Cairo Int'l Film Festival to honour screenwriter Wahid Hamed with lifetime achievement award

Ahram Online , Wednesday 26 Aug 2020

The 42nd Cairo International Film Festival will take place between 19 and 28 November

Wahid Hamed
Wahid Hamed (Photo: Al Ahram Weekly)

Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed will receive a Golden Pyramid Award for lifetime achievement in the cinema field during the opening ceremony of the 42nd edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), scheduled to take place between 19 and 28 November with Mohamed Hefzy as CIFF president.

Hamed is among the most renowned Egyptian screenwriters, with over 40 films and 30 television series to his name.

Born in 1944, Hamed began his writing career in the late 1960s after completing a university degree in sociology. The film ‘Dreams of the Fly Boy’ (1978) started his long-time collaboration with actor Adel Imam, and is considered his breakthrough script.

The pair went on to work together on several modern classics, including Al-Ghoul (1983), El-Le’eb Maa El-Kobar (1991), Al-Erhab wel Kabab (1992), Toyour El-Zalam (1995), and the screenplay for the critically acclaimed ‘The Yacoubian Building’ (2006), which Hamed’s son, Marwan Hamed, directed.

Hamed has also worked alongside many esteemed Egyptian directors, including Yousry Nasrallah, Atef El-Tayeb and Sherif Arafa, among others.

Some of his more recent works include the films Ehky ya Scheherazade (2009) and Ot W Far (2015), as well as the television series Al-Gamaa (The Brotherhood) (2010) and Return of Al-Gamaa (2017).

Hamed often had to overcome obstacles to see his work reach the silver screen, because of the daring and controversial themes his writing covered.

“Written in the mid-80s, the touching and renowned drama Al-Baree (1997) faced a lengthy censorship battle due to its controversial political messages. It was not released until 19 years after production, and only after the ending was changed,” the CIFF press release announcing the award says.

Hamed later went on to establish his own production company, Wahid Hamed Film Productions, to help bring his and others’ work to cinema and television.

Hamed has received numerous awards in Egypt and internationally. In 2017, he was awarded the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) Arab Lifetime Achievement Award.

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