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'Taste of Cement' Wins 10th Doc Alliance Selection Award


Doc Alliance Films (DAFilms) has announced the winner of the 10th Doc Alliance Selection (DAS) award, an annual documentary prize awarded by seven major European film festivals. The award jury selected Ziad Kalthoum's documentary 'The Taste of Cement' for its unique visual style and compelling approach to conveying the story of two Syrian refugees trying to make a living as construction workers in Lebanon. In connection with the award, an exclusive video interview with director Ziad Kalthoum has been published on the website of DAFilms.

Still from Taste of Cement
directed by Ziad Kalthoum

This winner of this year's Doc Alliance Selection Awards is Ziad Kalthoum's Taste of Cement, a documentary essay about Syrian refugees in Lebanon trying to make a living as construction workers in Beirut. The film offers a glance at the traces of war from outside the war zone, showing how the Syrian conflict affects the minds of those who survived. Cement and its taste are familiar to the construction workers both from the war in their homeland and from the construction of new buildings in Beirut. In the evenings after work, when they are under curfew, they try to catch up on the news from Syria.

Taste of Cement is an international coproduction between Lebanon, Germany, Syria, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and thus addresses not only the current war in Syria but also conflicts in general as well as their aftermath. Taste of Cement has already won the main award at the Alliance festival Visions du Réel and is among 15 nominees for the European Film Awards to be announced in Berlin. Taste of Cement has been selected from a shortlist of seven nominees, each of which had previously been selected by one of the key festivals of the Doc Alliance initiative.

Jury member Francisco Ferreira (Expresso, Portugal) said in a statement: "What is more important here? The walled daily life of the Syrian construction workers in Beirut or the ghostly, terrified projection of their thoughts and feelings on their country? The film finds a tough, unexpected balance between these two points, i.e. a construction/destruction dialectic which tends to the absurd and despair."

Video Interview with Director Ziad Kalthoum
In connection with this year's DAS award, a video interview with director Video interview with director Ziad Kalthoum is available been published on the DAFilms website.

Further Details:

Taste of Cement
Director: Ziad Kalthoum | Producers: Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias Siebert (BASIS BERLIN Filmproduktion GmbH), Bidayyat for Audiovisual Arts | Germany, Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Qatar
Watch the Trailer



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