Emirati director Majid Al Ansari has been awarded Variety’s coveted Arab Filmmaker of the Year Award at the Berlin International Film Festival this weekend.
This year’s award was jointly presented by leading entertainment trade magazine Variety and the Arab Cinema Center – an international platform to promote Arab cinema and provide access to the best of Arab talent, films and companies participating in key film festivals.
Majid, who began his career as an intern at Image Nation, released his debut feature film produced by Image Nation, Zinzana, in 2015 and has received international acclaim from critics, with many calling him the “Tarantino of the Middle East.’
His first short film, Intruder! gained him a Golden Palm award at Mexico’s International Film Festival, as well as an honourable mention at the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival and an excellence award at Puerto Rico’s Rincon International Film Festival.
Past winners of the award include Jordanian director, Naji Abu Nowar, director of the recently Oscar nominated Theeb and multi-award winning Algerian director Marzak Allouache (Omar Gatlato). As well as the award recognising Arab filmmakers, this year’s film festival in Berlin is screening over 20 film’s from the region, more than ever before.