Between Two Seas by director Anas Tolba received six awards at the closing ceremony of the 23rd Egyptian National Film Festival which took place at Cairo's El-Gomhoreya Theatre on 23 March
The film recieved the Best Director Award (Anas Tolba), Best Script (Amany El Tounsy and Karim El Dalil), Best Supporting Actor (Mahmoud Fares), Best Supporting Actress (Arfa Abdel-Rassoul), Best pre-production and Best Editing (Yamen Zakaria)
The six new awards raise the film's tally to 21 international awards in total, becoming one of the most critically acclaimed films in 2019.
The film had previously won the Best Poster award at the annual Film Society Festival For Egyptian Cinema, two Best Director awards for Anas Tolba and Best Script at Festival International du Cinéma de la Diversité Taza in Morocco.
It also won Best Narrative Feature and a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement (Screenplay), at the Brooklyn Film Festival and two other awards during its world premiere at the third Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF); the Nut Award for Best Film that addresses women's issues, and the Best Director award, presented by the Cinema Professions Syndicate.
The film's brief reads: "While on a short visit to her home village, a small rural island near Cairo, Zahra's daughter is exposed to a tragic accident. Following this incident, Zahra persists on getting her daughter's right and insists on not only continuing her education but also benefiting her community. The film sheds light on different societal issues faced by women, especially in rural areas."
The film was screened at several regional and international film festivals, including the Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival in Palestine, Karama Human Rights Film Festival in Jordan, Religion Today Film Festival in Italy, Aarhus Arab Film Festival in Denmark, Arab Film Festival Tübingen in Germany, and the Mostra de Valencia in Spain.
The film was released in Egyptian theatres with screenings taking place at Zamalek Cinema, Zawya Cinema, El-Hanager Theatre, and during the Cairo International Book Fair.
Written by Mariam Naoum, Between Two Seas stars Fatma Adel, Yara Goubran, Tharaa Goubail, Mahmoud Fares, Arfa Abdel-Rassoul, and Lobna Wanas. The film is produced by Axeer and the executive producer is Abdelrahman Al Garwani.
Following two cancellations of the Egyptian National Film Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23rd round kicked off from to 23 March.
The pandemic has also affected the festival's format this year, as films were not open for the public with screenings being attended by jury members only.
Due to the cancellation of the two previous editions, the festival did not limit the entries to films produced in 2020. Works produced in 2018 and 2019 were also accepted, leading to over 170 submissions.
Sponsored by the Cultural Development Fund in its 23rd edition the festival was supervised by prominent critic Kamal Ramzy, succeeding the renowned Egyptian director Samir Saif, who passed away in December 2019.
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