North African cinema was the big winner at the 5th annual Dubai Film Festival, which wrapped up late last week, with the Franco-Algerian co-production Masquerades winning the Muhr Award for best film.
The comedy about an Algerian man who tries to marry off his narcoleptic sister, also won the festival’s inaugural Fipresci prize.
Another Franco-Algerian co-production, Dernier Maquis, won the special jury prize, as well as nods for editor and composer. The film is about a group of immigrant workers in a Paris suburb who protest when their boss attempts to build an on-site mosque.
Moroccan filmmaker Nour-Eddine Lakhmari’s Casanegra won the best actor prize - shared between Anas Elbaz and Omar Lotfi - as well as best cinematographer.
And, lastly, Algerian actress Hafsia Herzi picked up the best actress award for her turn in Moroccan director Souad El-Bouhati's debut feature Francaise.
I'm not sure if any of these films will ever reach American shores - likely not. But I'll certainly be on the alert.
Although the African Diaspora Film Festival is notable for its ability to attract films like these for those of us in these United States.
See the entire list of winners here: DUBAI FILM FEST