'Leviathan' Claims Top Award at Abu Dhabi Film Festival

The closing ceremony also saw Jordanian drama Theeb add to its growing tally with two gongs

Leviathan followed up its best film award at the BFI London Film Festival earlier in the month with a win at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

At a ceremony held on Friday, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s drama picked up the Black Pearl Award in the festival's narrative competition, with its star Alexay Serebryakov winning best actor. Maria Bonnevie from Susanne Bier’s drama Second Chance was awarded best actress, while Memories on Stone was named the best film from the Arab world for Iraqi director Shawkat Amin Korki.

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In the New Horizons category for first and second-time filmmakers, Alice Rohrwacher’s The Wonders picked up the main Black Pearl prize, while the local award for best Arab film went to Theeb. The Jordanian drama also claimed the FIPRESCI film critics’ award for best narrative, adding to a growing cabinet for debuting director Naji Abu Nowar that already includes an award in Venice and special mention in London.

The documentary section saw Orlando Von Einsiedel’s Virunga, detailing the attempts to save the world’s remaining mountain gorillas amid Congo’s civil war, pick up the Black Pearl award.

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The overall audience choice award was won by Wim Wenders for his documentary The Salt of the Earth about Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado.

The awards ceremony, which was followed by the regional premiere of Disney’s superhero animation Big Hero 6, brought to a close the eight-day festival in the United Arab Emirates capital.

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