1 March 2019

Sudan: Saifeddin Hassan Wins Best Director Award

Film Director Saifeddin Hassan has won the Award of Best Director for the Ard Alsomor documentary series that depicts nearly all aspects of Sudanese culture, arts, economy, traditions, geography and demography.

The award was presented to Mr. Hassan by the Arab Center for Tourism Information on the sidelines of Berlin International Tourism Festival after a harsh competition of documentaries from all over the Arab World.

Some three million voters had e-mailed their choices of the best documentaries. Mr. Hassan has competed against 178 media men representing 17 of the Arab League's member countries.

The competing documentaries were sorted out by a panel of Arab academic media and tourism experts in cooperation with the Tunis-based International Academy for Communication Training, an affiliate of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU).

The ASBU is an Arab joint-action institution related to the League of Arab States and the Pan-Arab Association of Public Service and Commercial Broadcasters. It was founded in February of 1969 in Khartoum, It is headquartered in the Tunisian City of Tunis.

The documentary team had trodden nearly every corner of the vast country to document anything that is worth it. It was produced over two years when the anchors travelled for thousands of kilometers, visiting over 400 of Sudan's towns and villages with a view to reflecting the beauty of the Sudan's nature and the diversity of its people and economic resources and cultural life, matters even many Sudanese might not be thoroughly aware of.

Previously Mr. Hassan had won the best director award from the ASBU in 2018, among other awards.

What is so touching about the documentary is the camera work, taken from various angles and sometimes from high altitudes. Another touching aspect of the documentary is the accompanying music. Each of the series begins and ends with yet a captivating song that reads:

Land of the somor and Nile, and extensive civilization

We sought to be witness for thee, you land of beauty and good, you the paradise of countries

You, minaret of history, for the time is witness.

The terms Ard Alsomor can be translated to (The Land of the Brown People). The term somor (literally brown) is used in Arabic as an endearment of black people and also as an evasion of the term Aswad (black).

The Award was presented to Mr. Hassan as part of a competition organized by the Arab Center for Tourist Information on tourist documentary films. The occasion had attracted a massive audience of media and tourist experts from the Arab League Member states.

In a speech on the occasion Director Hassan said was indeed overjoyed by his victory which he considered a success for the Sudanese media and tourism. "It is also a success for all the documentary's team and a tremendous push towards globalism," he added.

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