Mohamed Siam - Egypt Today
CAIRO – 3 July 2018: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences responsible for awarding the Oscar prizes announced that 12 Arab filmmakers are now members of the academy in the categories of writing, directing, acting, documentary, animation and production.
The new Arab members who joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are:
Writing and directing: Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri
Writing: Lebanese screenwriter Joelle Touma
Directing: Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki
Acting: Algerian actress Sofia Boutella, Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas
Documentary: Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha, Syrian director Feras Fayyad, Egyptian director Mohamed Siam
Production: Lebanese producer Antoun Sehnaoui, Tunisian producer Saïd Ben Saïd
Animation: Egyptian Disney animator Yasser Hamed
Six of the academy's new members were on The 100 Most Important Names in the Arab Film Industry list that was featured in the eighth issue of the Arab Cinema Magazine launched by the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, who are Ziad Doueiri, Dora Bouchoucha, Annemarie Jacir, Nadine Labaki, Hiam Abbas and Feras Fayyad.
The list also featured non-Arab filmmakers who contributed to the success of the Arab film industry, such as producer Roman Paul.
Who are Mohamed Siam and Yasser Hamed?
Siam is an Egyptian feature and documentary films director. He studied in a number of global prestigious film institutions such as Sundance Labs, IDFA Academy, Doc Campus, Berlinale and Durban Talent Campus. Siam's first documentary was “Balad Meen” (Whose Country) which participated in a number of renowned festivals and was awarded a prize at the 28th edition of Carthage International Film Festival.
“Balad Meen” revolves around Egyptian police elements' work and daily lives, shedding light on a number of important reasons that led to the emergence of January 25 revolution.
In 2017, Siam garnered worldwide fame for his second movie “Amal” which was the opening movie at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. “Amal” traces the life of a troubled Egyptian teenage girl during the January 2011 revolution and accompanies her on a six-year life journey to search for her identity in a country going through a transition stage.
“Amal” received a number of awards such as Robert Bosch Film Prize, the AfriDocs prize at Durban FilmMart and Thessaloniki Docs-In-Progress award.
Siam is a member of a number of committees and associations of documentaries in the Arab region, and is a lecturer in universities in New York, Paris, Beirut and Egypt. In his interview with Tess Magazine, Siam announced that he is currently working on his first long feature movie which will focus on police in Egypt, considering it the final chapter in the trilogy he started with “Balad Meen” then “Amal”.
Yasser Hamed was born in Egypt and moved with his family to Australia when he was 11. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. Hamed is a senior creative at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Los Angeles, having worked on major films including "Big Hero 6" (2014), "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (2009) and "Happy Feet" (2006), and "Moana" (2016) which is an Academy Award-nominated film.
He is also crowds supervisor for Disney Animation which is the department responsible for animating the background characters.