Egyptian actor Ali Sobhy won the Muhr feature award for Best Actor in Ali, the Goat, and Ibrahim (Ali, Mea'za And Ibrahim) at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), while Egyptian director Mohamed Hammad won the Best Director award for Withered Green (Akhdar Yabes).
Ali, The Goat, And Ibrahim had its world premiere at DIFF alongside eight other Egyptian films.
Directed by Sherif El-Bendary, Ali, The Goat And Ibrahim was written by Ahmed Amer and is based on the story by Ibrahim El-Batout.
The film was produced by Mohamed Hefzy's Fortress Film Clinic and Hossam Elouan’s Transit Films.
Ali, The Goat, And Ibrahim tells the story of a man who believes that his dead girlfriend has been reincarnated as a goat that he names Nada.
At the healer’s clinic, Ali meets Ibrahim, and they are both diagnosed as being cursed.
When the healer prescribes a solution to break the spell, it sets them off on an adventure that takes them to the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Nile.
The film also stars Ahmed Magdy, Salwa Mohamed Ali and Nahed El-Sebaee.
During its production phase, the film won three financial awards at the Final Cut Venice workshop and the ARTE prize in Dubai.
Hammad's Withered Green, an Egyptian-French production, had its MENA premiere at DIFF.
The film first screened at Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur (FIFF), which ran between 30 September and 6 October.
The film tells the story of traditional and conservative Iman, who had to take care of Noha, her younger sister, after the death of their parents.
When Noha receives a marriage proposal, Iman is required to ask their uncles to meet the groom and his family as per custom in Arab societies, but instead she ignores tradition.
Withered Green, Hammad's first feature film, also participated in the Locarno Film Festival in August.
Between 2006 and 2012, Hammad, now 36, wrote and directed a number of short films, including El-Geneh El-Khames (The Fifth Pound), Central (2008) and Ahmar Bahet (Faded Red, 2010).
“The films selected for the Muhr Short category are an exceptional collection of contemporary cinema which grants a true audience experience by entering into the Arab world and capturing the essence of its dynamic community," Masoud Amralla, DIFF’s artistic director, had described this year's selection in the festival’s press release.
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