El-Gouna Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award goes to Marwan Hamed

Ahram Online , Sunday 30 Jul 2023

Egyptian acclaimed director Marwan Hamed has been unveiled as the winner of 2023 El-Gouna Film Festival’s Career Achievement Award for his “substantial contributions” of “diverse and influential” works.

Marwan Hamed


“Hamed's films have revolutionized visual storytelling and set new standards for audiovisual effects in modern Egyptian cinema,” stated the organizers through the festival’s official website last week, praising the “remarkable success, both artistically and commercially,” of his works that became “synonymous with authenticity and achievement".

"The film industry has been greatly enriched by Hamed's remarkable contributions, which have left a lasting impact and continue to inspire filmmakers,” said the festival’s director Intishal El-Tamimi who expressed his “enthusiasm in celebrating Hamed’s extraordinary cinematic journey and artistic vision”.

For his part, Marwan Hamed, 46, dedicated the award to his late father; renowned writer Wahid Hamed, and his mother; media figure Zeinab Swaydan.

He thanked the festival’s organizers and his mentors, producers, and fellow artists who supported his artistic journey.

A 1999 graduate of the Higher Institute of Cinema, Marwan Hamed launched his career with his acclaimed short film Lilly (2001). The film, an adaptation of a short story by Yusuf Idris, won numerous international awards including the Audience Award at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and the Golden Award at the Carthage Film Festival, among others.

Before becoming a major director, Hamed worked as an assistant director in important films like Samir Seif’s Souk El-Motaa (2000) and Deil El-Samaka (2003), as well as Sherif Arafa’s El Noum Fil Assal (1996), Edhak El-Soura Tetla’ Helwa (1998), El-Nazer (2000) and Ibn Ezz (2001).

Hamed’s first major feature film was The Yacoubian Building (2006), an adaptation of Alaa Al-Aswany best-selling novel generously produced by Good News and featuring a star-studded cast that included Adel Emam, Nour El-Sherif, Yousra, Isaad Yunis, Ahmed Bedir, Khaled El-Sawy, among others.

Since premiering at Berlin International Film Festival, the film earned praise from audiences and critics alike and is now considered a classic of Egyptian cinema.

In addition to acclaimed thriller Ibrahim Labyad (2009), Hamed filmography includes multiple commercial hits adapted from Ahmed Mourad's best-selling novels, including box-office record-breakers and award-winning films like The Blue Elephant 1 and 2 (2014 and 2019), The Originals (2017), Diamond Dust (2018) and his most recent hit Kira & El-Gin (2022).

Hamed has served as a jury member at various film festivals like the Red Sea International Film Festival in 2021, the El-Gouna Film Festival in 2019 and the Cairo International Film Festival in 2015.

After a one-year hiatus, the El-Gouna Film Festival is returning in its sixth edition, scheduled from 12 to 20 October in the coastal city of El-Gouna.

The organizers announced last month the appointment of Marianne Khoury as the festival’s Artistic Director, succeeding Amir Ramses.

The festival’s Career Achievement Award has previously been given to actors Adel EmamAhmed El-SakkaMohamed HenedyKhaled El-SawyForest Whitaker, Sylvester Stallone, Gérard Depardieu and Saïd Taghmaoui, as well as director Daoud Abdel-Sayed, art director Onsi Abu Seif, filmmakers Dora Bouchoucha and Mai Masri, and critic Ibrahim El-Ariss.

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