Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Moroccan production company snaps up 15 awards

From 'Let's Dream of a New World'
Dounia Benjelloun

Dounia Productions, Casablanca, Morocco, swept up 15 awards plus a nomination for Best of Festival –Corporate for its four entries in the 2016 U.S. International Film & Video Festival. Dounia Benjelloun, a graduate of American University, was the producer on all of films. She also owns Sand Hills Productions.

"Let's Dream of a New World," done for BMCE Bank, received a Best of Festival-Corporate  nomination for direction, two Gold Camera Awards (for Direction and Cinematography), and a Silver Screen Award for Music. The entry used images of knights crossing the desert to a citadel in an oasis and finally to an urban, global world. The sequence represented the expansion of BMCE Bank worldwide. Director was Juan Solanas; cinematographer was Steven Pettiteville. Others on the project included Sound by Sigma Technologies, composer Ludovic Bource, production manager Karim Wahib and actor Nicolas Cazale.

"Women in Amazigh Music" won a Silver Screen Award in Documentary Cinematography and three Certificates for Creative Excellence in Direction, Editing and Short Documentary. In the course of the film, the viewer meets and listens to individuals and troupes of musicians both in Amazigh and in English as they sing and dance in the tradition of Berber culture. In the 25-minute film the viewer hears and sees most of the genres of music in the various regions of Morocco. The film concludes with the live concert of a modern women's music group. Contributors to the project included director Farida Benlyazid, cinematographer Hamid Ait Lachquareand Editor Abderrahim Mettour. This same crew were part of two more winning works, "Amazigh Wedding in the Anergui Valley" and “The Little Maestros.”

"Amazigh Wedding in the Anergui Valley" received a Silver Screen Award in Documentary Feature and two Certificates for Creative Excellence for Craft/Production Techniques in Cinematography and the Use of Music. The Anergui Valley, near Zaouia Hanzala in the Tadla Azilal region, is ringed by mountains and hard to reach but traditions remain strong. Film of the wedding captured the characteristic chanting and dancing of participants along with the costumes, jewelry and carpet patterns of the area.  The men are tasked with buying all that is necessary for the ceremony to be successful.

"The Little Maestros" earned five Certificates of Creative Excellence in Cinematography, Use of Music, Direction, Editing and Documentary Feature. The most visible expression of Amazigh or Berber culture is found in the Atlas, where it dates back 3,000 years with its sung poetry, music and dances. Many young children, like the little maestros in the film, participate from a very early age and represent the continuation and revival of the Amazigh culture. Moroccan youth are motivated to join in the dance and to express their dreams for the future.  

The competition gave 19 Gold Camera, 36 Silver Screen, 88 Certificates for Creative Excellence and three Student awards. More information can be found at www.filmfestawards.comwww.filmfestawards.com and http://douniaproductions.com/

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