By Martina Margaglio
Rome. Yesterday evening, Wednesday, July 17, “Alti Studi Averroè Center” Special Award was given to Hamid Basket and Rachid Mohamed Benhadj, two personalities who, in the field of cinema and art, have contributed significantly to the dialogue between cultures and religions in the Mediterranean, between Europe and the Arab world. The award was presented in the Conference Room of the “Alti Studi Averroè Center” by its president, Souad Sbai and was attended by illustrious exponents of the world of cinema such as producer Luciano Sovena or actress Ira Fronten.
The award ceremony was held in the Conference Room at the “Centro Alti Studi Averroè” by the president, Souad Sbai and it was attended by illustrious exponents of the world of cinema such as producer Luciano Sovena or actress Ira Fronten.
Both Basket and Benhadj, very professionally and personally united to Italy, are outstanding figures of the contemporary artistic and cultural scene in North Africa. As a Moroccan filmmaker, Basket has made numerous films that tell the story of today’s Morocco in its various social and existential aspects. His latest feature film, Les Silences des Papillon (2018), received the Best Film Award at the 34th Alexandria Film Festival of the Mediterranean countries.
Benhadj’s works – he is Algerian – are characterized by the strong social commitment that began in the seventies. His films have shed light on the poor and desperate lives of young people, women, and humble workers who live in the Maghreb of the contractions between urban and rural, between tradition and modernity. A painter internationally recognized, Benhadj was awarded at the International Exhibition in Paris (1973). He has lived in Italy for years where he received the “Una Coppola per il Dialogo” Prize for her commitment to interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
“Centro Averroè Special Prize awarded to Hamid Basket and Rachid Mohamed Benhadj is a recognition of the secular and moderate Arab culture that continues to promote human rights and to fight against the fundamentalism of the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Souad Sbai. Cinema, in particular, is synonymous with openness and it is a formidable vehicle for establishing relationships between peoples. The Mediterranean needs figures like Basket and Benhadj to build a future of peace, development and human rights.