On Monday, the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) announced the first line-up of films competing in the Muhr Short Competition which includes eight films by Arab directors, two of which are Egyptian.
The festival, currently prepping for its 11th edition, will take place between 10 and 17 December.
From Egypt, the competition will include Ahmed Khaled's White Sugar and The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375 by Omar El-Zohairy.
White Sugar, Khaled's third short feature, explores the linkages between fantasy and reality through a man who is trapped in a dream world. In 2005, Khaled directed and produced his first film The 5th Pound (15 minutes) and in 2007 he directed Fish Eye (22 minutes), which got him the Shady Abdel Salam prize for best director at the 2008 National Film Festival.
Meanwhile, El-Zohairy's acclaimed film, an adaptation of the short story, The Death of a Government Clerk by Anton Chekhov, explores a life driven by fear. The film was selected for the Cinéfondation Competition at Cannes Film Festival this year, and is currently making rounds at international festivals in Sweden, Poland and France.
The winning film in the Muhr competition will qualify for consideration for the 2016 Academy Awards, according to DIFF's website.
DIFF launched the Muhr competition in 2006, bringing to the limelight a range of short films, features and documentaries originating from the Arab world.