Three Egyptian films leave Dubai International Film Fest with awards

Ahram Online, Saturday 14 Dec 2013

Feature film 'Factory Girl' and documentaries 'The Square' and 'Underground/On the Surface' win awards at the Dubai International Film Festival that closed Saturday, 14 December

DIFF winners

The Dubai International Film Festival, one of the most highly anticipated film events in the region, this year featured almost 200 films in its selection, screened regularly during the past days as the festival ran from 6-14 December, featuring nine Egyptian films.

Factory Girl, directed by Egyptian veteran director Mohamed Khan, aquired two awards under its belt, Yasmine Raees won the Muhr Arab Feature Best Actress Award for her performance in the film. Factory Girl also won the FEPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Best Arab Feature award.

Egyptian documentary films also received high acclaim in this year's Dubai festival. The Square, which covers the 2011 Egyptian revolution from the perspecive of activists and was due to screen in Cairo this month during the Panorama of the European Film but was pulled from the programme at the last minute, won the Muhr Arab Award for Best Documentary.

This is The Square's fourth award this year: the film also won the Sundance Film Festival's Audience Choice Award and the Toronto International Film Festival Viewers' Choice Award. In addition, The Square picked up the Best Documentary Award from the International Documentary Association. It has been shortlisted for the Best Documentary Award in the 2014 Academy Awards.

Salma El-Tarzi won the Muhr Arab Award for Best Director in the documentary section for her feature film Underground/On the Surface, following mahraganat (Egyptian hip-hop-styled popular music) icons Okka, Ortega and Wezza through their performances and lives.

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