PERFECT STILLNESS WINS FIRST EVER SHORT+SWEET DUBAI THEATRE FESTIVAL
Perfect Stillness, a moving and funny tale of a husband struggling to write a eulogy for his wife, swept the awards at the Gala Final of the first ever Short+Sweet Dubai Theatre Festival, presented by Marina Home, 7DAYS and Emirates NBD, at DUCTAC on Saturday night.
Written by Jane Miller, Perfect Stillness won both major awards at the festival - Best Overall Production, as chosen by the judges, as well as the People’s Choice Award for the audience’s favourite play.
Aswathi Menon, who played Annie, also won Best Actress, while Rohit Prakash, who played the husband Tim, won Best Actor Runner-Up. The production was beautifully directed by Rashmi Kotriwala and also starred Majoe Mathew as Harrison.
The Best Actor award went to Mathivanan Rajendram, who travelled all the way from Chennai, for his portrayal of a hapless actor in The Lost Audition, presented by Stray Factory.
While the Best Actress Runner-up went to Niloofar Farzaneh for her hilarious portrayal of the feisty Mimi in No.22.
Best Director went to Sadia Noori for her powerful productions of The Others for Theatrewallas Productions while Dubai Drama Group’s Clifford Single won Best Script for his dark comedy, Friends and Colleagues.
The Others also finished second in the People’s Choice while Third Half Theatre’s production of I Am, written and directed by talented local writer-director Sanjeev Dixit came in third.
Best New Talent for the Festival was awarded to Sanjit Chakravarty, a student of the American School of Dubai, for his stunning performance as a young man trying to find The secret to making the perfect aloo paratha.
Saturday night was the climax of Dubai’s first ever Short+Sweet Festival, which is the largest ten-minute play festival in the world and is already established in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and India.
The Gala Final featured the best eleven plays as chosen by the Judge’s and the Audience from the over 50 ten-minute plays presented at DUCTAC over the past fortnight.
Many of Dubai’s top local theatre groups were represented on the night with Backstage, Dubai Drama Group, Third Half Theatre and Theatrewallas Productions all having productions in the Gala.
Alex Broun, Festival Director of the Short+Sweet Dubai Theatre Festival, said he was delighted with the festival’s launch in the U.A.E.
“Short+Sweet Dubai was a huge hit and the response to our inaugural festival has been better than we could have ever hoped for”, said Broun.
“With over 200 local actors, writers and directors taking part in the Festival its clear the local theatre community has already taken Short+Sweet Dubai to its heart.
“And with audiences nearing 2000 over the fortnight its clear local theatre-goers were also delighted by what they were seeing on stage.”
“Short+Sweet is now firmly established in Dubai and will definitely become an annual event. We have already begun plans to make our next Festival in 2014 bigger and better.”
“We also want to thank our wonderful sponsors Marina Home, 7DAYS, Emirates NBD, DIFF, The Kreative Company and all the staff at DUCTAC for making the festival a success and supporting local theatre in Dubai. Giving a platform to local actors, writers and director in Dubai is one of Short+Sweet’s primary goals which we clearly achieved in this festival.”
The full list of award winners from last night is as follows:
SHORT+SWEET DUBAI 2013 GALA FINAL AWARD WINNERS
BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION: Perfect Stillness
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Perfect Stillness
BEST ACTOR: Mathivanan Rajendran (The Lost Audition)
BEST ACTRESS: Aswathi Menon (Perfect Stillness)
BEST ACTOR RUNNER-UP: Rohit Prakash (Perfect Stillness)
BEST ACTRESS RUNNER-UP: Niloofar Farzaneh (No.22)
BEST DIRECTOR: Sadia Noori (The Others)
BEST SCRIPT: Clifford Single (Friends and Colleagues)
BEST NEW TALENT: Sanjit Chakravarty (The secret to making the perfect aloo paratha)