Egyptian feature film Lama Benetweled (“When We're Born”) is Egypt's nomination for the international feature film category at the 93rd Academy Awards Ceremony which is set to take place on 25 April 2021, two months later than its usual timing.
Directed and co-written by Tamer Ezzat, the film was the last screenplay written by the late Nadine Shams (1972-2014), winner of the best screenplay category at the 10th Malmo Arab Film Festival which took place last October.
Shams has also co-written Ezzat’s debut documentary feature The Place I Call Home, which ties in with When We're Born.
In Malmo, When We're Born also won the Best Actor award, given to Mohamed Hatem who was accompanied by Amr Abed, Ibtihal Elserety, and Salma Hasan in the film.
The film has generally won a great deal of awards at a variety of events. Hatem won the best rising actor award during the Egyptian Film Competition held by the Egyptian Society of Film Writers and Critics in 2019; the same event awarded When We're Born with the best film award, Ezzat received the best director award, and Shams won the best screenplay award.
The film had its world premiere at the 2019 El Gouna Film Festival and was also screened at the Carthage Film Festival in the same year; it was then released in Egyptian cinemas at the end of the year.
According to the film’s synopsis on IMDB, the film "interweaves the hopes and dreams of three characters at the center of the Egyptian lifestyle; accompanied by musical narration: a son who yearns to pursue a singing career against his father's will, a romantic Christian woman who is in love with a Muslim man, and a newly-wed personal trainer who must compromise his principles for a chance to own a gym. Will these characters make the best choices for themselves and the people they love?"
The list of nominated films competing for the international feature film category at the 93rd Academy Awards will be revealed on 9 February.
Egypt has been submitting films to the Oscars almost every year since 1958 when Youssef Chahine's Bab El-Hadid (Cairo's Station) was submitted to the 31st Academy Awards but was not selected for the finals.
In recent years, Egyptian entries included Poisonous Roses by Fawzi Saleh, Yom El-Deen by Abu Bakr Shawky, Sheikh Jackson by Amr Salama, Clash by Mohamed Diab, Factory Girl by Mohamed Khan, Winter of Discontent by Ibrahim El-Batout, Lust by Khaled El-Hagar, among numerous others.
To date, no Egyptian film has ever made it to the final list of nominations for the international feature film category.
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