Feature Film Winners
ADFF Announces 2012 Black Pearl Awards for Feature
19.10.2012 - On Friday night, the Abu Dhabi
Film Festival announced the winners of the 2012 Black Pearl Awards
for the feature-length films in its programme. Araf/Somewhere
in Between, the latest drama from Turkish director Yeşim
Ustaoğlu, won the Black Pearl Award in the Narrative Competition.
A Respectable Family, from Iranian filmmaker Massoud
Bakshi, won the Black Pearl Award in the New Horizons Competition.
A World Not Ours, Palestinian director Mahdi Fleifel's
meditation about growing up in a refugee camp in Lebanon, won the
Black Pearl Award in the Documentary Competition.
Fleifel's film, which was supported by ADFF's SANAD
post-production fund, also took home two collateral awards: it won
the NETPAC Award, which recognises outstanding Asian cinema; and it
shared the FIPRESCI Award with Egyptian director Hala Lotfy's
Coming Forth by Day, which was also funded by SANAD and
screened in the New Horizons Competition. Lotfy also won Best
Director from the Arab World in the same category.
Gael García Bernal won Best Actor in the Narrative Competition
for his role in Chilean director Pablo Larraín's political drama
No. German star Franziska Petri won Best Actress in the
Narrative Competition for her performance in Betrayal, the
romantic noir from Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov. Søren
Malling, star of Danish director Tobias Lindholm's A
Hijacking, won Best Actor in the New Horizons Competition;
while Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani won Best Actress in New
Horizons for her role in Afghani director Atiq Rahimi's The
Gebo and the Shadow, from 103-year-old Portuguese
director Manoel de Oliveira, won the Special Jury Award in the
Narrative Competition. Benh Zeitlin's acclaimed indie fantasy
Beasts of the Southern Wild won the Special Jury Award in
the New Horizons Competition; while Canadian filmmaker Sarah
Polley's Stories We Tell won the Special Jury Award in the
Tunisia's Nouri Bouzid won Best Director in the Narrative
Competition. Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir's drama When
I Saw You won Best Film from the Arab World in the New
Horizons Competition; while Cursed Be the Phosphate, from
Tunisian filmmaker Sami Tlili,won Best Film from the Arab World in
the Documentary Competition. Both of those films were also
supported by ADFF's SANAD fund.
Two iconic actresses were presented with Lifetime Achievement
Awards: legendary Italian star Claudia Cardinale, who is featured
in Gebo and the Shadow; as did beloved Egyptian performer
Sawsan Badr. Both were present on the evening.
Three separate juries decided on the award winners in the three
competitions this week. The Narrative Competition president was
Indian actress and statesperson Shabana Azmi; French editor
Françoise Bonnot was president of the New Horizons jury; while
Chilean filmmaker and novelist Miguel Littín led the Documentary
Saving Face, the Oscar-winning documentary from
co-directors Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge, about Festival
guest Dr. Mohammad Jawad's efforts to help disfigured Pakistani
women, took the Audience Choice Award.
Black Pearl Award - Narrative:Araf/Somewhere in Between, directed by Yeşim
Ustağlu (Turkey, Germany, France)
Special Jury Award:Gebo and the Shadow, directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Best Director from the Arab World: Nouri Bouzid
Best Actor - in partnership with Jaeger
LeCoultre: Gael García Bernal, No (Chile, USA)
Best Actress - in partnership with Jaeger
LeCoultre: Franziska Petri,
New Horizons / Afaq Jadida Competition
Black Pearl Award - New Horizons:A Respectable Family, directed by Massoud Bakhshi
Because of the new approach using fiction with the current reality
Special Jury Award:Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin
We recognise the skills on display here in all the elements of
Best Film from the Arab World:When I Saw You, directed by Annemarie Jacir (Jordan,
We loved the way in which Annemarie Jacir approached the sensitive
subject of that crucial period.
Best Director from the Arab World: Hala Lotfy,
Coming Forth by Day (Egypt, UAE)
We recognise the unusual and stylish visuals which overcome the
style of Arabian and especially Egyptian cinema.
Best Actor: Søren Malling, A Hijacking (Denmark)
We consider the entire cast as brilliant, but as we had to choose
only one it is Søren Malling as the Boss.
Best Actress: Golshifteh Farahani, The Patience Stone (Afghanistan, France,
The jury chose Golshifteh Farahani because of her high performance
in carrying the whole story.
Jury Special Mention:A Hijacking, directed by Tobias Lindholm
For the brilliant screenplay which is skillfully brought alive
Black Pearl Award - Documentary:A World Not Ours, directed by Mahdi Fleiefel (Lebanon,
For constituting a document about life in the Palestinian refugee
camps that rips you apart, through the use of everyday language and
characters. It projects the essential aspect of the human
Special Jury Award:Stories We Tell, directed by Sarah Polley
For its intelligent style that shows that real life can sometimes
be make-believe, and that sometimes in films - as in life - lies
may have the charming ability to show a higher truth.
Best New Director: Lyubov Arkus, Anton's Right Here (Russia)
Through its cinematographic writing, it conjugates both poetry and
humanism in an atmosphere of human truth. It equilibrates
form and content in a solid narrative body.
Best Film from the Arab World:Cursed Be the Phosphate, directed by Sami Tlili
(Tunisia, UAE, Lebanon, Qatar)
For successfully depicting ordinary people who rose to the
occasion in response to historical circumstances as agents for
Best Director from the Arab World: Wael Omar
and Philippe Dib,
In Search of Oil and Sand (Egypt, UAE)
For successfully merging two historical timelines and creating
synthesis between past, present, fact and fiction.
Audience Choice Award:Saving Face, directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and
Daniel Junge (Pakistan, USA)
NETPAC Award:A World Not Ours, directed by Mahdi Fleifel (Lebanon,
UK, United Arab Emirates)
For its heartfelt, whimsical and nostalgic portrait of life in a
Palestinian refugee camp
FIPRESCI Award:A World Not Ours, directed by Mahdi Fleifel (Lebanon,
UK, United Arab Emirates); and Coming Forth by Day, directed by Hala Lotfy (Egypt,
United Arab Emirates)