Winners of the Production Award Programme announced

Menna Taher, Monday 10 Jan 2011

The grant-winners of the Production Awards Programme initiated by the Culture Resource El Mawred Al Thaqafy were announced on 9 January at the Rawabet theatre

The Percussion Show
The Percussion Show from Egypt

The grants were given out to three participants in each of the following art sections; literature, visual art, video, music and theatre.

The winners of each section were announced by one of its jury members.

The awards in literature announced by the Libyan poet Khaled Motawea were given out to Mohamed Ahmed El Adawy from Egypt for his novel El Raees (The President) which reveals the social and political changes in the region through the life of ‘Ibn Sina’, Donia Maher also from Egypt for Bab El Louk, a book that incorporates photography and literary text and Samia Ayash from Palestine for her novel-in-progress, Wagbet Lahm (A Meal of Blood), which explores the woman’s relationship with her body, her soul and society.

The three winners in visual arts were announced by Khaled Hourany. Mohamed Gamal Abou Sol from Palestine won for his work Metro in Gaza, Shaymaa Kamel from Egypt won for her video project Eswed Shafaf that projects the inner struggle of Egyptian women and Mozafar Soliman from Syria won for his photography book Asabei La Tosheer Ela Lel Farashat (My fingers only point at butterflies).

Winners in the video section announced by Heba Saleh were given out to Marwa Zein El Abedin from Sudan for her project Boheira Behagm Thamaret El Papaya (A Lake as Big as a Papaya), which is based on a novel by the author Stella Ketano, which explores the effects of the civil war in Sudan on the people of the south, Mohamed Shawky for his project Compus Mentus that delves into the issue of sanity against insanity and for the Palestinian Mohanad El Yakouby for his short film La Mafar (No Exit).

In music, the Grammy-award winning Egyptian musician, Fathy Salama announced the winners. The awards were given out to Muslem Rahal a Syrian nay player, Sharben Al Habar from Lebanon and Bassem Rajoub from Syria.

For the world of theatre, the Egyptian actress and critic Menha El Batrawy announced the winners Noha Nabil and the band the 'Percussion Show' from Egypt and two Lebanese women, Sabrine Shokeir and Rita El Khawand.

Shokeir will collect stories from Lebanese women in different villages and present them in the form of monologues, while Khawand will present a monologue about her inner struggles and link it to the cycle of the moon.

Prior to the award-giving Ibrahim El Batout gave a short speech. El Batout said that the 145 projects that didn’t win were even more important than those who won. “The political and social conditions we’re living in would drive anyone to insanity and it’s by creating art that this energy is released,” he said and went on to elaborate that whether there is funding for a project or not, it’s important to keep on creating. He also added that initiatives like El Mawred, which aim to bring artists together, show that we are alone in our lost state.

A short clay animated film by the Tunisian director Rafik El Omrany, one of last year’s winners, titled Dagaget Saba (Saba’s Chicken) was screened. The light, endearing film revolves around a young girl, who tries to make her chicken fly, despite her mother’s insistence that chickens can’t fly.

The night concluded with a refreshing performance by the band the Percussion Show.

The grants are given out to young artists, under the age of 35, from all around the Arab region and provide financial support for the artists’ early projects with an amount of up to $5,000, as well as advice on managing the projects and promoting them.

The Production Awards Programme was established in 2004 and has doubled its awards since it started because of the growing number of applicants. Seven grants were given out in 2004 and 14 in 2008 and 2009.


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