19B won three awards at the 44th CIFF that closed on Tuesday: the FIPRESCI prize, awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics; Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution, awarded to the cinematographer, Mostafa El Kashef (Egypt); and Best Arab Film Award (USD 10,000) awarded to the producer Mohamed Hefzy.
“The film follows the story of a doorman (Nasr) who leads a reclusive life in the abandoned villa that he guards. One day, he finds himself forced to face a situation with a person who lives in the opposite street, which will mark a turning point in his life,” reads the film synopsis released by CIFF.
19B stars Sayed Ragab, Ahmed Khaled Saleh and Nahed El-Sebai, alongside Fadwa Abed, Magdy Atwan, and Maher Khamis.
Ahmad Abdalla is a critically acclaimed and award-winning Egyptian filmmaker.
He started his career as a film editor in several Egyptian films, including Wara’et Shafrah, Akher Eldonia, and Ein Shams.
He directed his first feature film Heliopolis in 2009, followed by the award-winning Microphone, which was selected at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) as one of the best 100 Arabic films in history.
His Rags & Tatters (2013) landed its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
He also directed Décor (2014), which was shot in black and white; and EXT/Night (2018), which won the Best Film Award at the Malmo Arab Film Festival (MAFF), the Jury Award at the Luxor International Film Festival, and four other awards at the Egyptian National Film Festival.
Abdalla served as a jury member in a number of prestigious film festivals including the Carthage Film Festival in 2012, BFI London Film Festival in 2014, and Dubai International Film Festival in 2017.