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Sunday, October 24, 2021

DFI’s supported film “Ghosts” wins Grand Prize at Venice film festival


Capturing the spotlight at the oldest film festivals in the world, Doha Film Institute (DFI)- supported films have won a number of prestigious awards.

Two films, three awards, and two award-winning directors have grasped everyone’s attention at the 77th Venice Film Festival, demonstrating DFI’s dedication to supporting and promoting local filmmakers on the international stage.

A still from the film ‘Ghosts’ by Turkish filmmaker Azra Deniz Okyay

The first of DFI’s-supported films to win at this year’s festival was ‘Ghost’, it took the Grand Prize during the 35th edition of Venice International Film Critics’ Week an independent and parallel section of the film festival organised by the Union of Italian Film Critics. Directed by Azra Deniz Okyay, the 90-minute feature tackles quite a few controversial topics within Turkish politics and society. This accolade added yet another international award to the Turkish director’s collection.

Next up in the honour call was “The Man Who Sold His Skin” by Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania; a film that received admiration from many after winning twin awards in the Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti section. First for ‘Best Actor’, for the role played by Syrian actor Yahya Mahayni. The second prize it received was the “Edipo Re Award.” 

“This is a great win for Arab and Tunisian cinema and a superb new milestone for Kaouther whose previous films were supported by our grants programme,”  DFI said in a statement.

The films are part of DFI’s grants programme, which aims to provide development, production and post-production funding to filmmakers from Qatar and the region.

In total seven DFI-backed films were featured at this year’s Venice Film Festival, which showcased a total of 60 films. Amongst them were six from the MENA region and one from Italy.

Other DFI-supported films included Notturno by Gianfranco Rosi, Gaza Mon Amour by twin brothers Tarzan Abunasser and Arab Abunasser, Razan AlSalah’s experimental VR film The Greatest Wait, Ely Dagher’s first feature Harvest, and Salah Al Ashkar’s Our Choices.

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