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'Soula' by Salah Issaad and Georges Hachem's 'Were it not for Metro' win top prizes in Malmö

The protagonist Soula Bahri won Best Actress as well, while Mohamed Mamdouh won best actor -- plus the People's Choice Award went to 'The Alleys' directed by Bassel Ghandour and Mehdi Hmili won Best Director for 'Streams'.
'Soula' by Salah Issaad and Georges Hachem's 'Were it not for Metro' win top prizes in Malmö

The 12th edition of the Malmö Arab Film Festival has come to a close and after all was said and done, great films participated, while others in development were awarded money to continue on. It was a success story all around.

When all was said and done, the film Soula by Algerian director Salah Issaad won the best feature film award, and Were it not for Metro by Lebanese director Georges Hachem won the best documentary award. The best short film award went to the Lebanes Then Came Dark directed by Marie-Rose Osta and The Alleys by Jordanian director Bassel Ghandour won the People's Choice Award presented by the Culture Office of Malmö. There are rumours that Ghandour, who co-wrote the Oscar nominated Theeb, will be developing his film into a series, which suits the narrative and setting very well, so needless to say, we can't wait for that.

On the fifth day of the festival (Sunday, May 8th) a workshop with the children of Malmö took place, followed by the screening of the film Bara El Manhag by Egyptian director Amr Salama for school students in the city. The fifth programme of the short film competition was also screened. The awards ceremony were hosted inside Cinema Royal, the largest cinema hall in Sweden, followed by the screening of the closing film Hamel El Lakab by Egyptian director Hisham Fathy, in the presence of the film's director and stars Hisham Maged, Mohamed Sallam and Ahmed Fathy.

The founder and head of MAFF Mouhamad Keblawi, expressed his happiness for the end of another successful edition, by saying: "This is undoubtedly the largest edition in the festival’s history, an edition in which MAFF took a great step forward in terms of quantity and quality, and it became imperative for us to immediately start preparing for the next edition in order to ensure it happens at the same level."

Here is the full list of the award-winning films of the 12th Malmö Arab Film Festival:

Feature Film Competition

The jury was comprised of: Hany Lasheen, Jamal Suleiman, Georges Khabbaz, Ahd Kamel, Rashida Saadi

Best Film Award (30,000 SEK): Soula - directed by Salah Issaad (Algeria, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

Jury Prize (20,000 SEK): Farha - directed by Darin J. Sallam (Jordan, Sweden, Saudi Arabia)

Best Director Award: Mehdi Hmili for Streams (Tunisia, Luxembourg, France)

Best Actor Award: Mohamed Mamdouh for his role in Abo Saddam - directed by Nadine Khan (Egypt)

Best Actress Award: Soula Bahri for her role in Soula - directed by Salah Issaad (Algeria, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

Best Screenplay Award: Anis Lassoued and Chema Ben Chaabane for A Second Life (Tunisia)

Special Mention: The Alleys - directed by Bassel Ghandour (Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

Feature Documentary Competition

With the jury comprising of: Kassim Abid, Mahmoud Al-Massad, Nada Al-Azhari

Best Film Award (20,000 SEK): Were it not for Metro – directed by Georges Hachem (Lebanon)

Jury Prize (15,000 SEK): From Cairo - directed by Hala Galal (Egypt)

Short Film Competition:

With a jury made up of: Sherry Adel, Sofia Djama, Mohammad Salman

Best Film Award (15,000 SEK): Then Came Dark by Marie-Rose Osta (Lebanon)

Jury Prize (10,000 SEK): Chitana by Amel Guellaty (Tunisia, Qatar, Norway)

Special Mention: Night by Ahmed Saleh (Germany, Qatar, Palestine, Jordan)

Special Mention: And Then They Burn the Sea by Majid Al-Remaihi (Qatar)

People's Choice Award presented by the Culture Office of Malmö (SEK 25,000):

The Alleys - directed by Bassel Ghandour (Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

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