Doha: If people weren't talking about film maker Mahmoud Kaabour before the Doha Tribeca Film Festival they certainly will be now.
The Lebanese director took Teta, Alf Marra to the event this year and it proved a resounding success with both film fans and judges, scooping the Audience Award for Best Documentary and a special jury mention for Kabbour.
The 48-minute film, a UAE/Qatar/Lebanon co-production, was made possible by the financial support of the Doha Film Institute and Screen Institute Beirut. It also marked the first film to be made by Kaabour’s company, Veritas Films, based at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi.
The Best Documentary award was presented to Mahmoud Kaabour and Eva Star Sayre by screen legend Robert De Niro who handed over a $100,000 cash prize
"I am humbled by this honor and deeply moved," said Kaabour who took his grandmother, about who the film is based, to the red carpet in Doha – the first time she has left Lebanon in more than 20 years. "I hope that this recognition will serve to remind my audiences of the labor and love of grandmothers the world over."
Hawi won Best Arab Film and Balls picked up the award for Best Arab Filmmaker in recognition for its screenplay
The First Grader and Grandma, A Thousand Times won the Audience Awards for Best Narrative Film and Best Documentary Film. The prize for Best Arab Short Film went to Sirwar Zirkly's Missing.