First Racoda Asian Film Festival prizes announced


By Ashraf Aboul-Yazid
President, Asia Journalists Association

CAIRO: The 1st edition of Racoda Asian Film Festival Prizes  were announced by head of the jury committee Omani director, Dr. Khaled Abdel Rahim Al Zadjali. The jury had Lebanese actress and star Madeleine Tabar, Egyptian writer and novelist Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, Egyptian director Dina Abdel Salam, Kuwaiti director Habib Hussein, and Egyptian film critic Mohamed Kamal Mubarak, as members.

The committee watched 14 short fiction films (the duration of the film does not exceed ten minutes) that had been selected to participate in the official competition, out of more than two hundred films submitted to participate in the festival from various Asian countries, in addition to contributions that the festival administration received from many countries outside of Asia.


After lengthy observations and discussions, the committee reached the following conclusions:

  • Best Film Award for the Iraqi film “Shash”, directed by Ali Al Kaabi.
  • Best Director Award for Iranian Film “Gavi Nan”, directed by Khaled Farajzadeh and Osman Muhammad Abdullah
  • Best Screenplay Award, for the Saudi film “Do not blame me”, directed and conceived by Saleh Al-Murabba’
  • Best Cinematography Award, for the Saudi film “Do not blame me”, directed and filmed by Saleh Al-Murabba’
  • Best Editing Award for Pakistani Film “The Imperfect Human”, directed and edited by Rahul Aijaz
  • Best Acting Award for Omani actress Habiba Al Sulti, for the Omani film “Al Darrooj”, directed by Hamid Saeed Al Ameri.
  • Special Jury Prize for Best Film for the Egyptian film “Manifesto”, directed by Minh Al-Diaby
  • A special mention from the jury for the Iraqi film “Red Line”, directed by Qassem Nouri, and for the Palestinian film “The last picture” directed by Saud Muhanna, for their noble human subject and distinctive cinematic treatment.

Withholding the award for the best original soundtrack

While the jury committee praises new ideas and the ability to address them (cinematically), it expresses its reservations on the overdose of melodrama in some films, the difference in directing methods in one film, and the accompanying music without real dramatic reasons for the scenes of the film from the beginning to the use  of flashbacks a lot, in addition to the stereotypical performance of some actors.


The committee realized, based on its knowledge and experience, that most of the problems with short films always come from the lack of support and encouragement for the production of these films, which causes a scarcity of films of high standards in all aspects. In addition to the suffering of short film directors in search of funding, and the lack of platforms ready to present their films.


While the jury thanks the management of the Racoda Asian Film Festival, represented by the festival’s founder and president, film critic Imad Al-Nuairi, it congratulates all the prize winners of the first edition of Rakoda AsiaN Film Festival and wishes all the best to those who participated in the festival in general, and wishes them to win in the upcoming editions.


As part of the activities of the first edition of the Racoda Asian Film Festival, an (online) symposium was held on the late director Satyajit Ray, on Sunday, September 25, 2019, with film critic Dr. Lama Tayara, film critic Abdel Sattar Naji, and film critic Umniah Adel. The symposium was moderated by film critic Mohamed Kamal Mubarak.


The festival management had also announced the honoring of the late Indian director Satyajit Ray, whose centenary was celebrated by the Indian and international artistic circles, which coincided in 2021, and was postponed due to the Corona pandemic until this year.


Satyajit Ray is one of the 20 most important directors in Asia, among the world’s 100 greatest directors of all time, and is the most awarded Indian artist with local, continental and international awards. His films have inspired many directors, such as Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas, Kiarostami, Kazan, Tarantino, Nolan, and others, who have acknowledged the influence of his work on them.


The first edition of the festival had a dedication to the spirit of the late pioneering director Mohamed Bayoumi (1894 – 1963).


Imad Al-Nuairi thanked the Next News Network (The AsiaN) and Asia Journalist Association for their media support. He also thanked the festival’s sponsors from Kuwait -Media Do Company and Kuwait Cinema Club.


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