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Egypt's 'Winter of Discontent' in foreign-language Oscar race

Egyptian Cinema Syndicate selects Ibrahim El-Batout's 'Winter of Discontent' as its foreign-language Oscar contender

Ahram Online, Monday 30 Sep 2013
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Still from Winter of Discontent.
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A committee at the Egyptian Cinema Syndicate has selected the widely acclaimed Winter of Discontent to represent Egypt in the race for a foreign-language Oscar.

Foreign-language films are to be submitted to the Academy before 1 October, and nominations will be announced on 16 January. The coveted Oscar awards ceremony will be held in March 2014.

Set against the backdrop of Egypt's revolution, Ibrahim El-Batout's independent film made its world debut at the 69th Venice Film Festival, held from 29 August to 18 September 2012. The film has since participated in more than 20 film festivals the world over.

The film revolves around the lives of a State Security officer, a political activist, and a journalist, with events unfolding during the 18 days of mass protests that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

Inspired by the revolutionary spirit in Tahrir Square in the early days of the uprising, El-Batout started filming in Tahrir Square on 10 February - one day prior to Hosni Mubarak’s ouster after 30 years in power.

The film's protagonists are a political activist named Amr (Amr Waked), a journalist called Farah (Farah Youssef) and state security officer Adel (Salah El-Hanafy).

In his production notes, El-Batout writes: "We need to keep in mind that The Winter of Discontent is not about the revolution itself. It is a film about three people who lived through the historic and unforgettable 18 days of the revolution."

The film was produced by Amr Waked and actor Salah El-Hanafy's company, ZAD Communications & Productions, LLC, in affiliation with AROMA, and an independent film production company dubbed Ein Shams Films.

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