Amira by Mohamed Diab and A Story of Love and Desire by Leyla Bouzid are captivating

After 10 days of event guided by the tireless kindness of Ginella Vocca and the competence of the team composed of Giulio Casadei, Gianfranco Pannone, Alessandro Zoppo and Veronica Flora, the Jury of the Official Competition, composed by Leonardo Di Costanzo, Ippolita Di Majo, Mathilde Henrot, Francesca Mazzoleni, Melania Mazzucco awarded the AMORE E PSICHE Award for Best Film: Amira di Mohamed Diab (Egypt / Jordan / UAE, 2021, 101’)

“He film, inspired by news reports such as the smuggling of semen from life-time inmates for terrorism into Israeli prisons, tells from an unprecedented angle the conflict that divides two peoples and two worlds. The tragic journey of seventeen-year-old Palestinian Amira in search of her identity questions the authentic meaning of belonging and becomes a theorem on the excitement of hatred, on the suffocating social control of a closed microcosm, on female oppression and the absence of freedom, of a radicalism that cannot fail to disturb and upset ".

The same was recognized with the AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD assigned by the spokesperson Riccardo Nouryc with the following motivation:

“Amira is a beautiful film, which has the advantage of using a screenplay, a director and actors perfectly harmonized and inspired. This allows the work to present a little-known real story and at the same time denounce the violations of human rights perpetrated by the institutions or due to traditional misogynistic and discriminatory systems. But also to generate, and it is another of the merits of this film, a more intimate and profound reflection, and more universal, on their formation and evolution as human beings, on the choices that affect life, on the authentic freedom of such choices ".

Amira also imposed herself on the students' popular jury with the motivated special mention: “It deals with a politically very delicate and little treated issue, with the gaze of a teenager who finds himself questioning his own identity, through choices greater than her ".

Instead the SPECIAL JURY Award went to A story of love and desire di Leyla Bouzid (France / Tunisia, 2021, 102’)

“The film of a young director who explores in depth, precision and tenderness the Arab identity, through the meeting of a young boy born in France of Algerian parents with a young Tunisian who has just arrived in Paris. Each is confronted with its cultural references, those transmitted and those imagined, and at his own desire. From these complexities the desire for life triumphs ".

Which also won the VALENTINA PEDICINI AWARD - Best first and second work awarded to the jury of composed by Alfredo Covelli, Gaia Furrer and Tiziana Triana with the following motivation:

“In this first edition of the award dedicated to the director Valentina Pedicini, that she used to visit little explored physical and mental areas in her works, describing the unhinging of traditional models, we award the film "A story of love and desire" for the sensitivity and intelligence with which the young Franco-Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid revisits the typical mechanisms of romantic comedy, giving them a new and updated sense of the present time. The film describes with poetry, sensuality and using literary references that are never predictable, a sentimental education in which it is the woman who is more emancipated and adherent to her desires than the man is. And it is in this reversal of stereotypes and in the ability to tell fragility, male shyness and disorientation, which is the importance and universal scope of the film ".

The same film made a hat-trick with the MORE CULTURE AWARD awarded by the jury composed of Jada Bai (China), Roxana Jan. (Romania), Sarah Fortunée Tabbakh (Lebanon), Saida Hamouyehy (Morocco), Idris Jamali (Afghanistan), Sonia Lima Morais (Cape Verde), Mykhaylo Vovchyk (Ukraine) the following reasons:

“The story is emotionally involved: delicate, intima, able to go deep into the troubles and passions of the enterprising and more open Farah, born and raised in Tunisia, and shy Ahmed, French of Algerian origin, who met in a French literature course at the Sorbonne. The link between literature and desire is beautiful: the words of the literary quotations evoke other horizons and make you dream. Ahmed's discovery of erotic and sensual Arabic poetry is interesting, of which generally little is known, due to prejudices and an impoverished idea of ​​Arab culture. But more generally, the film well represents that restless search for self-knowledge and one's place in the world. Convincing acting, which makes the chemistry palpable between the two protagonists; enjoyable the pace of the film. In short, a film that focuses on the theme of the encounter between diversity, characterized by conflict, but also from the beauty of discovery. And we of the Piùculture Jury, of non-Italian origin, we recognized ourselves in many aspects of the film ".

Instead the ARTISTIC EXPRESSION Award for the best direction: Mariner of the Mountains at Karim Aïnouz (Brazil / France / Germany, 2021, 98’)

“A trip to Kabilia, birthplace of a father fleetingly met only in adulthood and a letter in pictures to the beloved mother who recently passed away. A letter as a diary of an intimate search for origins that at times crosses the Great History of the Algerian revolution. The award goes to a film in which words, different images and elements wisely held between associations and counterpoints, masterfully weave a story that involves, captures and moves ".

On the front of the INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION the Jury, composed by 13 students of film schools of France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain and Tunisia, e 3 representatives of inmates from prisons involved in the Methexis project (Rebibbia Prison New Complex, Roma Rebibbia prison house, Rome Rebibbia Female Prison) It decreed:

METHEXIS Award for Best Short Film: The Departure of Saïd Hamich (Morocco / France, 2020, 25’)

“A story that knows how to tell through the eyes of a child the social drama that affects an entire country: that of immigration of the younger generations is a theme that sadly unites the countries of the Mediterranean. There remains only the promise of being able to return, sooner or later, at home. All through a direction that manages to evoke sounds, colors and flavors of a very clear childhood imagination, of love and maternal caresses, of the indelible memory of the places of one's past ".

CERVANTES ROMA Award for the most creative short film: Holy son of Aliosha Massine (Italy, 2021, 20’)

“For the brilliant reinterpretation of the Nativity in a modern key. A story that has as its strong point the investigation of human psychologies within a couple crisis, with a completely new irreverent and shrewd taste. Free interpretation leaves the viewer the possibility of imagining infinite scenarios and meanings. The suspended atmosphere gives the story a dreamlike dimension like that of the protagonist's dream: and citing one of the inmates of the Rebibbia Women's Prison, “how many times have we had these dreams within the four walls of our cell? It could have been one of our dreams”.

Honorable mentions:

Have a Nice Dog! in Jalal Maghout (Syria / Germany, 2020, 13’)

“Have a Nice Dog! for the originality in telling the desperation of a man in a country at war. The use of the character's inner conflict as a means to denounce a conflict that involves an entire country represents a strong directorial choice ".

High in the hearts of Adrian Moyse Dullin (France, 2021, 15’)

“Haut les coeurs for reporting bullying, the friendship and complicity of the boys in an unexpected way: the world “social” and the real world mix with each other and then, on the final, give a clear division between what really matters and what doesn't ".


The MedFilm Works in Progress Jury, composed by Paolo Bertolin, Christophe Leparc and Elhum Shakerifar decreed:

PREMIO OIM (10.000 euro): A hero of our Time di Mirac Atabey (Turkey)

"An ambitious first feature with a very personal style built through long-standing creative collaborations in northeastern Turkey. We were struck by the clarity of the project and Miraç Atabey's commitment to formal choices, as well as the narrative elegance of the film, which subtly speaks of the generational issues of our time ".

STADION VIDEO AWARD (English subtitles + DCP creation): About Cairo in Hala Galal (Egypt)

“A recognition of his spirit of solidarity, and the urgency of his message. We hope that this award underlines our desire to see the film reach national and international audiences ".


I 76 students of La Sapienza University (ISO Department Italian Institute of Oriental Studies, Department of Philosophy, Department of Art History and Entertainment), Tor Vergata (Department of History, Cultural heritage, Training and Society), Roma Tre (Department of Philosophy, Communication, Show), University of International Studies of Rome UNINT and Link Campus, UNIMED and Luiss awarded the following prizes:

Best Feature Film: Good Mother di Hafsia Herzi (France, 2020, 99’)

"The role of the protagonist played by a non-professional actress sculpts a realistic and at the same time poetic and poignant female figure. Through the characterization of the characters it is possible to return a faithful portrait of the social reality of the French periphery ".

Special mention: Amira di Mohamed Diab (Egypt / Jordan / UAE, 2021, 101’)

best short Film: The Departure of Saïd Hamich Benlarbi (Morocco / France, 2020, 25’)

“Through the simplicity of a child's gaze, this film touched on deep and ever-present problems, managing to excite the audience ".

Special mention: Have a Nice Dog di Jalal Maghout (Syria / Germany, 2020, 13’)

"Profoundly appreciated was the film's ability to examine the protagonist's anguish through an animation that is both original and disturbing at the same time".

Leave a Reply