'Pauline et Paulette' Snares Golden Pyramid at Cairo Film Fest

Published October 21st, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The Belgian film Pauline et Paulette, directed by Lieven Debrauwer, won the Golden Pyramid prize for best film at the 25th Cairo International Film Festival on Saturday, according to AFP. 

Pauline et Paulette tells the story of the mentally challenged Pauline who fights a battle to win the affections of her sister, said the agency. 

Pauline, who cannot read or write, doesn’t even talk correctly, lives in a Flemish village between Brussels and the Belgian Coast. Martha, her oldest sister, has taken care of her since the death of their parents. One day, Martha dies, and a string of complications follow in connection with the will.  

Second prize went to the Romanian film God Kisses Us on the Mouth Every Day by Sinisa Dragin, who also took home best director for a tale of God's role in the troubled personal life of a convict. 

The Iranian film The Hidden Half by Tahmineh Milani was awarded the special prize for artistic contribution by the nine judges who were led by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. 

Iranian authorities briefly detained Milani at the end of August after they objected to her depiction of the memories of a married woman who fell in love with a counter-revolutionary during the early years of the Islamic republic and who is later sentenced to death. 

The Naguib Mahfouz Prize for best first film went to Tjebbo Penning of the Netherlands for his film Morlang, while American Cameron Crowe took best script for Almost Famous. 

Dutchman Paul Freemon was awarded best actor for his portrayal of an art photographer confronted with his past in the darkly stylish Morlang. Best actress went to Iran's Niki Karimi for The Hidden Half. 

The Egyptian film Muthakkarat Murahiqa (Adolescent’s Memories) by Inas Al Degheidi was awarded the prize for best Arabic film.  

Ironically, the film has draw fire from local critics, who complain that it presents a distorted picture of the roles and responsibilities of Arab women. 

Degheidi responded to their comments by saying that the raw sexual references in the film were meant to be instructive for young viewers, according to local press reports. 

Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover turned down an invitation to be guest of honor at the festival because of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. 

The action hero had been due to receive its lifetime achievement award. 

Eighteen films were in competition at the 25th annual festival, which showed a total of 167 productions from 44 countries. 

However, the event ended with a shocking blow as actor Hussein Fehmi announced his resignation as the head of the festival – Albawaba.com 

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