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Fatwa Wins Golden Dhow Prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania

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Marking Its 17th Award

Fatwa Wins Golden Dhow Prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania


Director Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud's feature film, Fatwa, won the Golden Dhow Prize at the 21st Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania, marking its 17th international award after screening at many film festivals.

The film was awarded by a high profile jury from across the world, including producer and director Peter Amina, Mette Hjort, Chair Professor of Humanities and Dean of Arts at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Lizelle Bisschoff, Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, and Nadia Bulbulia, Executive Director of the National Association of Broadcasters South Africa.

Nadia Bulbulia praised the film, saying, "A poignant and powerful film with superb acting and impressive cinematography." Bulbulia also applauded the film's director, saying, "The director succeeds in portraying the devastating effects of radicalization in a seemingly liberal society."

Fatwa received 16 awards at international film festivals, including four awards at the Tunisian Film Festival; Best Screenplay, Best Décor, Best Male Performance, and Best Supporting Actress, Best Feature Film at the International Festival of Cinema and Audiovisual of Burundi (FESTICAB), Saad Eldin Wahba Award for Best Arab Film at theCairo International Film Festival, and the Grand Prix at the Festival Maghrébin du Film OUJDA in Morocco.

The film also won two awards at the Carthage Film Festival (JCC); Golden Tanit and Best Actor, three awards at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO); African Union Prize, a Special Mention and Bronze Stallion, Samir Farid Jury Prize at the Festival du Cinema Africain Khouribga (FCAK), Best Director at the Kimolos International Film Festival, Best Male Performer Award at the Vues d'Afrique - Festival International de Cinéma in Montreal, Canada, and the Silver Prize at the International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva (FIFOG) in Switzerland.

The film tells the story of Brahim, a Tunisian guy living in France, who decides to go back to Tunisia to attend his son's funeral, who passed away in a motorcycle accident. He then discovers that Marouane, his son, was militating with a radical Islamist group, so Brahim decides to identify the people who brainwashed his son until. The investigation leads him to doubt the circumstances surrounding his son's death.
Written and directed by Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud, Fatwa stars Ahmed Hafiane, Ghalia Benali, and Sarra Hannachi. The film is produced by Arts Distribution (Tunisia) and Les Films du Fleuve (Belgium), and MAD Solutions distributes the film in the Arab world.

Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud is a Tunisian director who graduated from the Free University of Bruxelles (Université libre de Bruxelles) in Brussels, Belgium. He received his Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Art History as well as Film Direction. He is currently a Professor of Screenwriting at the Department of Cinema of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at the Université libre de Bruxelles. Ben Mahmoud took part in the feature filmmaking industry after graduating from the Film Instituteas he began his career with the feature film, Crossings,in 1982, and then he made the film, Chichkhan,in 1991, followed by Qabwat El Zaman in 1999. With the beginning of the new millennium, he made his film, The Thousand and One Voices, which was screened at the Venice International Film Festival. After a long hiatus that ended in 2012, Ben Mahmoud's film The Professor came out. In 2018, he made his latest feature film, Fatwa, which received the Golden Tanit Prize at the Carthage Film Festival.