'The Square' wins top documentary award for look at Egypt's turmoil

Reuters and Ahram Online, Sunday 8 Dec 2013

Acclaimed Egyptian film 'The Square' wins award for best feature documentary for 2013 from the International Documentary Association

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Still from 'The Square'

'The Square,' a film that follows activists in Cairo's Tahrir Square following the 2011 overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, won the award for best feature documentary for 2013 on Friday from the International Documentary Association, a 30-year-old non-profit that aims to support the documentary culture.

The IDA award for Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim's work comes after honours at the Toronto and Sundance film festivals, setting it up as a favourite for an Oscar, for which it is short-listed.

'The Square' also made history last month as the first documentary acquired by Netflix Inc, the online streaming and DVD company that is hoping to lure more subscribers with its own original programming.

'The Square' follows a handful of activists as they battle leaders and regimes and risk their lives to try to build a new democratic society.

Despite its international success, the film has not yet been screened in Egypt. Egyptian audiences were set to see it for the first time during last week's Panorama of the European Film, an annual event that takes place in Cairo, but the screening was cancelled for technical reasons elaborated in a statement released by the team behind the Panorama.

'The Square' is competing in the documentary competition in this year's Dubai International Film Festival, running from 6 to 14 December. It will be screened as part of the festival on 11 and 12 December.


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