Egyptian actor Ahmed El-Fishawy is in the limelight at the current Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), appearing in three separate films.
His films are appearing in different categories: A Day for Women by Kamla Abo Zekry in the Arabian Nights section; Sheikh Jackson by Amr Salama in the Arab Cinema Lab; and the short film El-Sharaf Fi El-Kazouza (Honor is in the Bottle), which he also produced and directed.
A Day for Women is screening out-of-competition at DIFF, having opened the Cairo International Film festival, where Nahed El-Sabaay won best actress for her role.
The film brings Abou Zekry back to the silver screen after a seven-year hiatus since her last film Wahed-Sefr (One-Zero). It takes place in a working-class quarter whose youth centre “allocates a women-only pool day and traces the repercussions of such a decision on the social, psychological and private lives of these women,” according to the press release.
Sheikh Jackson, meanwhile, was selected from a number of highly anticipated Arab films that are in different stages of production, to be screened exclusively as part of the Arab Cinema Lab. The film will be shown at the invite-only event on Monday from 10am to 1pm at Jumeirah Arena.
The Arab Cinema Lab conference is a curated extension of the Arab Cinema Center taking place at DIFF’s Dubai Film Market this year for the first time. It is organized by MAD Solutions, and aims to act as an incubator for the financing of new projects.
Sheikh Jackson also stars Maged El-Kedwany, Ahmed Malek and Amina Khalil. The film is set on the day of pop star Michael Jackson’s death, and centres on a sheikh, who in his youth at school was dubbed "Jackson" by his colleagues. The story goes on to explore the emotions that were stirred by the pop star's death, sparking a series of existential questions within the sheikh.
According to Al-Ahram Arabic, part of El-Fishawy’s presence at DIFF is to market his short film El-Sharaf Fi El-Kazouza, with the first teaser poster for the film released during the festival.
El-Sharaf Fi El-Kazouza follows a young doctor on a quiet shift at the hospital. A group of people ask him to make an emergency house visit and he follows them to their simple home. When he’s asked to conduct a virginity test on a young bride, he faces a difficult and sensitive moral dilemma.
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