Egyptian film Feathers wins big at Carthage Film Festival

Eslam Omar , Sunday 7 Nov 2021

Egyptian feature film Reesh (“Feathers”) has won four awards, including the grand prize, at the 32nd edition of the Carthage Film Festival (JCC) in Tunisia, which concluded Saturday.

Egyptian film Feathers won four awards at the Tunisian Carthage Film Festival (Photo: Courtesy for Egyptian Producer Mohamed Hefzy)

Feathers won the JCC's Golden Tanit for Feature Fiction Film, awarded by the Minister of Cultural Affairs Hayet Guettat Guermazi.

Moreover, Feathers writer and director Omar El-Zohairy won Best Screenplay Prize, while the film’s heroine Demyana Nassar has clinched the Prize for Best Female Performance.

Feathers also won the Tahar Cheriaa Prize, the same jury that gave a Special Mention for Egyptian documentary Captains of Zaatari, directed by Ali Al-Arabi.

Another Egyptian film, Mohamed Diab’s Amira, received a Special Mention from the Feature and Short Fiction Films Jury.


Causing controversy in Egypt last month before winning multiple awards at the El-Gouna Film Festival, Omar El-Zohairy’s debut Feathers was warmly celebrated worldwide since its premiere in July at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, winning the Grand Prize of the Critics' Week (Semaine de la Critique) as well as the third prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIRPESCI).

Produced by Egyptian Mohamed Hefzy, French Juliette Lepoutre and Pierre Menahem, the comedy drama brings together many skilled Egyptian crewmembers including Ahmed Amer (screenplay), Kamal Samy (cinematography), and Hisham Saqr (sound).

The 112-minute Arabic-language film’s cast includes Demyana Nassar, Samy Bassouny, Fady Mina Fawzy, Abu Sefen Nabil Wesa, and Mohamed Abd El-Hady.

Cairo’s High Institute of Cinema graduate Omar El-Zohairy worked as an assistant director on feature films with Egypt’s most prominent filmmakers, including Yousri Nasrallah.

Zohairy’s first short film, Zafir (“Breathe Out”), premiered at the 8th Dubai International Film Festival and won the Muhr Special Jury Prize for Short Films, while his second short film, The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375, was the first Egyptian film to be selected for the Cinéfondation competition at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The film went on to win several awards around the world.

Under helms of General Director Ridha Béhi, the JCC has this year “celebrated the reunion with Cinema and renew after the gloominess imposed by the pandemic the public with movie theatres,” according to a statement from the festival.

The full winners list of the JCC is as follows:
‘Ciné Promesse’ Award:
The Girl Who Burned The Night, by Sara Mesfer (Saudi Arabia)
Jury: Lina Chaabane (Tunisia), Fatou Kiné Siné (Senegal) and Nicole Kamato (Lebanon)

Lina Ben Mhenni Award: As I Want, by Samaher Al Qadi (Palestine)
Jury: Bochra Belhaj Hmida (Tunisia), Hechmi Ben Fraj (Tunisia), and Sarah Berthou (France)

Tahar Cheriaa Prize:
: Sékou Traoré (Burkina Faso), Basma (Egypt), and Ramses Mahfoudh (Tunisia)
First Film Jury Prize: Feathers, by Omar El Zohairy (Egypt)
TV5 Monde Prize: Little Palestine, by Abdalla Al Khatib (Palestine)
Special Mention: Captains of Zaatari, by Ali Al Arabi (Egypt)

Long and Short Documentaries
Chloé Aïcha Boro (Burkina Faso), Nujoom Al-Ghanem (UAE), Sophie Salbot (France), Michelle de la Rochefoucauld (France), Hamza Ouni (Tunisia) and Necati Sönmez (Turkey)
Short documentaries
Bronze Tanit:
Don’t Get Too Comfortable, by Shaima Al Tamimi (Yemen)
Silver Tanit: And Then They Burned The Sea, by Majid Al-Ramaihi (Qatar)
Golden Tanit: Shepherds, Teboho Edkins (South Africa)
Long Documentaries
Bronze Tanit:
As I want, by Samaher AlQadi (Palestine)
Silver Tanit: The Last Shelter, by Samassekou Ousmane (Mali)
Golden Tanit: Little Palestine, Dairy Of A Siege, by Andallah Al-Khatib (Palestine)

Feature and Short Fiction Films Award
Enzo Porcelli (Italy), Hoji Fortuna (Angola), Tarek El Shennawy (Egypt), Gessica Fabiota Geneus (Haiti), Daoud Aoulad-Syad (Morocco), Ahmed Bahrami (Iran) and Sofiane Ben Farhat (Tunisia)
Short Fiction Film Award
Bronze Tanit:
In Uncle Salem Country, by Slim Belhiba (Tunisia)
Silver Tanit: How My Grandmother Became A Chair, by Nicolas Fattouh (Lebanon)
Golden Tanit: Life on The Horn, by Mo Harawe (Somalia)
Long Fiction Film Award
Prize for Best Editing
: This Is Not Burial, It’s Resurrection, by Lemohang Jermiah (Lesotho)
Prize for Best Photography: This Is Not Burial, It’s Resurrection, by Lemohang Jermiah (Lesotho)
Prize for Best Music: Casablance Beats, by Nabil Ayouch (Morocco)
Prize for Best Screenplay: Feathers, by Omar El-Zohairy (Egypt)
Prize for Best Male Performance: Omar Abdi, for his role in The Gravedigger’s Wife (Somalia)
Prize for Best Female Performance: Demyana Nassar, for her role in Feathers (Egypt)
Special Mention: Amira by Mohamed Diab (Egypt) and Golden Butterfly by Abdel-Hamid Bouchnak (Tunisia)
Bronze Tanit for Feature Fiction Film: Insurrection by Jilani Saadi (Tunisia)
Silver Tanit for Feature Fiction Film: This Is Not Burial, It’s Resurrection, by Lemohang Jermiah (Lesotho)
Golden Tanit for Feature Fiction Film: Feathers, by Omar El Zohairy (Egypt)

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