'Félicité' Wins FCAT 2017's Highest Prize
Photo Credit: FCAT 2017
Festivals , Film

'Félicité' Wins FCAT 2017's Highest Prize

FCAT 2017
FCAT 2017

“Félicité” by Alain Gomis was named the best fiction feature film at the 14th edition of the African Film Festival of Tarifa and Tangier (FCAT 2017),  the festival’s highest prize, which also opened this year’s festival.

The Best Feature Film award Jury composed of Moroccan actor and director Faouzi Bensaïdi, the film aesthetics professor and film researcher Ikbal Zalila and Egyptian filmmaker Jihan El Tahri, who awarded, the Best Feature Film Fiction award, to Félicité.

“This is excellent news and a true honor for me,” said Alain Gomis in a statement sent to the festival, which also dedicated an entire retrospective section to his filmography. “Now with this prize I regret even more that I could not be present among you,” he added, writing in from Seoul, where his film was being premiered. “Right now my deepest thoughts are directed to the film crew, to all the actors, in particular the great actress Véro Tschanda Beya, the singer Muambuyi, the musicians and the population of Kinshasa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which continues to suffer great political instability. I wish you all the creative and enduring strength with which you have inspired the world for so many years,” he concluded.

“Félicité,” a film that’s on the S&A 2018 Oscar potentials list, continues to rack up critical acclaim and awards.

Honorine Munyole, the protagonist of the film “Maman Colonelle”, was awarded the best actress trophy. Directed by Dieudo Hamadi, the jury gave this edition’s most original award to Munyole for creating a universal portrait of a brave and tenacious police woman officer working to protect women and children in the war-haunted areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The jury explained that “the presence of the camera turns a person into a character”, regardless of the character of the film, whether fiction or documentary.

The Tunisian feature length film “Akher wahed fina” (“The last of us”) by Ala Eddine Slim was named the best Arabic feature film, while the Algerian documentary “Atlal” by Djamel Kerkar won for best documentary.

In this 14th edition of the festival, a large number of North African films were showcased. The jury opted for Ala Eddine Slim’s “The Last of Us” as the best Arabic feature film. The film, without dialogue or voiceover, defies conventional cinema, poetically narrating the story of a young man who plans to cross the sea towards Europe. His journey through different and infinite spaces finally comes to a meeting with an altered image of himself.

“Atlal” is a non-fiction feature film that breaks conventional filmmaking rules and tells the story of a small village near Algiers which suffered heavily the consequences of terrorism from 1991 until 2002. “Atlal” is Kerkar’s first feature film, which also already won at FID Marseille, as well as at Med Film Festival in 2016.

The Audience Award was given to Swiss-Burkinabe film “Wallay,” directed by Berni Goldblat. “Wallay” is also selected for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, as Goldblat announced in Tarifa. The film tells the story of Ady, a 13-year-old boy who lives in France, and whom his father decides to send to Burkina Faso, his country of origin.

The FCAT 2017 Youth Jury, formed by Gumer Praena, Alba Sánchez and María Ufuoma, awarded the best short film award to “Facing the Wall” by Alamork Davidian (Ethiopia/Israel, 2016) and gave a special mention to Damien Ounouri’s “Kindil El Bahr” (Algeria/Kuwait/USA, 2016).

Six awards were given at the closing ceremony of the 14th African Film Festival of Tarifa and Tangier, which took place from April 28 until May 6, in Tarifa, Spain, and from April 30 until May 5 in Tangier, Morocco.

The 14th edition of the African Film Festival of Tarifa and Tangier (FCAT 2017) presented 70 films coming from 30 countries, mostly in Africa. Among the programmed films, 20 were premieres in Spain and 26 competed for awards.

FCAT, the only festival specializing in African cinema in the Hispanic world, took place from April 28 to May 6, 2017 in Tarifa, Spain. For the second year in a row, the festival also took place at the Cinémathèque de Tanger, on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar, in Morocco, from April 30 to May 5.

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