The makers of Lebanon's hit movie " Film Kteer Kbeer " (Very Big Shot) refused the Murex D'Or award, one of its stars Alain Saade announced in a powerful speech on stage to a shocked audience Saturday night.
Saade, who starred in the movie that has racked up several awards around the world including the top prize at the 15th Marrakesh Film Festival, explained that the director, producer and cast "want to be honest to themselves and to those who refuse corruption," emphasizing that they didn't want to take part of the corruption that infiltrates "substandard entertainment" just as it does "politics, security, media and our daily lives."
Saade delivered the entire shocking speech, continuing nearly a minute after organizers started his exit-cue music.
"So what's the solution here? We don't have answers; We only have questions. And we'll keep on asking these questions and won't take part in corruption even if we benefit from it," Saade said before refusing the prize, which was to be handed to him by actor-director George Khabbaz and filmmaker Emile Chahine.
Saade said he was speaking "on behalf of the director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya, the film's producers Christian Bou Chaaya, Kabreet Productions, and the producer and music composer Michel Elefteriades."
Saade criticized artists who would only speak up against corruption when they weren't benefiting from the system.
Directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya and co-starring Fouad Yammine and Wissam Fares along with Saade, "Film Kteer Kbeer" is about a small-time drug-dealer who slyly manipulates public opinion with the help of an underrated filmmaker to smuggle drugs across the borders.
The Murex D'Or, which just concluded its 16th edition, is a Lebanese award created by Lebanese physicians Dr. Zahi Helou and Dr. Fadi Helou.