By Andy Lauer | Indiewire December 16, 2009 at 6:32AM
The sixth edition of Dubai International Film Festival wrapped up Wednesday with an awards ceremony where Michel Khleifi's "Zindeeq" took the Muhr Arab award for best film and Brillante Mendoza's "Lola" received the Muhr AsiaAfrica award for best feature.
In all, 28 prizes were distributed for achievements in acting, cinematography, editing, music and scriptwriting in addition to the jury awards. The entries came from more than 62 nations in three categories: documentaries, short films and feature films.
"The increased participation and the quality of participating films underscores the fact that DIFF has helped drive regional talent in cinema, offering filmmakers in the Arab world, Asia and Africa a definitive platform to showcase their creativity," said DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali in a statement.
In addition, Merzak Allouache's "Harragas" won the inaugural DIFF Human Rights Film Network Award for its depiction of emigration in the Third World as well as the FIPRESCI "Prize of the International Critics" for Excellence in Arab Cinema. The People's Choice Award for 2009 went Zeina Daccache for the documentary "12 Angry Lebanese."
The Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica award winning films will be screened at Cinestar cinemas at Mall of the Emirates on Friday, Dec 18.
A partial list of the Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica award winners:
Muhr Arab Feature – Best Film
Michel Khleifi for "Zindeeq"
Palestine, United Kingdome, United Arab Emirates
Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature – Best Film
Brillante Mendoza for "Lola"
Muhr Arab Documentary: First Prize
Zeina Daccache for "12 Angry Lebanese - The Documentary"
Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary: First Prize
Tokachi Tsuchiya for "Futsu no shigoto ga shitai" ("A Normal Life, Please")
Muhr Arab - Feature
Said Bey for "The Man Who Sold the World"
Nisreen Faour for "Amreeka"
USA, Canada, Kuwait
Muhr AsiaAfrica - Feature
Hasan Pourshirazi for "Keshtzarhaye Sepid" ("The White Meadows")
Denise Newman for "Shirley Adams"
For the complete list of recipients, including second place winners, special jury prize winners, and nods in other categories, visit the DIFF's official website.