Abu Dhabi Sanad fund wins big in Berlin

Director Mohamed Ben Attia and producer Dora Bouchoucha Fourati, left, accept the award for Best First Feature during the awards ceremony of the 66th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany. Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters
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Abu Dhabi's Sanad fund's success seeems set to continue, whether Theeb picks up the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday night or not.

Three films that were funded by Sanad have picked up major awards at this year's Berlin Film Festival - Mohamed Ben Attia, director of Hedi, received the 50,000 Euro Best First Feature Award at the closing ceremony, and the film's lead actor Majd Mastour received the Silver Bear for Best Actor as part of the official competition awards.

Tamer El Said, director of In the Last Days of the City, meanwhile, received the Caligari Film Prize of 5,000 Euros and Maher Abi Samra, director of A Maid for Each, received the distinguished Peace Film Prize, another 5,000 Euro winner.

Both of these films received support through SANAD at various stages of their production. Mahdi Fleifel, a previous Sanad grantee for his widely acclaimed film A World Not Ours (2012), won the Silver Bear Jury Prize for Short Film for this year's A Man Returned.

Ali Al Jabri, Director of SANAD said: “This achievement is a testament to SANAD’s success in supporting and developing international quality Arab films. It also demonstrates twofour54’s continued support for Arab filmmakers in the region.”