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"Souad" represents Egypt at the Oscars in the category of foreign film that does not speak English |  art

“Souad” represents Egypt at the Oscars in the category of foreign film that does not speak English | art

The film “Soad” won the Development Award at the El Gouna Film Festival in its third session, and was also selected to participate in the virtual session of the Cannes Film Festival, which was held in 2020.

The selection committee for the Egyptian film participating in the Oscar competition as the best foreign film has decided on “Souad” directed by Aiten Amin and writer Mahmoud Ezzat to compete for the award for best non-English language film.

9 abstentions

The choice of the film came with a total of 13 votes, while 8 voted for the movie “Captains of Zaatari” and 9 votes abstained, as the choice of the film sparked a state of controversy after critic Magdi Al-Tayeb announced – on his Facebook page – that 9 votes abstained.

Al-Tayeb – a participant in the committee that includes filmmakers, journalists and critics – wrote, “After 9 members abstained from voting, 8 members were nominated for the documentary film “Captains of Zaatari” and 13 members voted in favor of the film “Souad”, a scenario by Mahmoud Ezzat with director Ayten Amin, the film “Souad” was chosen. By the committee formed by the Film Syndicate to select the Egyptian film nominated for the International Film Oscar, to represent Egypt in the Academy Award for Best International Film for 2021.

The “Long Live Captain” crisis

On the crisis, director Omar Abdel Aziz explained – in an intervention with the “Al-Hekaya” program for the media Amr Adib – that the committee chose 3 films for filtering out of 22 films, and the three were “Suad”, “Captain Al-Zaatari” and “Long Live Captain”, and the film was able to The latter should win the highest votes, before its director, Mai Zayed, sent a message to the committee that her film was presented to the Oscar last year to compete as the best documentary film, and then he will not have the right to participate. Souad” for filming it inside Egypt, unlike the captains of Zaatari, so a number of attendees abstained from voting.

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Anticipate candidacy

Despite the scenes of the nomination of the movie “Souad”, its director, Aiten Amin – who returns to the cinema after an absence of more than 7 years after presenting her first feature film “Villa 69” – said – in her statements after announcing the victory of her film – that she knew that her film had been completed. Choosing it in the filter of the last 3 films and you expected it to be selected.

Real stories

The film’s author, Mahmoud Ezzat, used real stories that were sent to him on his page on social media, until the director chose the two heroines, “Basant” and “Basmala”, and there was no specific scenario, so it was based on improvisation. The film is about two teenage girls from a governorate in the Delta (outside Cairo). Ayten Amin also chose new faces who had not previously acted because she wanted the film to have credibility and feel like a documentary.

His story revolves around the 19-year-old Souad, who lives a contradictory life. In front of her family, she is a conservative and veiled girl, but she lives another life on social networking sites.

From the international Oscars

The movie “Souad” is a co-production by Tunisian Dora Bouchoucha, Mohamed Hefzy and Marc Lotfi. He won the Development Award at the El Gouna Film Festival in its third session, and was also selected to participate in the virtual session of the Cannes Film Festival, which was held in 2020, and also participated in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in 2021, and its two heroes, Basant Ahmed and Basmala El-Ghayesh won an award in the acting category at the 20th Tribeca Film Festival, which is being held in New York, and is supposed to be shown in Egyptian cinemas until next December.

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