The 2nd annual Aswan International Woman Film festival poster – Aswan International Woman Film festival official facebook page The 2nd annual Aswan International Woman Film festival poster – Aswan International Woman Film festival official facebook page

"Zahret al-Sabar" and “El Bahes an Umm Kulthum” to participate in AIWFF

Fri, Feb. 9, 2018
CAIRO – 9 February 2018: Egyptian movies "Zahret al-Sabar" (Cactus Flower) and “El Bahes ‘An Umm Kulthum” (The Search for Umm Kulthum) will participate in the 2nd edition of Aswan International Woman Film festival.

“El Bahes An Umm Kulthum” movie tells the story of the most prominent singer in the Middle East. The movie highlights how she managed, as an Egyptian woman, to break down and penetrate all social, religious, political and national barriers existing in society at the time.

Famed and talented Egyptian actress Yasmine Raees played Umm Kulthum in the movie. “The Search for Umm Kulthum” participated in a number of prominent international film festivals, such as the 74th edition of the Venice International Film Festival held from August 30 to September 9.

“The Search for Umm Kulthum” also participated in the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival held from September 7 to September 17 and the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off from October 4 to October 15. The movie is directed by Shereen Nishat.


"Zahret al-Sabar" revolves around an Egyptian actress named Aida, who has provincial roots and is struggling to make it to the top. Aida suddenly finds herself kicked out of her house, along with her old, reclusive bourgeois neighbor, Samiha.

With no money and nowhere to go, the two women meet a young man, Yassin, while roaming the streets of Cairo. The three of them attempt to find shelter for the night. Their journey is full of tough moments and challenges, but is unraveled as a journey of self-discovery for all three of them.

An extraordinary friendship unexpectedly grows between Aida, Samiha and Yassin like a dazzling flower blooming from a thorny cactus. The movie was directed by Hala al-Khoussy and stars Menha al-Batraoui, Salma Samy and Marwan al-Azab.

Egyptian actress Menha al-Batraoui won the Muhr Feature award for best actress at the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) for her role in the movie. "Zahret al-Sabar" was the only film representing Egypt in the Muhr Feature competition at the 14th DIFF ceremony.

The 2nd Aswan International Woman Film festival announced that this year’s edition will bear the name of famed Algerian militant Djamila Bouhired. The festival will kick off on February 20.

The festival’s 2nd edition poster, designed by Tamer Ragab, is a white rectangular space dominated by the face of a girl inside a large vacuum.
This face, which is representative of women, is comprised of pictures taken in Aswan. The images were mixed in a way that depicts the imagination and charm of cinema and the dreams of the Egyptian women. Accompanying the text at the bottom is a portrait of sculptor Djamila Bouhired.

The festival is currently receiving applications for the following workshops:

• Script Workshop supervised by scriptwriter Naser Abdel Rahman
• Documentary Film Workshop supervised by director Aida El Kashef
• Cartoon Workshop supervised by Dr. Ashraf Mahdy
• Film Workshop supervised by Dutch director Rosh Abdel Fatah
• Cinema picture Workshop supervised by director Marieke Van Der Lippe

The 2nd Aswan Women International Film Festival is held with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism, under the sponsorship of the National Council for Women.

The festival's rules stipulate that long films (feature - documentary - motion) must not be less than 60 minutes, while short films (feature - documentary - motion) are not to be more than 30 minutes long.

Accordingly, films that do not meet these conditions will screen in the official section outside the competition. The 2nd edition will honour famed Egyptian star Mona Zaki, Egyptian director Attiat el-Abnoudy, director and producer Marian Khoury as well as costume designer Nahed Nasrallah.

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