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Five Egyptian films to be screened at 5th Arab Film Festival Zurich

Two feature films and three shorts from Egypt will take part in the festival

Ahram Online , Saturday 14 Nov 2020
DIAMOND DUST
Still from Diamond Dust
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Five films -- two features and three shorts -- by Egyptian filmmakers will be screened at the upcoming Arab Film Festival Zurich, Switzerland.

In its fifth edition, the festival is planned to take place between 19 and 29 November, bringing together a total of 36 films from several Arab countries.

The Egyptian feature-length movies are Diamond Dust (2018), directed by Marwan Hamed, and A City and the Lost Art of Happiness, directed by Nada Ibrahim.

The screenplay for Diamond Dust was written by Egyptian well-known author Ahmed Mourad. The film stars Asser Yassin, Menna Shalabi, and Maged El-Kedwani.

According to IMDb, the crime drama Diamond Dust follows "a man who works in a pharmacy as a part-time job to aid his financial status. He finds out that his father has been exterminated by a savage brute and sought to avenge him. This is when he unlocks a whole melancholic world of crime."

DIAMOND DUST

Written, directed and with scenography by Nada Ibrahim, the 2019 documentary A City and the Lost Art of Happiness talks about El-Qahera, Cairo, which in Arabic means the conqueror.

"Al-Qahera means the conqueror, maybe because it conquered every heart that ever called it home or maybe because it conquered every soul and left it totally defeated. It is a tour among the city, capturing the minds and souls struggling to pursue the lost art of happiness in Cairo," reads a brief on IMDb.

The topic reflects the director's primary interests since Ibrahim is also an architect, while in her work as a filmmaker she mostly highlights women’s issues, minorities and underrepresented, marginalised groups.

The cast includes Mohamed Helmi, Maggi Zaki, Nada El-Shazly, and Omar Osman El-Shabrawy.

A CITY AND THE LOST ART OF HAPPINESS

The Arab Film Festival Zurich will also screen three Egyptian short films, including two animated movies, by Egyptian directors Habib, Black Loop and Mr. Pink.

"The old hairdresser Habib and his wife Nadia are united in a stormy love-hate relationship. In one of their lighter moments, she suggests replacing their old, formal wedding photo with a new, lively one. This is the beginning of an adventure for Habib, who wants to fulfil Nadia’s wish without paying dearly for it," reads the brief of Habib (2019, 23 minutes) on the festival's website.

The romantic comedy Habib is directed by Shady Fouad and the cast includes Egypt's renowned artists Sayed Ragab and Salwa Mohamed Ali.

HABIB

The two-minute animated film Black Loop is directed by Adel El-Badrawy who also wrote the screenplay and provided the music for the work.

According to the festival's website, the film looks at the religious leaders and military commanders, the power and the people’s fortunes that remain black.

The animated movie Mr. Purple (2019, 11 minutes) is directed by Osama Abu Zaid, written by Ahmed Abdel-Rahim, and the music was written by Hani Shenouda.

The film's brief reads: "There is a struggle between two different forces to attract the protagonist of the film to follow their approach. Fearfully, the protagonist has a different approach that he keeps a secret. In the end, he courageously shows his difference in hopes of positively influencing others."

Abu Zaid is an Egyptian animated film director who has participated in numerous animated films festivals. Mr. Purple has entered many regional and international competitions.

MR. PURPLE

In the fifth round of the Arab Film Festival Zurich focus will be on Tunisia and Morocco.

The festival will screen a total of 36 films including 15 long feature films and documentaries. 

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