Gulf Film Festival 2010 honours distinguished Arab actors

Published April 1st, 2010 - 08:35 GMT

The third edition of Gulf Film Festival (GFF), organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), will honour three legends with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The crowning glory of the film festival, which celebrates excellence in regional cinema, the Lifetime Achievement Awards is part of the GFF Honouree Programme, and recognises the invaluable contribution of the individuals to the regional cinema and television industry.

Emirati actress Raziqa Al Taresh, internationally renowned Iraqi actor and playwright Khalil Shawki and Kuwait’s applauded actress Hayat Al Fahad will receive the honours at the opening ceremony of the festival on April 8, 2010.

They join the league of Kuwaiti director and producer Khalid Al-Siddiq, renowned UAE writer Abdel-Rahman Saleh and veteran Bahraini filmmaker Khalifa Shaheen, who were honoured by the Gulf Film Festival last year.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Festival Director of GFF, said: “The emergence of a powerful television and film industry in the Gulf region owes to the contribution of immensely talented and creative individuals who braved odds to pursue their passion. Raziqa Al Taresh, Khalil Shawki and Hayat Al Fahad have all blazed a trail in their own right, and in doing so, serve as an inspiration for young film talent.”

He added: “These distinguished artists have devoted their careers to enhancing the Arab film industry. They set in stone the foundation for Arab talent and paved the way for regional and global recognition for Arab cinema. Dubai and the Gulf Film Festival are privileged to honour them.”

Emirati actress/scriptwriter Raziqa Al Taresh is noted for her endearing performances, with comedy as her forte. She was instrumental in altering the perception of women in comedic roles in the Gulf television industry, especially in the Emirates. Her depiction in television series such as When the Flowers Sing, Ajeeb Gareeb, Ashavan, and Haz Ya Naseeb was much appreciated and made her an Emirati household name. Her achievements mark the evolution of women in films in the region and what they are capable of achieving within the industry.


An accomplished Kuwaiti actress and poet, Hayat Al Fahad is credited with several memorable performances across several disciplines of art – from movies and television to epic poetry, Al Fahad has been recognized for setting the foundation for actresses in the Kuwaiti film industry.

Her debuting performance in Khalid Al Siddiq’s Bas Ya Bahr (The Cruel Sea), the first ever directed Kuwaiti feature film, was awarded nine global awards. Al-Fahad eventually branched out into television, starring in shows such as Qased Al Khair (Good Intentions), Thaman Omri (The Price of my Life), and Al Kharaz (Beads). Al-Fahad is also known for her collection of poetry titled Aletab.

Iraqi actor/playwright Khalil Shawki’s role in Sahid Haddad’s Yawmun Akher (Another Day), which was based on revenge killings, indirectly linked to the overruling of the Shah of Iran in 1958, proved to be one of the most controversial depictions of all times. It was Shawki’s portrayal of the role that allowed Arab cinema to serve as an outlet for social issues that could not otherwise be addressed. 

Shawki, who was a railway worker and a member of the Iraq Railway Workers Union before attaining stardom, set up three theatre companies for railway workers. His career as a playwright comprised plays surrounded arguments for social justice and rights of these workers.

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