Asmae El Moudir’s 'The Mother of All Lies' and 'Hanging Gardens' by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji have also won awards at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.
Under The Fig Tree (Tunisia, Switzerland, France) by Erige Sehiri has won the El Gouna Film Festival prize, whereas Hanging Gardens (Iraq) by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji won the Final Cut in Venice official jury prize for the Best Film in Post-Production, in addition to four other prizes.
For the fifth year, El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) continues its mission of building partnerships set on empowering Arab filmmakers through one of its most fruitful collaborations with the Final Cut in Venice workshop, in which GFF offers a US $5,000 cash prize to the winning film, as well as an invitation to take part in its industry arm CineGouna Platform (CGP).
Under The Fig Trees tells the story of a woman, Melek, and her friends as they work in fruit orchards during the summer for a number of reasons, including paying for their studies, preparing for their wedding, and helping out their families. The film received seven more awards at the Final Cut in Venice workshop.
Telling the story of 12-year-old As’ad as he adopts an American sex doll, Hanging Gardens portrays him as he crosses into a red zone where he’s caught in the crossfire among defenders of humanism, commercialism, and fundamentalism in his working-class Baghdad neighbourhood.
Hanging Gardens participated in the second edition of CineGouna Platform as a project in development, marking its first participation in a cinematic platform. The film has also been selected among the industry arm’s films in post-production in its fifth edition.
Another winner is Asmae El Moudir’s The Mother of All Lies (Morocco, Germany), which received several awards and grants.
The ninth edition of the Final Cut in Venice workshop took place from September 5-7, 2021, during the Venice Production Bridge of the 78th Venice International Film Festival.