Hend Sabry wins Best Actress for 'Noura's Dream' at the Carthage Film Festival

The Tunisian actress said the feeling of winning an honour in her home country was 'indescribable'

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 07: Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film Jury member Hend Sabry walks the red carpet ahead of the closing ceremony of the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 07, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Powered by automated translation

Tunisian actress Hend Sabry won the Best Actress award at the Carthage Film Festival for her performance in Noura's Dream.

Hinde Boujemaa’s drama about a woman trying to escape the clutches of an abusive husband also won the prestigious Golden Tanit award for Best Feature Film at the Tunisian awards.

Sabry posted pictures on social media of herself with the Best Actress award and said the feeling was “indescribable”.

We spoke to Sabry in September about the role. She plays a woman who is trying to navigate relationships on her own terms and find long-­overdue happiness, while her small-time criminal husband, Sofiane (Lotfi Abdelli), is in jail. Saby explained that women all over the world will be able to relate to the character.

"It is not emblematic of one culture, it's a universal story," she said while in Toronto to promote the film. "It can be understood and felt by a woman in Sweden, a woman in Saudi Arabia, or a woman in Australia or a woman in Tunisia."

"I'm always looking for those gender issues or challenging issues about the condition of a woman. It's not a departure for me, but maybe a return to Tunisian cinema that is now in tune with my age, my experiences as a woman, motherhood. I don't think the Tunisian audience has seen me in a role like this in a Tunisian-speaking film in a long time."

There was also good news on the night for Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the UAE film and television company whose latest film, Scales, won the Bronze Tanit award in the Best Feature Film category.

Scales, which was written and directed by Saudi filmmaker Shahad Ameen, is a black-and-white fantasy about a young girl fighting an ancient tradition of sacrificing young girls to a sea monster. The film was shot in Oman and stars Basima Hajjar and Ashraf Barhom.

“I’m sure the Tunisian audience appreciated my bold and symbolic directorial approach of highlighting women’s social suffering and agonies,” said Sabry.

Scales, which recently won the Verona Film Club Award at the Venice International Film Festival Critics' Week, will now be screened at the Cairo International Film Festival.