British director Ben Sharrock's latest film titled Limbo won the Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film, a major award granted by Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).
With its 42nd edition closing on Thursday and the announcement of prizes, Limbo was also granted the Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution and the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Award.
An endearing portrait of migrants stranded in a Scottish town, the film focuses on "Omar (Amir El-Masry) who lives in a house with three other refugees from various countries all waiting in ‘limbo’ for responses to their asylum requests. His time is spent in attending cultural awareness classes, trying to cope with his new setting, while having a hope that he would eventually play the oud," writes Mazen Fawzy in his film review published by the CIFF Daily Buletin.
"With their different approaches to life and different dreams, each of the four men has plans and ambitions and each is faced with a fearful uncertainty about the future. Despair, jail, and even death might be waiting for them, and the film leaves no clue about what is going to unfold," Fawzy continues.
Omar is portrayed by a British-Egyptian actor Amir El-Masry, who has began his acting career appearing in numerous Egyptian films. He won Best Young Actor Award at the Egyptian Oscars in 2009.
He then took part in Jon Stewart's debut feature Rosewater, followed by the 2016 mini-series The Night Manager which was the actor's breakthrough role. His other credits include Lost in London, a BAFTA nominated mini-series The State, Age Before Beauty and the lead in the first American Saudi feature The Arabian Warrior (a.k.a SHOOT).
Most recently, El-Masry has been nominated for the British Independent Film 'Best Actor' Award.
For his role in Limbo, El-Masry has been praised by Variety magazine for his ability “to convey layers of shock behind his character, [and] to produce a balanced film between fun and anger.”
Limbo also features Kwabena Ansah as Abedi, Vikash Bhai as Farhad and Ola Orebiyi as Wassef.
British director Ben Sharrock is already known for the multi-award winning film Pikadero (2015), short film Patata Tortilla (2015) which brought him multiple BAFTA Awards, Scotland (for new talent), among other recognitions.
Apart from the CIFF awards, Limbo already won the Best Film Award at the International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) and Youth Jury Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
The 42nd edition of the Cairo International FIlm Festival took place between 2 and 10 December, screening over 80 films across its many competitive and non-competitive sections. The festival also included a number of discussions and masterclasses with renowned figures from the Egyptian and international cinema field.
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