The film is set to the background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and marks the first Palestinian film by an Egyptian director.
Palestinian film Amira, directed by Egyptian director Mohamed Diab, received an Amnesty International human rights award and a special mention from a jury that included university students from Rome at the 27th edition of MedFilm Festival in Rome.
Amira is Diab’s third film as a director after 678 (2010) and his hit film Clash (Eshtebak) (2016).
The film deals with a real-life phenomenon of Palestinian children conceived via IVF using the smuggled sperm of Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israeli jails. Amira, a 17-year-old Palestinian, was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father, Nawar. Although their relationship since birth has been restricted to prison visits, he remains her hero. His absence in her life is overcompensated with love and affection from those surrounding her. But when a failed attempt to conceive another child reveals Nawar’s infertility, Amira’s world turns upside down.
Meanwhile, the festival’s artistic expression award for best director went to Karim Ainouz, a Brazilian director with Algerian heritage, for Mariner of the Mountains. A special award was given to Tunisian Leyla Bouzid for the flick A Tale of love and Desire. The latter also secured the Valentina Pedicini award in memory of the Italian screenwriter and director who died last year — and the PiuCulture award.
Special mentions were given to Have a Nice Dog!, by Syrian filmmaker Jalal Maghout and Haut les Coeurs by Adrian Moyse Dullin of France.