AVE MARIA Adds Two Awards to Its Wall of Achievements

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AVE MARIA Adds Two Awards to Its Wall of Achievements

Basil Khalil's film AVE MARIA has won the Second Prize for Best Short Film at the 5th International Short Film Festival of Cyprus which ended on October 23rd. In an official statement, the jury commented that the prize was granted to the film due to its style which "has made use of a sarcastic situation by intelligent filmmakers to shed light on the current problems in that part of the world."

Last month AVE MARIA was also awarded Best Short Film at Adana Golden Boll Mediterranean Short Film Festival in Turkey.

AVE MARIA's international journey began with its world premiere in the Short Film Competion at the Cannes Film Festival in May, followed by Festival du Film Court de Grenoble France's longest-standing short film festival, where it won Best Screenplay Award. The film also received a Special Mention for Best Live Action Short Film at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival (North America's largest short film festival) in addition to the 1st place award in the HP Bridging The Borders Awards, presented by Cinema Without Borders. Recently, Basil Khalil was awarded a prize for Best Director in the Documentaries and Short Movies section at Cervignano Film Festival in Italy.

To date, AVE MARIA has been well received at more than 45 international film festivals in 20 different countries, including Australia, France, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, USA, Sweden, Greece and the United Kingdom, with more being announced on regular basis.

The 14 minute film tells the story of the Nuns of the 'Sisters of Mercy' Convent, in the middle of the West Bank wilderness, who have their daily routine of silence and prayer disrupted when a family of Jewish settlers come knocking at their door for help after crashing into the convent's wall.

The title of the film, "AVE MARIA", is Latin for "Hail Mary", an important Roman Catholic prayer. The film was written by Basil Khalil and Daniel Yez, and stars Maria Zreik, Huda Al Imam, Shady Srour, Ruth Farhi and Maya Koren. The film is produced by Incognito Films in Paris with the support of Robert Bosch Stiftung Fund in Germany.

French broadcaster Canal+ has bought the French pay-TV rights exclusively. MAD Solutions is the film's distributor in the Arab world and Ouat Media, an Academy Award winning sales company, is handling AVE MARIA's international distribution. Owned and operated by Channel Zero Inc, Ouat Media has contributed to the distribution of many short- and long award-winning films worldwide.