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Exclusive: ‘Black’ Wins Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award at TIFF

Exclusive: 'Black' Wins Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award at TIFF

READ MORE: The Breakouts: 9 Up-and-Coming Actors to Watch For at the Toronto International Film Festival

Featuring a buzzed-about performance by newbie actress Martha Canga Antonio and a modified and modernized spin on the classic Romeo and Juliet story, Adil El Abri and Bilall Fallah’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere “Black” has now been announced as the winner of the inaugural Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award. 

Of the announcement, the jury commented, “We are delighted to announce the winner of the Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award is ‘Black.’ With this award we celebrate a clear cinematic vision, creatively and audaciously realised. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have made a powerful impression upon cinema, with their arresting visual and sonic sensibility placing the loyalties and threats of gang life into sharp relief. A discovery indeed.”

This year’s jury members included Pia Lundberg, Head of International Department, at the Swedish Film Institute; Alice Tynan, film critic and Marketing Manager, Dropbox and Daniel Guando, US head of Acquisitions, Production, and Development at The Weinstein Company.

“In Brussels, when you’re Moroccan or you’re black, you have a hard time finding a normal job,” El Arbi explained. “We wanted to make a movie that got into the heads of youth who choose a criminal life because they need somewhere to belong.”

“We pulled young people off the street who had the look of the characters,” said Fallah. “After auditioning 450 non-professionals, we selected 16 young people who had never acted on screen before.”
The four other finalists in the competition included “Beast,” “Closet Monster,” “Five Nights in Maine” and “Semana Santa.” This year’s Discovery section featured 30 films and 16 world premieres.

The Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award is a new award given by Dropbox. The winner will receive two years of Dropbox for business and $5K CAD. All filmmakers in the program get three months of Dropbox Pro.

“Black” is the latest collaboration between Brussels-based filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The pair previously made “Broeders” and “Image.” The film was produced by Caviar/Climax Films and sold internationally by Be for Films.

READ MORE: The 2015 Indiewire TIFF Bible

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