Under The Fig Trees Secures El Gouna Film Festival Prize, While CineGouna Alumnus Hanging Gardens Wins The 9th Final Cut in Venice Workshop Official Jury Prize

2021-09-07

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For the 5th 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).

GFF is thrilled to announce that this year’s prize recipient is Under The Fig Trees (Tunisia, Switzerland, France) by Erige Sehiri. The film 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.

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. Telling the story of 12 year-old As’ad as he adopts an American sex doll, the film 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 neighborhood.

It is worth mentioning that  Hanging Gardens participated in the 2nd 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 5th edition.

Another notable winner is Asmae El Moudir’s The Mother of All Lies (Morocco, Germany), which received several awards and grants.

The 9th edition of the Final Cut in Venice workshop took place from September 5 to 7, 2021 during the Venice Production Bridge of the 78th Venice International Film Festival.

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