Georgian director Levan Koguashvili’s film Brighton 4e won the award for best film at the inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia, which takes place in Jeddah from December 6 to 15.
It follows a series of awards for the father-son drama set in New York City that premiered at Tribeca, where it won the award for Best International Feature Film, Actor, and Screenplay.
There were 16 feature films from the Middle East and Africa in the inaugural competition.
Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore chaired the main jury of the competition along with Tunisian actress Hend Sabry, American-Palestinian director Cherien Dabis, founder of the Morelia Daniela Michel International Film Festival and Saudi director Abdulaziz Alshlahei.
The jury prize was awarded to the feature film family road trip by Iranian director Panah Panahi Take the road, which also won the award for best film contribution from the Red Sea. The film received critical acclaim at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in July.
Italian-Iraqi director Khader Rashid won the award for best director for Europe about a young Iraqi traveling through Europe who is the target of self-defense in Bulgaria. British and Libyan actor Adam Ali won the Best Actor award for his performance as the film’s protagonist.
Indonesian actress Arawinda Kirana won Best Actress award for her performance in Kamila Andini Yuni as a young girl whose dreams of education are threatened by the pressure to get married.
The Silver Yusr for Best Screenplay went to Kurdish-Swiss filmmaker Mano Khalil Neighbors, about a young boy who grows up in a village on the Turkish border peacefully cohabited by Syrian Muslims, Kurds and Jews, whose previously serene existence is turned upside down by the arrival of a nationalist teacher from Damascus at his school.
Jordanian director Darin J. Sallam received a special mention for his first feature film Farha about a 14 year old girl who grew up in a small village in Palestine in 1948, whose life was forever changed by the arrival of Israeli forces in the area.
The film had its world premiere in the Discovery segment of the Toronto International Film Festival and was also played in Busan and Rome.
The best short film went to Jordanian filmmaker Murad Abu Eisheh Tala’Vision about a young girl who escapes her war-torn reality through television.
In the Audience Awards, the best film went to Egyptian-American director Dina Amer You look like me. The film, which premiered in Venice in the Giornate degli Autori box this year, explores the life of a young Franco-Moroccan woman linked to the gang that carried out the Bataclan attack in Paris.
Best Saudi Audience Film Award went to Hamzah Jamjoom’s feature debut Breaking about a young Saudi couple who want to start a family and who have moved to London to receive fertility treatment.