Egyptian films Dry Hot Summers and Kiss Me Not have won awards at Lebanon’s Jounieh International Film Festival (JIFF) that closed on 22 January.
Sherif El-Bendary’s 2016 short film Dry Hot Summers (Har Gaf Sayfan) won the Public’s Award, while Ahmed Amer’s feature film Kiss Me Not (2017) won a Special Mention. The awards were announced at the festival’s closing ceremony.
Starring Nahed El-Sebai and Mohamed Farid, Dry Hot Summers captures the chance meeting of two lonely Egyptians on a bustling and hot summer day in Cairo; a cancer patient and a bride anxious to get her photo taken in her white dress.
The day's journey disturbs the stifling routines of the two characters, taking them on an expedition of self-discovery.
The film had its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival's 13th edition, in 2016, where it won the Muhr Best Short Award.
It also won the Robert Bosch Stiftung Film Prize for International Cooperation during the Berlinale Talents creative summit, in addition to the main award in the short films category at Algeria’s ninth Oran Arab Film Festival, and the top prize at the Dhofar Arab Film Forum in Oman.
Kiss me Not premiered at the Dubai Film Festival’s Arabian Nights section, The film stars Yasmin Raeis, Mohamed Mahran, and Salwa Mohamed Ali with guest stars actress Sawsan Badr, late director Mohamed Khan, and director Khairy Beshara.
The film blurs the line between documentary and fiction as it follows a famous female actress who suddenly refuses to shoot a kissing scene and decides to take the veil in the midst of filming a young director’s first film.
From Egypt, JIFF also screened El-Bendary’s Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim, and Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc by Iman Kamel.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture