Hanging Gardens wins top prize at Critics Awards for Arab Films

The Blue Caftan and Harka also snag awards

by Amber Wilkinson

Hanging Gardens
Hanging Gardens
Hanging Gardens has been named best film at the 7th Critics Awards for Arab Films, which were presented at Cannes Film Festival.

The Iraq-set film directed by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji tells the story of a young boy who finds a sex doll on a rubbish dump on the outskirts of Baghdad.

The awards are run by the Arab Cinema Centre and were voted on by 193 film critics from 72 countries.

Lubna Azabal won the best actress award for her role in Maryam Touzani’s The Blue Caftan, which led the nominations and which also picked up the awards for best screenplay for Touzani and cinematography for Virginie Surdej.

The best directing and editing awards went to Youssef Chebbi and Valentin Féron respectively for Tunisian thriller Ashkal.

Adam Bessa, was named best actor for Harka. The best documentary went to Jumana Manna for Foragers, which considers the conflict over foraged food between Israelis and Palestinians.

Full awards below

  • Best Film: Hanging Gardens, dir. Ahmed Yassin Aldaradji (Iraq)
  • Best Actor: Adam Bessa, Harka (Tunisia)
  • Best Actress: Lubna Azabal, The Blue Caftan (Morocco)
  • Best Director: Youssef Chebbi, Ashkal (Tunisia)
  • Best Screenplay: Maryam Touzani-Nabil Ayouch, The Blue Caftan (Morocco)
  • Best Documentary: Foragers, Jumana Manna (Palestine)
  • Best Cinematography: Virginie Surdej, The Blue Caftan
  • Best Editing: Valentin Féron, Ashkal
  • Best Music: Amin Bouhafa, Under The Fig Trees (Tunisia)
  • Achievement Award for Film Critic: Safaa Ellaithy, Olivier Barlet

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