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ADFF Unveils Winners of the 2013 Feature Film Awards

The following awards were presented at tonight’s Closing Ceremony of the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival:

Black Pearl Career Achievement Award
Hiam Abbass

Narrative Feature Competition
This competition centers on exciting vision and original storytelling in narrative feature films by international filmmakers.

The Jury: Jacki Weaver, President (Australia), Adrian Wootton (UK), Hiam Abbass (Palestine), Dora Bouchoucha (Tunisia), Sandra den Hamer (Netherlands).

In 2013, the Narrative Feature Competition presented a selection of 15 films. The jury awarded the following films:

Black Pearl Award - Best Narrative Film ($100,000)
A TOUCH OF SIN (Tian zhu ding) directed by Jia Zhangke (China, Japan)

Special Jury Award ($50,000)
My Sweet PepperLand directed by Hiner Saleem (Iraq, France, Germany, UAE)

Best Film from the Arab World ($50,000)
In the Sands of Babylon directed by Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji (Iraq, NL, UK)

Best Director from the Arab World ($50,000)
MERZAK ALLOUACHE  for the Film THE ROOFTOPS (Algeria, France, Qatar)

Best Actor – in partnership with Jaeger LeCoultre
DIEGO PERETTI  in THE RECONSTRUCTION, directed by Juan Esteban Taratuto (Argentina)

Best Actress – in partnership with Jaeger LeCoultre
JUDI DENCH  in PHILOMENA, directed by Stephen Frears (UK, USA)

New Horizons Competition

This awards section focuses on the work of first- and second-time directors from around the world, featuring fresh styles and challenging ideas in narrative films.

The Jury: Yesim Ustaoglu, President (Turkey), Irene Bignardi (Italy), Nour-Eddine Lakhmari (Morocco), Valery Todorovsky (Ukraine), Michel Kammoun (Lebanon).

In 2013, 15 films competed in the New Horizons Competition. The jury awarded the following films: 

Black Pearl Award – New Horizons ($100,000)
STILL LIFE directed by Uberto Pasolini (Italy, United Kingdom)

Special Jury Award ($50,000)
BLIND DATES directed by Levan Koguashvili (Georgia)

Best Film from the Arab World ($50,000)
BEFORE SNOWFALL directed by Hisham Zaman (Iraq, Norway, Germany)

Special Jury Award for a Film from the Arab World ($25,000)
VILLA 69 directed by Ayten Amin (Egypt, UAE)

Best Actor
Jesse Eisenberg, in THE DOUBLE, directed by Richard Ayoade (UK)

Best Actress, the award is shared between:
Tillotama Shome, in QISSA, directed by Anup Singh (India, Germany, Netherlands, France)
Julia Wildschutt, in LOVE ME (Elsk meg), directed by Hanne Myren (Norway)

Special Mention
CANOPY directed by Aaron Wilson (Australia)

Documentary Feature Competition

In 2013, the Documentary Feature Competition comprised 14 films.

The Jury: Cameron Bailey, President (Canada), Leonard Retel Helmrich (Netherlands), Mahdi Fleifel (Palestine), Peter Machen (South Africa), Nabil Hadji (Algeria).

The jury awarded the following films:

Black Pearl Award in memory of Jake Ebert for Best Documentary Film ($80,000)

THESE BIRDS WALK directed by Omar Mullick, Bassem Tariq (Pakistan, USA)

Special Jury Award ($40,000)
WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?directed by Marc Silver (UK, Mexico)

Best Film from the Arab World ($50,000)
Cairo Drive directed by Sherief Elkatsha (Egypt)

Best Director from the Arab World ($25,000)
HAMZA AOUNI for the Film EL GORT (Tunisia, UAE)

Honourable Mention
INREALLIFE directed by Beeban Kidron (UK)

Honourable Mention
MY STOLEN REVOLUTION directed by Nahid Persson Sarvestani (Sweden)


The audience takes on the role of the jury in this competition, which is open to all films in the Showcase section.

The 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival Audience Choice Award ($40,000) goes to:

ENOUGH SAID directed by Nicole Holofcener (USA)

Child Protection Award

The Child Protection Award created in partnership with the Ministry of Interior has the aim of calling attention to those films that raise awareness about the situation of abused or neglected children or promote prevention measures in this regard.

The Jury: Khaled Abol Naga, President, Afaf Al Marri, Lt. Col. Faisal Al Shamari, Juma Al Sahli, Mona Al Bahar.

The Jury awarded the following films:

Best Film
These Birds Walk directed by Omar Mullick, Bassem Tariq (Pakistan, USA)

Best Script:
Like Father, Like Son (Soshite chichi ni naru) directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (Japan)

Special Mention:
Short Term 12 directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (USA)

Special Mention:
My Name Is HmmM... (Je m'appelle Hmmm...) directed by Agnès Troublé (France)

Special Mention:
THE QUEEN directed by Manuel Abramovich (Argentina)

Special Mention:
AGRI AND THE MOUNTAINdirected by Hasan Serin (Turkey)

Our World Competition

This award, sponsored by Masdar, celebrates films devoted to broadening awareness of significant environmental an related social issues. A jury of Masdar students awards a prize for the best film in the Our World competition. The award goes to:

Fatal Assistance (Assistance mortelle) directed by Raoul Peck (France, Haiti, USA, Belgium)


The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) was created in 1930 to promote and develop international film culture and safeguard the professional interests of film critics and journalists. With the protection of the freedom and ethics of the film press as its main objective, the federation’s worldwide network of national committees also works to expand the idea of cinema as an art form as well as a tool of cultural education. The International Film Critics’ Award was established to promote film art and support innovation in cinema.

The ADFF FIPRESCI jury focused on Arab films in the Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition and the New Horizons Competition.

The Jury: Wilfried Reichart (Germany), Janusz Wroblewski (Poland), Madhu Eravankara (India), Mostafa Messnaoui (Morocco), Vicky Habib (Lebanon)

The Jury awarded the ADFF FIPRESCI Award 2013 to:

The Rooftops (Es-stouh) directed by Merzak Allouache (Algeria, France, Qatar)

El Gort (Jamal al-barrouta) directed by Hamza Ouni (Tunisia, UAE)

ADFF NETPAC Award 2013

NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) is the leading platform for the discovery and promotion of Asian cinema. To acknowledge and recognize the emergence of new cinematic talent among Asians, it brought the NETPAC Award to international film festivals. As more Asian films are selected for exhibition to world audiences, a yardstick for quality was necessary that matched the competitive spirit fuelling the creative urges of young Asian filmmakers. The NETPAC Award is now given at 28 international film festivals in 21 countries on five continents.

The Jury: Gulbara Tolomushova (Kyrgystan), Deborah Young (USA), Ziad Khuzai (Iraq, UK)

The jury awarded the ADFF NETPAC Award 2013 to:

Harmony Lessons (Uroki garmonii) directed by Emir Baigazin (Kazakhstan, France, Germany)

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