Written and directed by Karim Hanafy, the film The Gate of Departure won six awards at the 42nd Film Association Festival, an event that runs from 30 January to 6 February.
The festival screenings took place at the Creativy Center located at the Cairo Opera House grounds.
The awards include: Best Film, Best Director (Karim Hanafy), Best Cinematography (Zaki Aref), Best Music (Rageh Daoud), Best Sound (Alaa El Kashef), and Best Poster (Theodor Amin).
According to Ahram Online's film critic Wael Eskandar, "Kareem Hanafy’s feature length film, The Gate of Departure, seems more of a critic’s film than it is for the standard audience. It is beautifully shot and provides the viewers with plenty to contemplate. However, it is a very personal journey which carries much emotion and without the imagination to capture what the lengthy shots aim to portray the viewer may be lost."
"Hanafy’s film gives credence to the term ‘moving picture’. The shots are beautiful, though sometimes over-stylised, but they are like picturesque portraits that move slowly. Attention is given to detail, in the objects in the spaces. The camera pans slowly and thoroughly uncovering the scene. At times it feels very lonely, as silence fills the hall broken only by the sound of footsteps.
The film stars Salwa Khattab, Ahmed Magdy, Amaal Abdel Hady and Shams Labib. It was produced by Khaial Art Production with support from Egypt's Ministry of Culture.
Most recently, the film took part at the 3rd Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF) in Sudan and was screened at Luxor Arab & European Film Festival within the Nights of Egyptian Cinema section. The film's premiere too place in November 2014, during the 36th Cairo International Film Festival.
This year nine films took part in the competition: Ramsis’ Tawqeet Al-Qahera (Cairo Time), Aswar Al-Qamar (Walls of the Moon) directed by Tarek El-Arian, Ott we Far (Cat and Mouse) directed by Tamer Mohsen, Khareg El-Khedma (Out of Service) directed by Mahmoud Kamel, Welad Rizk (Rizk’s Sons) directed by Tarek El-Arian, Sokkar Morr (Bitter Sugar) directed by Hany Khalifa, El-Geel El-Rabea (Generation 4) directed by Ahmed Nader Galal, Bab El-Wadaa (Door of Farewell) directed by Karim Hanafy and Qudrat Ghayr Adiya (Out of the Ordinary) directed by Dawod Abdel Sayed.
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