Iraqi filmmaker Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji’s Hanging Gardens bagged the Golden Yusr for Best Feature Film at the Red Sea International Film Festival, the top prize of the festival’s main competition. The film was also awarded the Silver Yusr for Best Cinematic Achievement for Duraid Munajim.
The coming-of-the-age film, supported by the Red Sea Fund, also won Venice’s 2021 edition of Final Cut for the best film in post-production.
Working with a local cast, filmmaker Al-Daradji narrates an intimate, endearing, and often humorous tale about children growing up, while also making some pointed observations about the corrosive consequences of poverty and consumerism.
Other prominent awards were the Yusr Award for Best Director for American filmmaker Lotfy Nathan for his debut movie Harka; Silver Yusr for Best Actor for Adam Bessa in Harka, Silver Yusr for Best Actress for Adila Bendimerad in The Last Queen. The Red Sea: Competition Jury Trophy was given to Saudi Arabian director Mohammed Alatawi for Within Sand and Iranian director Reza Jamali received Best Screenplay for his film A Childless Village.
The Red Sea International Film Festival, closing on December 10, is being held in Jeddah.