The Black Iris Award for Best Arab Feature Film went to the Algerian film ‘Soula,’ directed by Salah Assaad. The third edition of the Amman International Film Festival wrapped up with an award ceremony celebrating the best films in its programme.
The film festival, which began on July 20, screened 49 narrative and documentary films from more than two dozen countries, most of which are from the Arab world. The films were screened across three locations in Amman, including the Drive-in cinema in the Abdali area, specially built for the festival, as well as the open-air theatre at the Royal Film Commission — Jordan and Taj Cinemas.
The Black Iris Awards was held at the Royal Film Commission — Jordan in the presence of Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein and Princess Rym Ali, the festival’s president. Soulaby Algerian filmmaker Salah Issaad won the Black Iris Award for Best Arab Feature-Length Narrative. Eleven films were competing in the category. The award was supplemented by a cash prize of $20,000. Somali film The Gravedigger’s Wife by Khadar Ahmed received a special mention.
The Palestinian Syrian film Little Palestine, directed by Abdullah Al-Khatib, won the award for Best Feature-Length Arab Documentary along with a cash prize of $15,000; while the Best Arab Short Film prize went to the Algerian film My Mother’s Voice. The Special Mention went to Take Me to the Cinema by Iraqi filmmaker Albaqer Jafeer. The Blue Inmates by Lebanese director Zeina Daccache also received a Special Mention for its editor Myriam Geagea.
French director Florence Miailhe’s animation The Crossing was voted by the audience as the winner of the Best International Film Award. My Mother’s Voice by Mourad Hamla won the $5,000 award for Best Arab Short Film, for which 14 works were competing. The jury awarded a Special Mention to the Jordanian film The Mission by Mohammad Dabbas.
Speaking about the third edition, Nada Doumani, Director of AIFF, said: “We are happy with the cultural hype it generated in the country. The festival didn’t only build bridges between its guests but also between cinema professionals and the public at large. The festival is an incubator for talents and different narratives which speak to our minds and emotions.”