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Doha Tribeca Film Festival Dishes Out Arab Competition Prizes

Doha Tribeca Film Festival Logo - P 2012

Merzak Allouache's "The Repentant" wins best narrative feature film while Nabil Ayouch takes home best narrative filmmaker nod for "Horses of God."

Merzak Allouache's The Repentant, an Algeria/France co-production, picked up this year's best narrative feature film at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival's Arab film awards.

Morocco's Nabil Ayouch picked up the competition's best narrative filmmaker nod for Horses of God.

The Arab film award competition strand prizes were dished out Thursday evening during the fourth Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural event of Doha Film Institute (DFI) at a special ceremony held at Al Rayyan Theatre.

Situated in a hotel and leisure complex in Doha's Souq Waquif, originally a market place where silks and spices were peddled, the competition strand marks the region’s only dedicated competition for Arab talent.

Doha Film Institute CEO Abdulaziz Al-Khater said: "We had set stringent quality standards for the Arab Film Competition this year – from the short-listing process to evaluation. We congratulate the winners as well as every filmmaker who has been part of this amazing cinema journey, marked by several compelling portraits of how Arab filmmakers react to the society and world around them. The thematic intensity of their films, their courage to push the boundaries and their focus on telling our stories with conviction to the rest of the world will be an inspiration to every emerging filmmaker. The Competition is a true reflection of our focus to strengthen the regional film industry by setting solid benchmarks of excellence."

With total prize money of over $440,000, the Arab Film Competition had its largest selection of 27 films this year, comprising seven documentaries, seven narrative features and 13 shorts from 10 Arab countries, including first time entries to the competition from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Aside from the narrative feature prizes, plaudits were also dished out for documentaries and a Made in Qatar section, of which Doha is the capital.

A jury for each of the categories picked the winners.

The best documentary feature film award went to Lebanese Rocket Society, a Lebanon, France, Qatar, directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.

The made in Qatar development award went to Bader, directed by Sara Al-Saadi, Maaria Assami, Latifa Al-Darwis.

The festival's best documentary filmmaker award went to Hanan Abdalla (The Shadow of a Man) while the best performance award was dished out to Ahmed Hafiane for Professor.

The winning films will be screened at DTFF on Friday and Saturday before the festival closes Nov. 24 with Peter Ramsey's animation movie Rise of The Guardians 3D.