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March 22 2015

The Dream Of Shahrazad wins Artwatch Africa Award at LAFF

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22nd March 2015

The Artwatch Africa Award is part of the Freedom Films component of the 4th Luxor African Film Festival. It is presented this year in memory of Al-Husseiny Abou-Deif, the Egyptian video journalist who was shot and killed while filming clashes outside the Presidential Palace on 5 December 2012.

Arterial Network’s Artwatch Africa project promotes and defends artist rights and freedom of creative expression and this award celebrates the transformative and conscientising power of cinema.

After careful consideration by the jury the award has been granted to The Dream of Shahrazad (South Africa/ Egypt/ Turkey), directed by Francois Verster, a compelling film of great artistic and technical merit. Highly innovative and original in concept, content and impact, it importantly precipitates intellectual, emotional and transformative engagement with the issues of Freedom of Expression, Human Rights and Social Justice. The Award is accompanied by a $2,000 cash prize. 

Director Francois Verster receives Artwatch Africa Award for "The Dream of Shahrazad"

The jury commented: “The Dream Of Shahrazad is a very powerful representation of how historical and cultural archetypes interact with political change. Against the backdrop of the famous tale of the 1001 Arabian Nights the director has masterfully created an interweaving of music, politics and storytelling that provokes intrinsic questioning about the revolution, about life in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, and about art.”

Two Jury Special Mentions were also announced:

·      The Supreme Price (Nigeria/ USA), directed by Joanna Lipper

·      Waves (Egypt), directed by Ahmed Nour

The Jury

The Jury comprised Marianne Khoury (Egypt), Saad Elkersh (Egypt), Abdoulaye Diallo (Burkina Faso), Tarek EL Shenawy (Egypt), and jury president Peter Rorvik (South Africa).

Marianne Khoury is an award-winning documentary producer and director with Misr International Films in Cairo. Marianne has been a close collaborator of Egyptian cinema icon Youssef Chahine. 

Saad Elkersh is Chief Editor of Al-Helal Magazine. Apart from five novels he has also published three books on what has happened in Egypt since the dawn of the revolution of January 2011. 

Filmmaker and historian, Abdoulaye Diallo is manager of National Norbert Zongo Press Center (CNP-NZ) in Oaugadougou. He is also co-founder of the festival Jazz à Ouaga,  and co founder of the first African film festival for human rights and freedom of expression Ciné Droit Libre

Film critic and award-winning writer of more than ten books, Tarek EL Shenawy is professor of art criticism at the Faculty of Information, Cairo University and the International Academy of Media. Currently, he writes for newspapers and magazines such as El Tahrir, ElDostour, El Shark El Awsat, and Sot El Omma.

Peter Rorvik is Secretary-General of Arterial Network, one of Africa’s largest intercultural organisations. He was for 13 years the director of the Durban International Film Festival and other leading festivals in the fields of literature, music and contemporary dance.



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