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A BU student from Egypt has been awarded the Arab Women Filmmakers Prize at Baghdad International Film Festival for her debut feature.

Sarah Mourad, who has just started an MA in Film and Directing at BU, won first prize in the Arab Women Filmmakers category for her short film Quietly.

The film – which tackles issues around loneliness and unhappy relationships – was Sarah’s directorial debut.

“I didn’t expect to win anything as it was my very first film and my first time working with a camera and actors,” Sarah said.

“I sent the film to festivals just for exposure and for it to be seen, but I wasn’t aiming for prizes or awards. To win was a surprise, but a good surprise.”

Sarah created Quietly earlier this year, as part of her portfolio of work to gain a place at BU.

The film’s story follows a degrading relationship between a couple who share increasing isolation with their worlds, which eventually leads to an obscure revenge.

Sarah said: “I had no previous experience in filmmaking before I came to BU, and a portfolio of work is needed for the application process, so I made Quietly.

“The film tackles the issue of loneliness and being unable to connect with the important people around you.”

The Baghdad International Film Festival aims to bring together young film practitioners and professionals from different countries, cultures and ethnicities.

It received over 100 film submissions from across the world.

Sarah was unable to attend the film festival but hopes the award will help kick-start her studies and filmmaking career.

She said: “Awards offer great moral support but my main focus now is learning as much as I can from my studies at BU, so I can make more films in the future.”