Multi-award-winning Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ to open Berlin’s Alfilm Festival

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Apr 2022

Omar El-Zohairy’s ‘Feathers’ will open ALFILM, Berlin’s Arab Film Festival, which is scheduled to take place between 20 and 26 April.


In its 13th edition, the festival will feature more than 44 feature fiction, documentary, and short films from the Arab world, displaying “an enriching journey from Somalia to Morocco, from Yemen to Palestine,” reads the festival’s website.

Written and directed by Omar El-Zohairy and co-written by Ahmed Amer, Feathers premiered at the 74th Cannes Film Festival (2021) where it won the Critics’ Week Grand Prize and the International Federation of Film Critics Award for best first feature in parallel sections.

It also won the Aleksandar Sasa Petrovic Grand Prix at the Auteur Film Festival (2021), Best International Feature at the Calgary International Film Festival (2021), as well as garnering four major awards at the Carthage Film Festival (2021), including the grand prize, and two awards at the El-Gouna Film Festival (2021), among numerous other prizes and nominations. 

The 112-minute film stars Demyana Nassar, Samy Bassouny, Fady Mina Fawzy, Abu Sefen Nabil Wesa, and Mohamed Abdel-Hady.

“Feathers is a tale of scathing social satire, wry laughter, and unsettling oddity,” reveals the film’s synopsis. 

“When a magic trick goes awry at a children’s birthday party, the authoritative father of the family turns into a chicken. The mysterious transformation sets the family off to a tragically funny adventure of self-discovery to survive without the patriarch.”

Dedicated to Arab cinema and its filmmakers — including filmmakers in diaspora — the ALFILM festival was launched in 2009 by the non-profit association Zentrum für arabische Filmkunst und Kultur e.V. (formerly Freunde der Arabischen Kinemathek, Berlin e.V.).

It is the largest platform for the promotion of diverse Arab cinematography in Germany.

According to the festival’s website, ALFILM “highlight films from the Arab world and its diaspora that have a high artistic value and present challenging perspectives on contemporary cultural, social, and political issues.”

Discussions with filmmakers and experts tackle socially and artistically relevant topics while offering new and stimulating views on the coexistence of cultures, diversity, and the portrayal and representation of minorities in mainstream society. Panel discussions also discuss current themes, and film talks.”

The 13th edition of the festival will take place between 20 and 26 April, with an Atelier on Arab Diaspora running between 22 and 24 April. It will also hold a special Spotlight section titled ‘Lebanon: From Civil War to Chaos: A Tribute to Filmic Resistance.’

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