Egyptian director Morad Mostafa's debut Henet Ward wins at Rhode Island Int’l Film Festival

Eslam Omar , Tuesday 11 Aug 2020

Since its world premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand festival in February, the Bonanza production has become a favourite choice at festivals across the globe

Egyptian director Morad Mostafa

Egyptian short film Henet Ward ("Ward's Henna Party") has scored again, director Morad Mostafa announced on Tuesday, winning the first prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, and thus gaining its second qualification card for the 2021 Oscars and Bafta nominations.

"It's a long road. We have the whole year to earn the film's qualification by winning more awards from qualifying festivals," Mostafa explained to Ahram Online after winning "1st prize of Flickers International vision award at Rhode Island in its 24th year."

This is the second important win for Henet Ward, after it received a special mention from the jury of the 2020 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival in June.

"The most important thing at the moment is that we won. We are very thrilled," Mostafa said, sending congratulations and praises to his cast, crew and distributor.

Since its world premiere at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in February, the Bonanza production has become a favourite choice for various festivals across the globe, such as Cinalfama Lisbon, Nòt, Busan and many others.


Tackling sensitive issues like poverty, racism and discrimination, the 23-minute film follows Halima, an Egypt-based Sudanese henna painter, and her young daughter, Ward, as they head to do a job at a party near the Giza pyramids.

The former assistant director for many important names like Hala Khalil, Sherif El-Bendary, Mohamed Diab, Mostafa, and Ayten Amin in her 2020-Cannes-selected feature Souad, Mostafa is currently developing a new short film in collaboration with a French producer.

The six-day Rhode Island International Film Festival wrapped up this week. The event is one of the largest public film festivals in New England and a qualifying event for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (the Oscars), the British Academy of Television and Film Arts (the BAFTAs) and the Canadian Screen Awards.

For more about Henet Ward, see this interview with Morad Mostafa.

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