ABU DHABI // The story of a Bedouin boy in Hijaz during the First World War was a big winner at the Black Pearl Awards on Friday night, as the Abu Dhabi Film Festival drew to a close.

Theeb, directed and co-written by Jordanian filmmaker Naji Abu Nowar, took two awards.

It won Best Film from the Arab World in the New Horizons category, and the International Federation of Film Critics Award for Best Narrative Film.

Theeb had already screened at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Orizzonti Award, as well as at the Toronto and London film festivals.

In Her Place, a tale of the complex relationships between three women on a South Korean farm, also won two awards.

Directed by Albert Shin, it won Best Film in the Child Protection Award category and the Best Actress in the New Horizons category at the Emirates Palace hotel ceremony.

In officially bringing down the curtain on the 8th ADFF, festival director Ali Al Jabri thanked the event organisers, juries, volunteers, directors and producers for another successful event.

“This is one of the strongest editions of the festival,” Mr Al Jabri said. “It was tough to select the winning film and I appreciate juries who did this job incredibly.

“All the films were inspired by life and close to reality. Some of them share the joy of life and some reflect the sorrows of life.”

About 200 films were screened at the Emirates Palace hotel and Marina Mall for this year’s festival.

Farazdak Chaichan, a Dutch filmmaker of Iraqi descent, has been attending the ADFF since its inception in 2007.

“The festival is a great opportunity for Arab filmmakers to see works from other parts of the world,” Chaichan said. He believes Arab documentaries are of higher quality than the films produced in the region.

“Documentaries are much better than Arab feature films. Documentaries are stronger in sending their message,” he said.

Awards were presented in the Narrative Features, New Horizons and Documentary – shorts and features – categories. Seventeen films competed in the Documentary section… see more

source: thenational.ae