Egyptian feature wins best film award at 8th Tarifa

Microphone – Official Trailer from Ahmad on Vimeo.

Egyptian Ahmad Abdalla’s “Microphone” has won the 15 000 € best feature-length movie award at the 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT) held from June 11th to the 19th, 2011, in Tarifa, Spain.

148 African movies from 23 African countries competed for 8 awards with a total 46 500 € cash prizes.

The jury said “Microphone” won “for its energy and shedding of light on the potential of the new Egypt and also because it reflects the role of art in political and social change.”

Ahmad Abdalla
Ahmad Abdalla

“Microphone” was the winner of the coveted “Golden Tanit” Award of the official competition of feature films at the 23rd edition of Carthage Film Festival which was held in Tunis from October 23 to 31, 2010 and the movie was in the Official selection of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival (Vanguard Program), Official selection of the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival and Official Competition of the Dubai International Film Festival in 2010.

Synopsis: A bold example of new north African cinema, “Microphone” mixes and remixes fiction and cinema verité as it follows an Egyptian expatriate’s return to Alexandria, where he dives into a thriving underground music and arts scene. [Synopsis courtesy Toronto International Film Festival]

The details of the 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT) are in the following press release.

The Awards of 8th African Film Festival Of Tarifa

June 19th, Tarifa, Spain – 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT) awarded eight new African movies with awards endowed with 46 500 euros. The festival jury selected winners from more than 140 movies from 23 African countries.

1. The award for the best feature-length movie (15 000 €) goes to “MICROPHONE” (Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt)for its energy and shedding of light on the potential of the new Egypt and also because it reflects the role of art in political and social change.

2. The award for the best direction (10 000 €) goes to “A JAMA” (Daoud Aoulad-Syad, Morocco/France) for its naturalistic use of non-professional actors. Furthermore, the film found a way to speak about the taboo topic of religion with sensitivity and humour.

3. The award for the best actress (1 500 €) goes to DENISE NEWMAN for “SHIRLEY ADAMS” (Oliver Hermanus, South Africa). The actress is believable in her complex, sober and sombre portrayal of the film character. With her construction of the character she was able to access the most essential core of humanity.

4. The award for the best actor (1 500 €) goes to YOUSSOUF DJAORO for “UN HOMME QUI CRIE” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad/France/Belgium). The actor’s portrayal is very charismatic and tender. It truly shows his mastery of the artform.

5. The award for the best documentary feature film (10 000 €) goes to “KOUNDI ET LE JEUDI NATIONAL” (Ariani Astrid Atodji, Cameroon) for his rigorous and tender look at the subject matter, which highlights the great opportunities that traditional cultures offer to Africa’s future.

6. The award for the best short movie (2 000 €) goes to “MWANSA THE GREAT” (Rungano Nyoni, Zambia/UK) for its ability to draw us into a child’s imagination and the world of magic, combining courage and talent.

7. The RTVA award for Audiovisual Creation, the best short film award (1 500 €) goes to “MWANSA THE GREAT” (Rungano Nyoni, Zambia/UK) for having been able to portray the noble nature of characters whose actions are imbued with a sense of social responsibility. The story is a metaphor of a certain social reality in a specific part of the world.

8. The audience award for the best feature length movie (5 000 €) goes to “UN HOMME QUI CRIE” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad/France/Belgium).

9. The SIGNIS award for the best fiction feature film goes to “A JAMA” (Daoud Aoulad-Syad, Morocco/France) for its humorous look at injustice and corruption and for showing the courage and determination of a simple man who stands up to all who stand in his way in order to defend his rights and denounce the abuse of power by politicians and false prophets.

The special mentions of the jury go to:

● “HAWI” (fiction, Ibrahim El-Batout, Egypt/Qatar) for its serious research, its tender look at the past and its link with the current problematic political climate in Egypt.
● “ASHLAA” (document, Hakim Belabbes, Morocco) for its ability to reconcile magnificently a personal story and a topic of universal interest. A tribute to all filmmakers.
● “DREXCIYA” (document, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana) for the radical nature of the project, its effective use of limited economic resourcesand its poetic insight.
● “STATE OF VIOLENCE” (fiction, Khalo Matabane, South Africa/France) for showing how peace can only be achieved through forgiveness and reconciliation.
● “MICROPHONE” (fiction, Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt) for reflecting the arrival of the wind of change in Egyptian society, as well as the importance of culture as part of a democratic system which respects freedom above all else.

FCAT, one of the biggest European festival of African cinema, welcomes this year over 200 African filmmakers including legendary African director Moustapha Alassane and focuses among others on African Diaspore in Latin America, the role of cinema in recent revolutions in Tunis and Egypt or restrospective of Congolese cinematography.

Festival was accompanied among others by 3rd Africa Produce Forum, where 10 African filmmakers competed with their projects to get funding from European producers including representatives of Al-Jazeera Docuemntary Channel. The winning projects will be announced soon.

In this year 4th Photoafrica, whose topic was “Urban Space”, competed twenty five photographers from eleven African countries. The winners are:

● 1st place award (€1,500) – Jessica MacLeod (South Africa) with the photograph titled “You see a shack, I see my house”
● 2nd place award (€1,000) – James Muriuki (Kenya) with the photograph titled “44”
● 3rd place award (€500) – Mimi Cherono (Kenya) with the photograph titled “Khusi and the Giraffes”

The exhibiton of altogether 27 large format photographs will be inaugurated and installed outdoors in Tarifa before and through the festival and after its closure will be travelling the whole year through Spanish and African cities.

About FCAT
African film festival of Tarifa (FCAT – Festival de Cine Africano de Tarifa) is an independent and competitive film festival and one of the biggest African film festivals in Europe. The FCAT celebrated its eighth edition from 11th to 19th June in Andalusian town Tarifa – the closest town of continental Europe to the African continent – the two continents are in fact only 14 km apart from one another in this geographical area. More on

Filip Hruby
International Press Officer
African Film Festival of Tarifa (FCAT)
Mobile: +420/775 011 550
Skype: filip.hruby2409

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