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AVE MARIA wins 2nd place at INTERFILM, Berlin

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Winning its Ninth Award before Arab World Premiere

AVE MARIA wins 2nd place at INTERFILM, Berlin



Ahead of its Arab world premiere, Basil Khalil's AVE MARIA wins its fourth award in less than a month. The film won 2nd place in the Confrontations competition for films against violence and intolerance at the 31st International Short Film Festival of Berlin (INTERFILM), which showcased 500 shorts from all over the world including distinctive Arab films. The Confrontations Competition focuses on anti-violence films.

AVE MARIA will be in competition at the Muhr Short Competition at 12th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) from 9th - 16th December, landing its Arab world premiere. Prior to that, AVE MARIA will screen at 10 other festivals in Croatia, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Thailand, France and Canada.

AVE MARIA's international journey began with its world premiere in the Short Film Competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015, 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. Recently, Basil Khalil was awarded a prize for Best Director at Cervignano Film Festival in Italy, Second Prize for Best Short Film at the 5th International Short Film Festival of Cyprus, Best Short Film at Adana Golden Boll Mediterranean Short Film Festival in Turkey, the GREEN S.O.S Award for short films concerning humanity and environmental issues at the Kaoshiung Film Festival in Taiwan, and the Audience Award at 37th CINEMED International Mediterranean Film Festival in Montpellier, France.

To date, AVE MARIA has been well received at more than 45 international film festivals in 24 different countries, including Australia, France, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, USA, Sweden, Greece and the United Kingdom, with more being announced regularly.

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 Yáñez, 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.