The 28th Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage (JCC), a festival of African and Arab cinema films, ended on November 11th in Tunis with an award ceremony at the Théâtre Municipal.
While the majority of Tanit d’Or were won by films from sub-Saharan Africa, North African films nevertheless did well, convincing the various juries: drama, chaired by Palestinian director Michel Khleifi; documentary, chaired by Belgian director Thierry Michel; and first film, chaired by Tunisian economist Hakim Ben Hamouda.
Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaidi’s feature film Volubilis won the Bronze Tanit in the feature film category. Selected at the last Venice Film Festival, Bensaidi’s film is a love story between a security guard and a maid, a romance thwarted by a violent event which changes everything.
Algeria is well represented by Karim Moussaoui’s feature En attendant les hirondelles, a study of contemporary Arab society through portraits of three Algerians. It won the Best Editing Award.
Winner of the Tanit d’Or in 2016 with her documentary Zaineb n’aime pas la neige, Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania this year won the UGTT Award for the script of her latest feature film, La belle et la meute.
Another Tunisian film did very well, Walid Mattar’s first feature Vent du Nord, about a French worker and a Tunisian whose paths cross when a French company moves to North Africa. The film collected three awards: Best Screenplay, the Golden Tanit for Best First Film and TV5 World’s Special Award.
Also of particular interest are Mohamed Sia’s Egyptian film Force Majeure, which won the CNCI Image Award, and two Palestinian documentaries, Raed Andoni’s Ghost Hunting and May Odeh and Riham Al Ghazali’s Gaza by her, both of which were given honourable mentions.
In all, 51 films from Africa and the Arab world were shown in the official competition of the 2017 JCC. A record audience was announced by the organizers, with 250,000 viewers counted in one week.
The complete list of award winners can be found at this link