Give Up the Ghost by Zain Duraie Wins El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Short Film
Last night, the Jordanian short film Give Up the Ghost won El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Short Film at the closing ceremony of El Gouna Film Festival. The award was received by the film's director Zain Duraie. This marks the festival's Arab premiere following its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
The film's Arab world premiere, which was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, was a full house event as tickets sold out before the screening dates on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Give Up the Ghost tells the story of Salam whose dreams of becoming a mother shatters when she finds out that she is unable to have children with her husband. Written and directed by Zain Duraie and produced by Tabi360 (Alaa Alasad), the film brings together Maria Zurek and Zaid Bakri in the leading roles and is shot by DOP Benoit Chamaillard. MAD Solutions handles the film's distribution in the Arab world.
Zain Duraie has worked on several regional and international films. As part of her graduation project at Toronto Film School in 2009, she wrote and directed two short films. In 2010, she kick started her career in the filmmaking world as a trainee at Philistine Films with prestigious filmmaker Annemarie Jacir and acclaimed producer Ossama Bawardi. She worked on projects in different stages; from pre-production to post-production, including When I Saw You, The Rendezvous, Thank You for Bombing and Wajib. Philistine Films also produced Horizon, Duraie's debut film in her own right which had its world premiere at Palm Springs Shorts fest and won the Best of the Fest Selects. The film also screened at several film festivals; Montreal World Film Fest, Cannes Short Corner, to name a few.
Her latest film Never Leave Me, Duraie was selected in 2017 to work with acclaimed Bosnian filmmaker Aida Begić in Turkey/ Sanliurfa. Afterwards, Duraie began developing her feature film screenplay abroad, which was selected out of 70 countries with only one other participant to be developed with the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Academy and in parallel with its selection at Meditalents Residence and Torino Film Lab. Duraie just finished shooting her recent short film Give up the Ghost, which released in earlier in 2019 and won a Special Mention at the MAFF Market Forum in 2018.