Monday, December 17, 2007

Jurist decries politicized Dubai Film awards

"An Egyptian writer and jurist at the 4th Dubai International Film Festival lashed at the criteria set for giving awards to winning movies, arguing the standards were more political than artistic or cinematic.

"Dr. Miral Al-Tahawy told that she voted against movies from Egypt because of their artistic shortcomings, but was surprised to find other jurists voting for equally flawed Lebanese movies and giving them awards 'out of solidarity with Hezbollah'.'Politicizing the awards harms the festival's reputation after it managed in the last 3 years to assert its presence among Arab and International film festivals.'

"Tahawy was particularly concerned at Borhane Alaouie's 'Khalass' which was awarded Best Screenplay and Best Editing: 'Some of the jurists saw the director's patriotic background reason enough for giving the awards. They wanted to get him out of the frustration he's been suffering for years. These are not artistic criteria'. [...]

"Tahawy said the same reasons were behind naming Philippe Aractingi's 'Taht Al-Qasf' (Under the Bombs) Best Arab Film. The film takes place during the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. The film's star Nada Abu-Farhat got Best Actress. 'There were much better films that didn't get any awards, although I'm sure they will in other festivals. The French-Algerian 'Yellow House' is a good example'. [...]

"The Dubai Film Festival ended it's 4th round Saturday December 15th, 2007 with a Lebanese sweep. Among the Arab movies that participated in the competition were the Moroccan 'Al-Kouloub Al-Mohtareqa' (Burnt Hearts), the Tunisian 'Akher Film' (The Last Movie), the Syrian 'Kharej Al-Taghteya' (Out of Coverage), and the Egyptian 'Shaqet Masr El-Gedida' (The Heliopolis Flat) and 'Alwan El-Sama El-Sabaa' (Colors of the Seven Heavens)."

Official Dubai Film Festival Web Site:

Source: Al Arabiya (Saudi-owned, Dubai-based), December 17, 2007