Palestinian Oscar Submission 'Wajib' Wins Big at Dubai Film Festival

Wajib Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of TIFF

The event drew to a close Wednesday with the regional premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'

The Middle East's biggest film event drew to a close Wednesday night, the 14th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival ending with the regional premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Madinat Jumeirah

Earlier in the day, Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir saw her Nazareth-set drama Wajib win the best fiction feature award, and the film's two co-stars, father and son duo Mohammad Bakri and Saleh Bakri, share the best actor award. Wajib is Palestine's current submission in the foreign-language Oscars race (and Jacir's third submission overall). 

Elsewhere, best actress went to Menha El Batraoui for her performance in Cactus Flower, Lebanese director Lucien Bourjeily's comedy-drama Heaven Without People took home the jury prize, while Algerian filmmaker Sofia Djama was named best director for The Blessed

Taste of Cement, from Syrian director Ziad Kalthoum and documenting the lives of construction workers in Lebanon, won the best non-fiction award. 

Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour, behind 2013's Wadjda and the recent period drama Mary Shelley, won the IWC Schaffhausen award and a $100,000 grant towards her project Miss Camel, a family stop-motion animation about a camel that travels from Saudi Arabia to Abu Dhabi.