Monday, October 20, 2008

Captain Abu Raed wins Grand Prize at Heartland

"Captain Abu Raed," a Jordanian drama about a janitor who pretends to be an airline pilot, took the top prize at the 2008 Heartland Film Festival on Saturday night. Writer/director Amin Matalqa won the $100,000 grand prize for Best Dramatic Feature, the largest cash award given by any U.S. film festival. The film stars Nadim Sawalha as a humble but wise man who is mistaken for a pilot by the children in his neighborhood, and delights them with fictional stories of his adventures. "At Sundance, we won the award for world cinema. I was so excited, and got up on stage and said, 'I think we can make movies that make a difference.' And I felt like such a doofus, because it was such an idealist thing to say," Matalqa said.
"And here we are 10 months later, and I feel like we're being appreciated, and there is a place where these movies are here to make a difference. It feels like it's just the beginning."


Anonymous sherrydaley said...

I saw your movie at the Ridge Theatre in Vancouver during the Vancouver Int'l Film Festival. You introduced the film, and had a question/answer session afterwards. At the end, I went past you, I was going to stop to tell you I think you have made a beautiful thing in making this movie, but you were talking to someone already. You looked back at me over your shoulder, but I could not stay. Your movie is easily the best film I've seen at any of the VIFF screenings I've been to, in any year. Congratulations.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Nas said...

you know how indie films have the awards they've won in between these golden wreaths on the dvd cover...i think you're going to need a bigger cover :-D


3:03 PM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

Thank you. We have even bigger news to announce next week. :-)

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that's exciting and everything, but what we really want to know is: "Are you coming to the Claddagh tonight?" ; )

Congratulations again from everyone at Heartland!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Ray said...

Great job !
Sorry we couldn't hook up when you were in town - maybe next time !!
I know your target is to get the "statue" - we're all pulling for you.

2:13 PM  

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