Red Sea International Film Festival announces Yusr Awards winners

The ceremony was held in the garden area of the Jeddah’s Ritz Carlton on Thursday

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Harka and Hanging Gardens were the big winners of the Yusr Awards at the second Red Sea International Film Festival, with both films taking two accolades each.

The event was held at the garden area of the Jeddah’s Ritz Carlton on Thursday.

While there are still two more days before the festival is officially over, the award ceremony seals the second year of the event, which screened 131 films and shorts from 61 countries.

Several Arab and international stars attended the ceremony including Naomi Campbell, Antonio Banderas, Yousra, Mike Tyson, DJ Khaled and Nancy Ajram.

Jackie Chan, meanwhile, was given the Yusr Honorary Award.

The actor, who is celebrating his 60th year in the cinema business, took to the stage and, after thanking organisers, announced that he is going to make more love stories instead of action films.

“Except for Rush Hour 4,” he said.

Hanging Gardens won the Golden Yusr for Best Feature. The film, directed by Ahmed Al Daradji, tells the story of a young rubbish picker in Baghdad who comes across a sex doll, igniting a series of perilous events and encounters.

The film’s cinematographer, Duraid Munajim, won the Silver Yusr for Best Cinematic Achievement.

Lotfy Nathan won the Silver Yusr for Best Director for the Tunisian film Harka, the star of which, Adam Bessa, won the award for Best Actor.

The film tells the story of Ali, a young Tunisian man who barely makes a living selling contraband gas and suddenly finds himself in charge of his two younger sisters after his father’s death.

Adila Bendimerad won the Silver Yusr for Best Actress for her role in The Last Queen. The Algerian period epic tells the story of the legendary Queen Zaphira.

Saudi actress and filmmaker Sarah Taibah won the Chopard Young Rising Star Award.

The Film AlUla Best Saudi Film Award went to How I Got There, by Zeyad Al Husaini. The film follows two friends who come across a shipment of guns and see it as an opportunity to make a fortune.

The Film AlUla Audience Award, meanwhile, was given to Ajoomma by He Shuming. The film centres on a widow obsessed with Korean soap operas who travels to Seoul.

The Jury Prize was given to the Saudi film Within Sand by Mohammed Alatawi. Reza Jamali’s Childless Village won the best screenplay award.

The Golden Yusr for short film went to On my Father’s Grave by Jawahine Zentar. The silver award was given to Will my Parents Come to See me, by Muhamed Bashiir Harawe.

The Virtual Reality Golden Yusr was given to From the Main Square by Pedro Harres. The Virtual Reality Silver Yusr was awarded to to Eurydice by Celine Daemen.

“These past eight days have proven that this moment is more than just a festival. It's a foundation with a mission to create a global creative community,” Jomana Al Rashed, the festival’s chairwoman, said during the ceremony.

“We explored the world of film in all its angles, its impact on influence, its power, and its ability to shape opinion, to educate and to inspire," Al Rashed said.

"Our work continues. Our support continues our effort to provide opportunities for new filmmakers for women and young people.

"That, too, will continue.”

Updated: December 09, 2022, 9:49 AM