(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) With less glitz and glamour than previous years, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) came to an end on Friday night with one last red carpet and the Black Pearl Awards ceremony.
"Araf/Somewhere in Between by Turkish director Yesim Ustaoglu won the Black Pearl for Best Narrative movie.
"This is a very special award for me because for the first time I receive an award in a palace like this, so I feel like a king," said a very happy Ustaoglu, referring to the Emirates Palace, where the ceremony took place. Best Actor Award went to Gael Garcia Bernal in No (Chile, USA), while Franziska Petri, in Betrayal (Russia) took the Best Actress award.
In the same Narrative Feature category Gebo and the Shadow, directed by 103-year-old filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira and starring Claudia Cardinale won the Special Jury Prize.
In the Docu-Feature competition, the Black Pearl Award went to A World Not Ours, directed by Lebanon's Mahdi Fleifel "for constituting a document about life in the Palestinian refugee camps that rips you apart, through the use of everyday language and characters".
In fact, the film picked several other awards throughout the night. The best documentary from the Arab world went to "Cursed Be the Phosphate", directed by Sami Tlili (Tunisia, UAE, Lebanon, Qatar), while the best documentary director award from the Arab world was given to Wael Omar and Philippe Dib for In Search of Oil and Sand (Egypt, UAE).
The New Horizons competition awards for first or second time filmmakers from around the world was held for the first time this year. In the jury for this category were Emirati filmmaker Nawaf Al Janahi and Iraqi filmmaker Mohammed Al Dawadji, who both had acclaimed films at the ADFF last year.
"I was very impressed with some of the films I've seen in this category. Their quality was so high, that it did not seem they were made by first or second time directors," Al Janahi told Khaleej Times. The Black Pearl for best New Horizons film went to "A Respectable Family, directed by Massoud Bakhshi. Soren Malling in A Hijacking (Denmark) was named Best Actor, and a very emotional Golshifteh Farahani, in The Patience Stone (Afghanistan, France, Germany), received the Best Actress award. In the same category, Best Film from the Arab World went to When I Saw You, directed by Annemarie Jacir (Jordan, Palestine, UAE). "It's wonderful that Abu Dhabi supported this film from an early stage, so it feels like it's now coming home," said Jacir, whose movie was funded by Abu Dhabi's Sanad film fund.
Beating movies such as Arbitrage (Richard Gere) and internationally awarded Caesar Must Die in the Showcase programme of the ADFF, Saving Face, directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge (Pakistan, USA) took the Audience Choice Award. This Oscar-winning documentary chronicles the plight of Pakistani women who suffer disfiguring acid attacks by their husbands and families, and Dr Mohammad Jawad, the selfless plastic surgeon who works to help them. Also during the evening the festival gave two lifetime achievement awards to a European cinema icon, Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, and to Egyptian screen legend Sawsan Badr.
"For 54 years I've been doing this work [acting] and I have received so many prizes I don't know where to put them," Cardinale told Khaleej Times.
"I'm so happy and so proud for this award. In my career I have received many, but this one is very special to my heart," added Badr.