Egyptian film Souad in official selection of Cannes Film Festival's cancelled edition

Eslam Omar , Thursday 4 Jun 2020

Ayten Amin's Souad tells the story of a 12-year-old girl searching for answers after her sister Souad's suicide

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Egyptian film Souad is one of 56 films of the Cannes Film Festival's Official Selection for the 2020 cancelled edition due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), as announced by delegate-general Thierry Frémaux on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on Wednesday.

Minutes after being listed among the Newcomers, Souad, a 1h 30m film of VIVID REELS production, has stirred a round of applause in the filmmaking circle in Egypt for its makers, led by successful director Ayten Amin.

"I can’t wait to share this film with the people it was made for and about," Amin said on social media on Wednesday.

Souad was a Cinegouna Springboard winner of the 2018 El Gouna film platform.

The realistic cinematic picture is an attempt to reveal social problems and weaknesses through the story of a 12-year-old girl searching for answers after her sister Souad's suicide in a village in Zagazig. The film explores tragic consequences.

Ayten Amin
Egyptian director Ayten Amin (File Photo: Ahram Photo)

"I was honoured to work with gifted people who were generous enough to share with me part of their lives and souls. I am forever grateful for their generosity," she added, expressing gratitude for her big crew.

One of the directors of the TV drama hit Sabea Gaar ("The Seventh Neighbour"), Amin -- best known for Villa 69, Spring 98, and Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad, and the Politician -- is taking confident steps in her career since her notable debut Her Man in 2006, proving outstanding talent and gaining many awards and screenings at various international film festivals.

Arab cinema is present in 2020 Cannes with other films. In the Newcomer selection is Passion Simple, by Danielle Arbid from Lebanon, Algerian-French production ADN (DNA) by Maïwenn listed in The Faithful category, and the Lebanese Broken Keys, by Jimmy Keyrouz named among the first feature list.

Souad film poster

The 2020 Cannes list includes 16 films directed by women, up from 14 in 2019.

Originally scheduled for to 23 May, the 73rd Cannes festival was first delayed to late June-early July, but was finally cancelled, in the second time ever since World War II in 1939, while the prestigious competition of the Palme d'Or for best film will not take place this year.

The films will receive the Cannes Festival's support and can still premiere at other possible fall festivals like Toronto, Telluride, New York and San Sebastian.

The selectors received more than 2,000 submitted films via the internet to watch at home.

The 2020 selections includes American filmmaker Anderson's The French Dispatch, Summer of 85 by French director Francois Ozon, Lover's Rock by Britain's Steve McQueen, and Japanese director Naomi Kawase's True Mothers. 

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