The Egyptian film 678, which focused its lens on the terrible incidence of sexual harassment in Cairo, landed the Muhr Arab award for best actress and actor, Bushra and Maged El Kedwany.
Bushra's portrayal of a working-class government employee was grounded and sincere. Maged El Kedwany deliverd a performance of a restrained and controlled policeman, who could be brutal when needed, but also dedicated and efficient, and does what he must to ensure justice is served.
Microphone, with its fast-paced scene changes and reverse dialogue throughout the main storyline, won the award for best Editor, Hesham Saqr, an aspiring filmmaker himself, who directed a short film entitled Bekara (Hymen). The film went through 14 different edited copies before the final version was produced.
Marianne Khory’s and Mustapha Hasnaoui’s Zelal, which delves into life inside mental institutions in Egypt, won the International Federation of Film Critics (Fiprisci) award for best documentary.
The Fiprisci winner for best feature film went to the Jordanian Transit Cities by Mohammed Al Hushki and to the Lebanese 21/2 for best short film. Transit Cities also won the Special Jury prize in the Arab Muhr competition.
The Muhr Emirati first prize went to Nayla Al Khaja’s film Bored, while the Muhr Arab went to the Lebanese film, Stray Bullet.
In the Muhr Asia-Africa feature film section, Mahamat Saleh-Haroun’s A Screaming Man, set in Chad, garnered three awards, one the first prize. Others included best actor to Youssouf Djaoro and best Editor to Marie-Helene Dozo.
The best film for the Human Rights Film Network went to the Mexican documentary Presumed Guilty, co-directed by Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith, and the Damas People Choice award went to Omar Sharqawi’s Danish film, My Father From Haifa.