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Doha Film Institute films win top accolades at Cannes festival

Mimosas copy


Emirates Business

Four films supported by the Doha Film Institute have won top honours in key sections of the 69th Cannes Film Festival, including the Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards for The Salesman, co-financed by the Institute, in the Festival’s official competition. DFI grantee film Divines, the debut feature by Houda Benyamina scooped the coveted Camera d’Or prize at the award ceremony held yesterday, along with a special mention from SACD for debut film in the Directors Fortnight section.
Selected to screen in key sections of the Festival, the winning films competed with the latest works from
auteurs of cinema and emerging talents from across the globe at the
prestigious film event that ran from May 11-22.
In addition, DFI grantee films, Mimosas and Diamond Island won key prizes at the Critics Week and Directors Fortnight sections of the 2016 Festival. Mimosas, the sophomore feature from Spain’s Oliver Laxe, scored the Nespresso Grand Prize awarded by the Semaine de la Critique’s Jury at the Critics Week sidebar, whilst Diamond Island by French-Cambodian director Davy Chou won the SACD Prize, which is handed out by the French film screenwriters’ guild. SACD also gave special mention to Divines, Houda Benyamina’s debut film in Directors Fortnight.
Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “It is a great honour for the Doha Film Institute that films we supported have gained top recognition at the leading annual film event. This has truly been an exceptional year for DFI at Cannes. We started the festival with seven films selected to screen in key sections and close this year’s event with major prizes, which is a strong testament to the quality of films and filmmaking talents we have supported.
“We are delighted that their talent and creativity has been recognised by the festival jury and want to congratulate them on their success. These awards recognise the best in global filmmaking and we are privileged to have played a part in bringing these amazing projects to global audiences..”
Co-financed by DFI, The Salesman won Best Screenplay for Asghar Farhadi and Shahab Hosseini won the Best Actor award in this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Salesman is produced by Memento Films Production and Asghar Farhadi Production, in coproduction with Arte France Cinéma and in association with Doha Film Institute, Memento Films Distribution and Arte France.
Forced out of their apartment due to dangerous works on a neighboring building, Emad and Rana move into a new flat in the center of Tehran. An incident linked to the previous tenant will dramatically change the young couple’s life. The Salesman stars Shahab Hosseini (A Separation) and Taraneh Alidoosti (About Elly). Farhadi won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for A Separation and the Best Actress Award at Cannes 2013 for his last film The Past.
Mimosas, a mountain odyssey with mystical elements follows a caravan through the Moroccan Atlas escorting a sheikh to be buried near his loved ones, but the quest takes a turn when the elderly and ailing sheikh dies en route. The sophomore feature from Spain’s Oliver Laxe, won the Nespresso Grand Prize at the Critics week, awarded by the Semaine de la Critique’s Jury.

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