Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s VAF Wildcard-winning short Brothers grabbed the First Prize at this year’s fourth edition of the Baghdad International Film Festival (3-7 October). The third prize also went to a Flemish short: Anke Blondé’s Dura Lex.

Still from Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah's BrothersBrothers (pictured on the right) tells the tragic story of two young men of the same age that follow opposite paths in their lives, which cross in the end. The fest’s International Jury considered it ‘a film with a well-written script and a perfect dramatic structure, with strong characters, that is emotionally touching and full of tension.’

Brothers, which is the young filmmakers’ graduation project, also won El Arbi and Fallah a VAF Wildcard from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, giving their professional career a kickstart thanks to a 60,000 euros production grant as well as coaching for their next project.

Dura Lex tells the story of a young woman, who is hiding an illegal immigrant. 'It's a very good example of how a tragic issue can be told by means of an entertaining story-telling,' commented the Jury. 'Besides, the film has an ending that asks the audience to imagine how the story might go on. Thus, a second film starts in the audience’s mind.' Anke Blondé’s short, produced by local powerhouse Menuet (The Misfortunates), already won awards at fests such as Palm Springs and Bristol.

Published on Sunday 14 October 2012