Best Film and Best Actress Awards
The Reports on Sarah and Saleem Reaps Two Awards at the Durban International Film Festival
Director Muayad Alayan's Palestinian film The Reports on Sarah and Saleem wins the Best Film Award and the Best Actress Award for star Maisa Abd Elhadi at the 39th edition of the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa.
In his speech, director Muayad Alayan mentioned that he would like to dedicate this award to all filmmakers in this world who are defying injustice with their films and their arts. Palestinian star Maisa Abd Elhadi added that it was an honor to play in a Palestinian film that reflects the true strength and resilience of Arab women. She also thanked director Muayad Alayan for trusting her with the role of Bisan.
The feature film The Reports on Sarah and Saleem by brothers Rami and Muayad Alayan won five International awards so far; since its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), where it won the Special Jury Award for Best Screenplay and the Audience Award (Hubert Bals) within the festival's official Tiger Hivos Competition. The film marked the first Palestinian feature film to be selected in the festival's Official Competition in addition to being the sole Arab participation this year. The film also won the Best Feature Award at the Seattle International Film Festival.
The film is directed by Muayad Alayan and written by Rami Alayan. Set in Jerusalem, Sarah and Saleem are having an extramarital affair that ignites a dangerous game of deceit between those who hold power and those who don't.
The film won the production support of the Arab Fund for the Arts and Culture (AFAC), Film Lab Palestine, Berlinale World Cinema Fund (WCF), Hubert Bals Development Fund (HBF), the Netherlands Film Fund + HBF and the HBF + Europe coproduction scheme among others.
Directed by Muayad Alayan, The Reports on Sarah and Saleem stars Maisa Abd Elhadi, Adeeb Safadi and Kamel El Basha and written by Rami Alayan. The film is a joint production between PalCine Productions in Palestine and co-producers KeyFilm in the Netherlands, Manderley Films GmbH in Germany, and Monofilms in Mexico. The leading Arab world partner, MAD Solutions, handles the distribution of the film in the Arab world.
Muayad Alayan is a Palestinian film director, producer and cinematographer based in Jerusalem. He completed his film studies in San Francisco, Alayan returned to Palestine with the goal of making organic cinema by and about Palestinians as a community; a cinema made through the participation of people coming together to tell stories, against all odds and with means that creatively defy limitations. At the age of 22, Alayan tested his vision with his first narrative short, Lesh Sabreen?, which was made with the participation of youths and young adults in his home village, focusing on their experiences and concerns of youths living in Jerusalem under the occupation. The film premiered in a competition at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France in 2009 and went on to compete at several other prestigious festivals, such as Palm Springs Short Festival and Dubai Film Festival, in addition to over 60 other festivals in 25 countries worldwide. In 2016, Alayan took part in the Berlinale Talents platform.
Rami Alayan is a designer, filmmaker and producer. He holds a professional certificate in feature film writing from the UCLA Extension School as well as a master's and two bachelor degrees in computer science and business management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Alayan's debut as a film director was in 2011, with his short film Private Sun. The film was selected at over 70 film festivals all around the world, including Palm Springs Shortfest, Montreal World Film Festival, Filckers Rhode Island Film Festival and DC Shorts. It won nine awards including five for Best Short Film.
Since its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, Alayan Brothers' feature debut Love, Theft and Other Entanglements has received wide acclaim at film festivals around the world. The film won Best Narrative award at the 19th Arab Film Festival (AFF) in San Francisco, USA. It also competed within the Official Competition for Debut Feature Films at the 26th Carthage Film Festival, selected at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), where it took part in the Arabian Nights section. Love, Theft and Other Entanglements also participated at the Seattle International Film Festival in USA, Taipei Film Festival in Taiwan, Galway Film Flead in Ireland and the Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada.