Three of four Egyptian films competing in the 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) this year received awards by the end of the prestigious cinematic event.
Though I Know the River Is Dry, Part of the Short Film Competition, a compelling 19-minute drama by Omar Robert Hamilton and Louis Lewarne, won the award for Best Short Film from the Arab World.
The film, financed through an online crowdfunding campaign, was one of twenty titles competing in the Short Film Competition. These titles included short narratives, documentaries and animated works, selected from a wide range of entries from all over the world.
In the Documentary Film Competition, the Best Documentary Film from the Arab World award went to Cairo Drive by filmmaker Sherif Elkatsha, a documentary about driving in Egypt's overpopulated 20-million-strong capital.
Cairo Drive is described as "a film that captures an entire society through the lens of its capital's traffic... filled with humour and humanity; it reflects a chaotic society in transition."
Meanwhile, Villa 69, director Ayten Amin's debut feature film, won the Special Jury Award to a Film from the Arab World in the New Horizons Competition.
In the film, Egyptian actor Khaled Abul-Naga plays a solitary man in his fifties who is forced come out of comfortable self-imposed isolation to deal with family issues when his sister and nephew come to visit.
"It's a simple story of family relations and people's daily lives – their feelings, their fears and their preoccupations," says the director in an interview she gave Ahram Online on the day of Villa 69's world premiere at ADFF.
All of the festival's winning films will be showing at the Vox Cinema in Abu Dhabi's Marina Mall on 1 and 2 November.
Director of ADFF, Ali Al Jabri, has also announced the dates for the 8th edition of the festival, which will be held between 16 and 25 October 2014.