaimed 2007 production, “Caramel.”
Hachem received the gold Muhr award from French actress Isabelle Huppert, who was in Dubai to present her own film, “Copacabana.”
Twelve films competed in the best Arab film category, including entries from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Morocco.
Jordanian director Mohammed al-Hushki’s film, “Transit Cities,” won the Special Jury Prize.
The film tells the story of a woman who returns to Jordan after a divorce in the United States and tries to pick up her former life, but finds it impossible to reintegrate into a changed society.
Egyptian entry “Six, Seven, Eight” won best actor for Maged al-Kidwany and best actress for Bushra. In the film, director Mohamed Diab addresses the issue of sexual harassment in Egypt.
The festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Malian director Souleymane Cisse.
Director Nayla al-Khaja won first prize in the Emirati film category with “Bored,” an uncompromising portrait of relationships in an arranged marriage.
A total of 157 films from 57 countries were screened at the festival this year, in its seventh edition.