Nine Egyptian film shorts make the Cannes Film Festival marquis!

Published May 19th, 2015 - 06:18 GMT

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Having spent 2014/15 calling out “lights, camera, action,” many ambitious Egyptian filmmakers’ efforts have certainly not gone to waste. The prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2015 is underway and nine Egyptian short films will be featured at the 68th edition of the annual event, now taking place between 13 and 24 May.

These Egyptian entries will be screened outside of the actual film competition, and as such won’t be eligible for the Palm d’Or award for shorts. (That competition will screen only the nine films selected as category finalists, including Palestinian director Basil Khalil’s “Ave Maria” and Lebanese director Ely Dagher’s “Waves ’98”).   Continue reading below »

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“Closed Doors” is a 13-minute movie created last February as a film school assignment, the first from promising director Amr Fouad. The digital production is the story of a young girl from a conservative family whose life takes a dramatic turn when she meets a new friend. Whatever could be in store for her?
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Image 1 of 9:  1 / 9“Closed Doors” is a 13-minute movie created last February as a film school assignment, the first from promising director Amr Fouad. The digital production is the story of a young girl from a conservative family whose life takes a dramatic turn when she meets a new friend. Whatever could be in store for her?

Enlarge
“Pyramids Hostel” by French director Thierry Lledo makes its world premiere
at Cannes. The 19-minute short (the longest of the shorts) takes place in Cairo and tells a dark tale of tourists at an apparently uninhabited hostel (what’s wrong with The Hilton?) that comes alive at nightfall. Let the nightmare begin!
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Image 2 of 9:  2 / 9“Pyramids Hostel” by French director Thierry Lledo makes its world premiere at Cannes. The 19-minute short (the longest of the shorts) takes place in Cairo and tells a dark tale of tourists at an apparently uninhabited hostel (what’s wrong with The Hilton?) that comes alive at nightfall. Let the nightmare begin!

Enlarge
“Tarot” by Ahmed Roshdy was named “Best of the 48 Hour Film Project,” an intl' event to make a film in just two days. Released last June, it’s the saga of a poor fisherman. Struggling to support his family, he signs up for an extended fishing trip with only a deck of cards in his pocket. When the ship sets sail, the unexpected unfolds!
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Image 3 of 9:  3 / 9“Tarot” by Ahmed Roshdy was named “Best of the 48 Hour Film Project,” an intl' event to make a film in just two days. Released last June, it’s the saga of a poor fisherman. Struggling to support his family, he signs up for an extended fishing trip with only a deck of cards in his pocket. When the ship sets sail, the unexpected unfolds!

Enlarge
“El-Kalema El-Akhira” (The Last Word), a film school production by Waleed Al-Arrab, has its world premier at Cannes. Produced last October, the 15-minute short asks what happens when the devil comes into your life and you allow him control of your mind? Suspicious beliefs and questions of honor are both explored. What the devil?
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Image 4 of 9:  4 / 9“El-Kalema El-Akhira” (The Last Word), a film school production by Waleed Al-Arrab, has its world premier at Cannes. Produced last October, the 15-minute short asks what happens when the devil comes into your life and you allow him control of your mind? Suspicious beliefs and questions of honor are both explored. What the devil?

Enlarge
“El-Darwish” (Dervish) by Khaled Mansour follows a fictional poet on a 15-minute literary journey, where he begins to write poems about the last moments of his life. The film was released last March.
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Image 5 of 9:  5 / 9“El-Darwish” (Dervish) by Khaled Mansour follows a fictional poet on a 15-minute literary journey, where he begins to write poems about the last moments of his life. The film was released last March.

Enlarge
“El-Fatenah” is a 15-minute documentary about Egyptian iconic Faten Hamama, first presented at Arab Women Film 2015 at Sweden’s Malmö Arab Film Festival. Called the “Lady of the Arabic Screen', Hamama was a mid-19th century film and television actress and producer whose career continued until her death in 2015.
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Image 6 of 9:  6 / 9“El-Fatenah” is a 15-minute documentary about Egyptian iconic Faten Hamama, first presented at Arab Women Film 2015 at Sweden’s Malmö Arab Film Festival. Called the “Lady of the Arabic Screen", Hamama was a mid-19th century film and television actress and producer whose career continued until her death in 2015.

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“Helwan...I” directed by Mohamed Adel El-Safty in 2014 is a 15-minute short about Helwan, one of the greatest Egyptian cities. The autobiographical saga mixes the city’s story with the director’s own story about family and their views on their hometown.
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Image 7 of 9:  7 / 9“Helwan...I” directed by Mohamed Adel El-Safty in 2014 is a 15-minute short about Helwan, one of the greatest Egyptian cities. The autobiographical saga mixes the city’s story with the director’s own story about family and their views on their hometown.

Enlarge
“Tahra's Life” by Mohanad Diab is a 9-minute film that addresses the struggle of an Egyptian woman as she strives towards a decent standard of living for herself and her family. Diab, who attended the New York Film Academy in 2005, is one of the most prominent young screenwriters in Egypt.
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Image 8 of 9:  8 / 9“Tahra's Life” by Mohanad Diab is a 9-minute film that addresses the struggle of an Egyptian woman as she strives towards a decent standard of living for herself and her family. Diab, who attended the New York Film Academy in 2005, is one of the most prominent young screenwriters in Egypt.

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“Sukkar Abyad” (White Sugar) by Ahmed Khaled explores how the world of dreams intersects with reality. In this “dreamy” production, a man tries to escape his fears by fighting against established rules and living by his own credo. The 13-minute film was released in 2014.
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Image 9 of 9:  9 / 9“Sukkar Abyad” (White Sugar) by Ahmed Khaled explores how the world of dreams intersects with reality. In this “dreamy” production, a man tries to escape his fears by fighting against established rules and living by his own credo. The 13-minute film was released in 2014.

Enlarge

1

“Closed Doors” is a 13-minute movie created last February as a film school assignment, the first from promising director Amr Fouad. The digital production is the story of a young girl from a conservative family whose life takes a dramatic turn when she meets a new friend. Whatever could be in store for her?

Image 1 of 9“Closed Doors” is a 13-minute movie created last February as a film school assignment, the first from promising director Amr Fouad. The digital production is the story of a young girl from a conservative family whose life takes a dramatic turn when she meets a new friend. Whatever could be in store for her?

2

“Pyramids Hostel” by French director Thierry Lledo makes its world premiere
at Cannes. The 19-minute short (the longest of the shorts) takes place in Cairo and tells a dark tale of tourists at an apparently uninhabited hostel (what’s wrong with The Hilton?) that comes alive at nightfall. Let the nightmare begin!

Image 2 of 9“Pyramids Hostel” by French director Thierry Lledo makes its world premiere at Cannes. The 19-minute short (the longest of the shorts) takes place in Cairo and tells a dark tale of tourists at an apparently uninhabited hostel (what’s wrong with The Hilton?) that comes alive at nightfall. Let the nightmare begin!

3

“Tarot” by Ahmed Roshdy was named “Best of the 48 Hour Film Project,” an intl' event to make a film in just two days. Released last June, it’s the saga of a poor fisherman. Struggling to support his family, he signs up for an extended fishing trip with only a deck of cards in his pocket. When the ship sets sail, the unexpected unfolds!

Image 3 of 9“Tarot” by Ahmed Roshdy was named “Best of the 48 Hour Film Project,” an intl' event to make a film in just two days. Released last June, it’s the saga of a poor fisherman. Struggling to support his family, he signs up for an extended fishing trip with only a deck of cards in his pocket. When the ship sets sail, the unexpected unfolds!

4

“El-Kalema El-Akhira” (The Last Word), a film school production by Waleed Al-Arrab, has its world premier at Cannes. Produced last October, the 15-minute short asks what happens when the devil comes into your life and you allow him control of your mind? Suspicious beliefs and questions of honor are both explored. What the devil?

Image 4 of 9“El-Kalema El-Akhira” (The Last Word), a film school production by Waleed Al-Arrab, has its world premier at Cannes. Produced last October, the 15-minute short asks what happens when the devil comes into your life and you allow him control of your mind? Suspicious beliefs and questions of honor are both explored. What the devil?

5

“El-Darwish” (Dervish) by Khaled Mansour follows a fictional poet on a 15-minute literary journey, where he begins to write poems about the last moments of his life. The film was released last March.

Image 5 of 9“El-Darwish” (Dervish) by Khaled Mansour follows a fictional poet on a 15-minute literary journey, where he begins to write poems about the last moments of his life. The film was released last March.

6

“El-Fatenah” is a 15-minute documentary about Egyptian iconic Faten Hamama, first presented at Arab Women Film 2015 at Sweden’s Malmö Arab Film Festival. Called the “Lady of the Arabic Screen', Hamama was a mid-19th century film and television actress and producer whose career continued until her death in 2015.

Image 6 of 9“El-Fatenah” is a 15-minute documentary about Egyptian iconic Faten Hamama, first presented at Arab Women Film 2015 at Sweden’s Malmö Arab Film Festival. Called the “Lady of the Arabic Screen", Hamama was a mid-19th century film and television actress and producer whose career continued until her death in 2015.

7

“Helwan...I” directed by Mohamed Adel El-Safty in 2014 is a 15-minute short about Helwan, one of the greatest Egyptian cities. The autobiographical saga mixes the city’s story with the director’s own story about family and their views on their hometown.

Image 7 of 9“Helwan...I” directed by Mohamed Adel El-Safty in 2014 is a 15-minute short about Helwan, one of the greatest Egyptian cities. The autobiographical saga mixes the city’s story with the director’s own story about family and their views on their hometown.

8

“Tahra's Life” by Mohanad Diab is a 9-minute film that addresses the struggle of an Egyptian woman as she strives towards a decent standard of living for herself and her family. Diab, who attended the New York Film Academy in 2005, is one of the most prominent young screenwriters in Egypt.

Image 8 of 9“Tahra's Life” by Mohanad Diab is a 9-minute film that addresses the struggle of an Egyptian woman as she strives towards a decent standard of living for herself and her family. Diab, who attended the New York Film Academy in 2005, is one of the most prominent young screenwriters in Egypt.

9

“Sukkar Abyad” (White Sugar) by Ahmed Khaled explores how the world of dreams intersects with reality. In this “dreamy” production, a man tries to escape his fears by fighting against established rules and living by his own credo. The 13-minute film was released in 2014.

Image 9 of 9“Sukkar Abyad” (White Sugar) by Ahmed Khaled explores how the world of dreams intersects with reality. In this “dreamy” production, a man tries to escape his fears by fighting against established rules and living by his own credo. The 13-minute film was released in 2014.

Reduce

Since the past four years have been unstable/turbulent ones for Egypt - following the 25 January Revolution in 2011 - the majority of submissions were from the drama and documentary genres. The selection also includes one animated movie (Tarot).

Kudos to those emerging Egyptian filmmakers. Perhaps they will bring the Golden Age of Egyptian cinema back to life with their creative productions.

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