Egyptian producer, screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy on Sundance Film Festival's jury

Ahram Online , Ati Metwaly , Saturday 8 Jan 2022

Egyptian producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy is on the jury of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival 2022, scheduled to take place online between 20 and 30 January.

Mohamed Hefzy

On the panel, Hefzy will be accompanied by British filmamaker Andrew Haigh, and Chinese film curator La Frances Hui.

The 2022 edition of the Sundance Film Festival will take place on its online platform at in addition to a physical event at seven Satellite Screens venues around the USA during the Festival's second weekend.

A part of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, the festival will also include the U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, the Short Film Program Competition, in addition to other competitive segments. As such, Hefzy joins the jury panels that feature 16 internationally renowned critics and filmmakers that will view the competing films in their respective segments.

Mohamed Hefzy is among the best known figures in the Egyptian cinema with a filmography boasting over 30 films, many of which garnered international acclaim. They have been screened and awarded at festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, Toronto, and Tribeca garnering more than 100 recognitions including numerous major prizes.

Among the best known films he has produced or co-produced are Microphone (2010), Villa 69 (2013), Rags and Tatters (2013), Clash (2016), Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim (2016), Sheikh Jackson (2017), You Will Die At 20 (2019), Feathers (2021), Souad (2021), Paranormal, Netflix's first Egyptian original series (2020), among others. 

In 2005, Hefzy founded Film Clinic, which over almost two decades has become one of the most important production companies in the MENA region, supporting commercial blockbusters and art-house films. Later Hefzy founded Film Clinic Indie Distribution, with a mission to create opportunities for Arab independent films within and beyond festival circuits and co-founded Meem Creative Circle which produced Paranormal.

Hefzy has been listed in 'Variety500', an index released by Variety that includes the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry in year 2020. A few years prior to that, in 2016, Variety also chose him for the top spot on the list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry.

Since 2013, Hefzy has been a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.

He was granted the Arab Cinema Personality of the Year award by the Hollywood Reporter and Arab Cinema Center. Hefzy is an official member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences in the producers' branch. 

He was also a jury member in various international festivals including the 75th Venice International Film Festival. Prior to that, he was a jury member at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (2011).

Since 2018, Hefzy is the president of the Cairo International Film Festival, and throughout its four editions he has repositioned the festival on the local, regional and international scene. As a president of the CIFF, Hefzy introduced Cairo Industry Days in 2018, and has elevated the festival to higher international ranks.

In 2021, in recognition of his significant contribution to the Arab film scene, Hefzy was honored as a "Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres" from France.

Aside from his work as a writer and producer, Hefzy is a film activist who offers workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with international organisations and institutes.

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