News Column

Franco-Arab Film Festival concludes with Falcon Awards

June 24, 2013


June 24--AMMAN -- France Culture radio director Alexandre Tylski is returning to Paris with a positive message about young Jordanian filmmakers.

Tylski, who headed the jury for the Falcon Awards within the 19th Franco-Arab Film Festival, said on the sidelines of the award ceremony that the level of Jordanian filmmakers parallels that of filmmakers at "the private cinema schools of Paris".

"What I will remember from this festival is the creative energy and appetite of the young film directors... they talk about the reality of the world whether it is about history or the new trends in Jordanian society," Tylski, who also runs an online cinema news website, said on Saturday.

This year, the Falcon Awards, organised by the Institut Francais and the Royal Film Commission, recognised outstanding short narrative and documentary films in three categories: the Jury Prize, the Audience Prize and Special Mentions.

Zain Duraie's short fiction film "Horizon", which depicts the progressive empowerment of a Jordanian woman, won the Audience Prize.

"This is my first award for my first film from a [well-established] festival, so I am honoured to win the first award in my country," Duraie told The Jordan Times at the award ceremony on Saturday, which concluded the Franco-Arab Film Festival.

"I am proud to be an Arab filmmaker from Jordan," the 23-year-old filmmaker noted.

"Horizon" also had its world premiere on Saturday at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival.

Serene Husni's short "Zinco" won the Audience Award for documentary, while "3.30" by Hussein Ibrahim and "The Eid Gift" by Ameen Nayfeh won the Jury Prize for best narrative short and best documentary short respectively.

The Special Mention winners were narrative short "Banished Soul" by Roozbeh Kafi and Husni's documentary "Zinco".

"Filmmaking is progressing in Jordan and the interest in film is growing, especially when it comes to tackling social issues," Greater Amman Municipality adviser Shima Tal said.

But Jordanian actor Khaled Ghwairi, a member of the awards jury, said the competing films were not representative of Jordan's overall film quality.

"But for most of them it is their first production so there is room for improvement," he said.

Tylski also recognised that there is still an untapped potential but noted that "these small imperfections can become their major features of character in their future career".

Alexia de Tillesse, cultural manager at the Institut Francais, said the Falcon Awards competition will be given more momentum in future festivals with a greater selectiveness in terms of quality.

"We are trying to show what has been done in Jordan in 2012-2013... to encourage young beginners and give them a chance to receive constructive criticism from professionals," she said.


(c)2013 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan)

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