The 46th edition of the annual Egyptian Film Society Festival for Egyptian Cinema, which is organized by the Cairo Film Society in an effort to highlight Egypt’s local film scene, has announced this year’s winners, with independent movie “When we’re born” sweeping to victory this year to win the coveted best picture award.
Winners were selected by a jury headed by legendary film critic Kamal Ramzi and announced by The Film Society Festival Administration, which is led by filmmaker Mahmoud Abdel Samie, after 8 films were screened at the Artistic Creativity Center of the Cairo Opera House between January 25 and February 1.
The festival, which is supported by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, aims to highlight domestic talent and “give due recognition…to legends that have given their blood and sweat to the industry,” according to an earlier press release from the festival’s organizers.
Independent film “When we’re born” swept the festival’s awards, beating its competition this year for best film. The movie, which was directed by Tamer Ezzat and took over 10 years to make, follows the hopes and trials of three Egyptian characters – a son who dreams of pursuing a singing career despite his father’s objections, a Christian woman in love with a Muslim man, and a newlywed personal trainer who is forced to compromise his values for the opportunity to own a gym.
Actress Salma Hassan received the award for best actress in a leading role for her work in “When we’re born,” and Hanan Soliman, meanwhile, won the award for best supporting actress for the same film, while director Tamer Ezzat received best director and late screenwriter Nadine Shams awarded for best scenario. Actress Oumayma El Sibai also received a certificate of appreciation from the festival’s jury for her role in the film.
Meanwhile, “Blue Elephant 2,” the sequel to mystery-thriller film “The Blue Elephant” (2014), won the award for best makeup, which went to Tarek Mostafa, best voice mixer awarded to Ahmed Abu El-Saad, and best costume designer for Nahed Nasrallah. The film’s musical director Hisham Nazih received the award for the best score at the festival and Ahmed Hafez won the award for best film editing.
Outside of the two top films, Mohamed Saad received the award for best actor in a leading role for the movie “The Treasure 2,” with Bassem Samra awarded best actor in a supporting role for “Rizk’s Sons 2.”
Maged Al-Kadwani received the “special jury award” for his role in the movie “The Guest,” directed by Hadi Al-Bagouri, and interior designer Ali Hussam received the award for best set design for the same film.
Director of photography Ahmed Youssef received the award for best photography for the film “Scarecrow,” with “Between two seas ” winning “best film poster.”
“The Guest,” which is directed by Hadi El-Bagoury and follows an eight-year-old Syrian girl displaced to Turkey, also received the highest number of votes from the public following the film screening, according to the festival’s organizers, winning the festival’s “audience award.”
The artists are set to be honored with the festival’s awards on February 8 at a ceremony set to be held in Muhammad Farid cinema on Cairo’s Imad Al-Din Street.