With Naji Abu Nowar Receiving the Orizzonti Award for Best Director
Theeb Reaps Its First Awards following Its World Premiere at Venice Film Festival
Following Theeb's successful world premiere at Venice Film Festival, director Naji Abu Nowarreceived the Orizzonti Award for Best Director for his first feature film at the festival's 71st edition, which came to a close on Saturday, September 6th, 2014.
The Orizzonti (New Horizon) is an international competition dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema. This year's edition witnessed a heated competition between 29 films from different nationalities across the world.
After winning the award, director Naji Abu Nowar commented, "This has been a remarkable experience. Theeb is my first feature film and this is my first Festival as a filmmaker. I am honored to have worked with such a great team and to have been recognized for this prestigious award at the Venice Film Festival. It is a dream came true. This one is for the Theeb tribe".
Receiving an overwhelmingly strong reception from international media and audiences, the film and its makers received a 10-minute standing ovation. Theeb screened with the attendance of director Naji Abu Nowar, actors Jacir Eid, Hassan Mutlag, Hussein Salameh and Jack Fox, along with producers Bassel Ghandour and Rupert Lloyd; and Executive Producer Nadine Toukan, in addition to Co-producers Nasser Kalaji, Laith Majali, Associate Producers Yanal Kassay and Eid Sweilhiyeen, Line Producer and Production Manager Diala Raie, Composer Jerry Lane and Cinematographer Wolfgang Thaler.
Theeb is a 100-minute desert adventure film which delves into the forgotten sand dunes of Arab history. Written and directed by Jordanian Naji Abu Nowar, the film is his feature directorial debut. The project was first started in 2010 and received a sponsorship from the Abu Dhabi Sanad Fund, the Doha Film Institute as well as the Visions Sud Est Fund.
Theeb is co-produced by Bayt Al Shawareb, which was founded by Jordanian Writer and Producer Bassel Ghandour, in association with Rupert Lloyd's Noor Pictures and Immortal Entertainment, with co-producers Nasser Kalaji and Laith Majali. Nadine Toukan is the Executive Producer of the film.
Set in the Arabian Desert of 1916, the film follows Theeb, a young Bedouin boy and his elder brother Hussein, as they leave the safety of their tribe to venture on a treacherous journey at the dawn of the Great Arab Revolt. If Theeb is to survive he must quickly learn about adulthood, trust and betrayal.
Theeb was shot in the Wadi Rum and Wadi Araba deserts of southern Jordan. The film was the result of collaboration between the filmmakers and the local Bedouin communities. It was cast entirely from the local tribesmen, who were given acting workshops during the eight months prior to principal photography. Co-scripted by Bassel Ghandour and Naji Abu Nowar, who also directed the film, Theeb stars Jacir Eid opposite of Hussein Salameh, Hassan Mutlag, along with Marji Audeh and Jack Fox.
Consisting of an international team, the film's crew includes Wolfgang Thaler, an award-winning Austrian Director of Photography. Meanwhile, the film's score is composed by British Composer Jerry Lane, the set was created by British Production Designer Anna Lavelle, and Rupert Lloyd, also British, worked on the film's editing.
Theeb marks the first feature film and second directorial effort for Jordanian filmmaker Naji Abu Nowar who kick-started his cinematic career in 2005 when he graduated from RAWI Screenwriters Lab, an initiative of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan created in conjunction with Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program.
In 2009, he wrote and directed his first short Death of a Boxer, which has been screened in several international film festivals including Palm Springs International Shortfest, Miami Short Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival and Franco-Arab Film Festival.