The fourth annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival has wrapped its Arab Film Competition Awards ceremony, with The Lebanese Rocket Society (pictured) and In the Shadow of a Man among the winners.
In the documentary category, the best feature doc award went to The Lebanese Rocket Society by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige. The film delves into Lebanon’s past as the first Middle Eastern country to launch a rocket in 1960s.
The jury, which included Syrian documentary filmmaker Hala Al Abdalla, Qatari director Hafiz Ali Ali and Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, recognized the film for its research, its distinct personal narrative voice, and for being cohesive with its use of experimental, documentary and archival styles.
The best documentary filmmaker prize went to Hanan Abdalla for In the Shadow of a Man, a film that profiles four women from different cultural backgrounds and generations during tumultuous times in Egypt.
The jury gave a special mention to Damien Ounouri, the director of Fidaï, a doc on a fighter from the French-Algerian War. The short doc Bader, directed by Sara Al-Saadi, Maaria Assami and Latifa Al-Darwish, picked up the Made in Qatar award. Bader looks at a boy’s struggle to fit into his all-boys elementary school.
Meanwhile, the Doha audience selected Searching for Sugar Man as its documentary festival favorite. The Malik Bendjelloul-directed film won the Doha Tribeca Film Festival audience award, which comes with a prize of US$50,000 and will be shown again at a “best of the fest” screening before the fest closes on November 24.
Searching for Sugar Man tells the almost unbelievable story of 1970s rock musician Rodriguez who never made it in his home country of America, but became a major star in South Africa.