Egyptian short film Dry Hot Summers won Best Film, the top prize at the Dhofar Arab Film Forum in Oman.
Directed by Sherif El-Bendary, the film is written by Nura El-Sheikh and co-produced by Claudia Jubeh (Germany) and Hossam El-Ouan (Egypt).
The film was one of two Egyptian entries in the forum – along with Tahra's Life by Mohanad Diab – where 17 films from nine Arab countries competed.
Dry Hot Summers won the Robert Bosch Stiftung Film Prize for International Cooperation at a gala held during Berlinale Talents, a six-day creative summit for up-and-coming filmmakers at the Berlin Film Festival. It also scooped up the main award in the Short Films category at Algeria’s ninth Oran Arab Film Festival.
The 30-minute film captures the chance meeting of two lonely Egyptians on a bustling and hot summer day in Cairo; a cancer patient and a bride anxious to get her photo taken in the white dress. The day's journey disturbs the stifling routines of the two characters, taking them on an expedition of self-discovery.
The film had its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival's 13th edition, 2016.
Other winning films included the Syrian film Darag (Stairs) for best documentary, and Noqta Sawdaa (Black Spot) for best Omani film. The Jury Prize went to Tunisian film Shoof (Look), with the special appreciation prize going to Bahraini film Makan Khas Geddan (A Very Special Place), and Saudi film Taradodat (Frequencies).
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