News Column

Short film The Runner wins at Tropfest Arabia

November 10, 2013

YellowBrix

Nov. 10--World's largest short film festival held in Capital

A young Syrian filmmaker won the third annual edition of Tropfest Arabia. On Friday night, Samer Nasrallah was awarded first prize for , a seven-minute short film about a former Olympic gold medal-winning athlete suffering from an illness that keeps him housebound.

"It is such a privilege that the jury has chosen as the winner of this year's festival because all of the finalist films were really amazing, and the competition was very strong. I am very honoured and humbled to be recognised for my work," Nasrallah said.

Tropfesst Arabia is an expansion of the world's largest short film festival, organised here by twofour54. The festival helps stimulate the region's growing filmmaking community by supporting emerging talent that might otherwise be excluded from the region's film festivals.

This year, the panel of judges, five film industry professionals from the Middle East and North Africa, were Emirati filmmaker Ali Mustafa, Tunisian actress Dorra Zarrouk, Syrian actor Basel Khayat, Kuwaiti actor Khaled Amin and Jordanian film producer Rula Nasser.

The winning film was chosen from a selection of 16 finalist films previously shortlisted for their script and storytelling ability by Yusra, the award-winning Egyptian actress, who is this year's co-director of Tropfest Arabia, and Tropfest founder John Polson.

As the winner of Tropfest Arabia 2013, Nasrallah received a prize of $11,000, a trip to meet industry professionals in Los Angeles courtesy of the Motion Picture Association and a digital camera.

Runner up Kholoud Alnajjar from Kuwait, who made won $6,500, a trip to meet industry professionals during 2014 Cannes Film Festival and a digital camera.

The third-placed contestant Andria Zakria Anwer, filmmaker of "Hard Time", won $4,000, an internship with MBC2 and a digital camera.

Elyas Rezqallah (starring in ) and Tuqa Mcawi (starring in ) were awarded best actor and best actress, and received $1,500 cash and a digital camera each, as well as a training workshop for shooting on D-SLR with Nikon.

After the winning films were screened and the winners announced, everyone got to enjoy a night of entertainment with the celebrity host of Tropfest Arabia 2013, Raya from Arabs Got Talent.

Award-winning Lebanese pop star Ramy Ayach also lit up the stage with his famous hits.

The winning films of Tropfest Arabia are available for viewing online, giving some of the region's rising talent a platform to show their creative work: www.youtube.com/tropfestarabia.

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(c)2013 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Visit the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) at www.khaleejtimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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