Sunday, April 10, 2011

Awards at the Kuwait International Film Retreat

To Rest in Peace won three awards at the first annual Kuwait International Film Retreat! We placed second in editing and directing, and first in cinematography.

If you attended the screening, and missed Leah Curtis's award-winning song for the end credits due to the technical glitch, you can listen to it here:

Congrats to the other winners, Dawood Shuail, Meqdad Al-Kout, Marwa Marafie, and Jude Chehab. And, of course, Mousaed Khaled and Mansour Al-Mansour, who won special jury prizes for acting. There were also some great legends of Kuwaiti and Egyptian cinema who were honoured at the event. It was wonderful to see them in person.

Congrats also to Hasan Abdal for his excellent film War Zone. I've had the great pleasure to see several films by Hasan over the years. This one starts off as an action drama, but turns into an Abdal-esque comedy of the imagination. There is such a quality of childlike wonder to his vision, reminiscent of E. T., Hook and Indiana Jones. If his career fulfills its promise, I imagine some future Drew Casper will be lecturing on his oeuvre as the arab Steven Spielberg.

The picture above is of me with Ali Younis, the talented cinematographer for War Zone, who was indispensable for the Kuwait unit of To Rest in Peace.

Unfortunately, my friend Vachan Sharma's film Tokai was not screened, but you can see it on YouTube. The film was co-directed by Abdulrahman Alaskar, and Abeer Tebawi.

This was a great beginning for Kuwaiti cinema. Thanks to the visionaries who put it together. And a personal thanks to Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah, Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah, Yousef Al-Malik and Abdul Sattar Naji, who very generous with their hospitality and praise of the film. Thanks also to Abdulreda BenSalem and Tarek Jammal, who went above and beyond to organize the events.

I look forward to what the next year will bring!


  1. Thanks for your support Fawaz and Congratulations on winning at the fest. You did it! - Vachan