A movie by Egyptian director Mohamed Diab was among the top award winners at the 27th edition of the prestigious MedFilm Festival in Rome.
The drama “Amira,” set to the background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, scooped the Amore and Psyche special gong, the Amnesty International human rights award, and also gained a special mention from a jury composed of Rome university students.
Forty-three-year-old Diab’s film tells the story of Amira, 17, and her search for identity. The Palestinian teenager’s world is turned upside down when she learns that the man she grew up idolizing was not her real father.
Meanwhile, the festival’s artistic expression award for best director went to Karim Ainouz, a Brazilian director with Algerian heritage, for “Mariner of the Mountains.” The film is based on a trip he took in January 2019 from Marseille to visit Algeria for the first time and follows an intimate journey through space and time.
A special award was given to Tunisian Leyla Bouzid for the flick “A Tale of love and Desire,” and the latter also secured the Valentina Pedicini award — given in memory of the Italian screenwriter and director who died last year — and the PiuCulture award.
The jury for the international short film competition — composed of 13 students from film schools in Mediterranean countries and three inmates of Rome’s Rebibbia prison — awarded the Methexis prize to Moroccan director Said Hamich’s “The Departure,” that was also crowned best short movie by the students.
Hamich’s drama focuses on the social impact of immigration, an issue rarely out of the headlines in Mediterranean countries.
The Cervantes Rome prize for the most creative short film went to “Holy Son” by French screenwriter Aliosha Massine. In it, the daily routines of a young couple are disrupted by some shocking news, with a strange dream appearing to herald a terrible and, at the same time, wonderful truth.
Special mentions were given to “Have a Nice Dog!,” by Syrian filmmaker Jalal Maghout, for the fantastic dialogue of a man trapped by the war in Damascus with his pet dog, and “Haut les Coeurs” by Adrian Moyse Dullin of France, a story about two teenager brothers who regularly humiliate one another on social media.
The MedFilm Festival, which draws to a close on Sunday, was opened with the screening of “A Tale of Love and Desire,” a story centered on 18-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin Ahmed’s love for Farah, a young Tunisian who has just arrived in Paris.
“The meeting with Farah crystallizes with the discovery of the ancient Arabic love poem and comes to question Ahmed about his identity,” Bouzid told a press conference.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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