CAIRO - 16 November 2018: Egyptian film Yomeddine won the Silver Tanit Award for Best Feature Film at the Carthage International Film Festival. It is the third award for the film after the Gouna Star for Best Arab Feature and the Cinema For Humanity Audience Award at El Gouna Film Festival.
“Yomeddine” is directed by Abu Bakr Shawky, and produced by Dina Emam; a real former leprosy patient played the lead role. It tells the story of Beshay, a former Coptic Egyptian patient in the Leprosy Colony. He was lucky enough to be cured, unlike his late wife.
After his wife’s death, Beshay decides to leave the colony and search for his family with his friends; a donkey and a child. Beshay’s journey takes him to the past and to the future as well, exploring how society deals with his disease and highlighting the suffering of leprosy patients in the colony.
The Cinematic Professions Syndicate chose “Yomeddine” to represent Egypt in the 2019 Oscars list for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Oscars will not be the first recognition “Yomeddine” gets, as it was awarded the Francois Chalais Prize at the Cannes International Film festival. The 71st Cannes Film Festival held a press conference with the Egyptian filmmakers of “Yomeddine” after its screening at the festival on May 9.
The screening was attended by many international actors, including Julianne Moore, Louise Bourgoin and Kiko Mizuhara. All the attendees praised the movie’s construction and drama line, as well as the directing technique adopted by Shawky in his debut feature.
“Yomeddine” is the first time for a debut movie for an Egyptian director to participate in Cannes Film Festival's main competition.
The movie managed to grab the attention of all those who watched it. International media platforms were keen to put the spotlight on “Yomeddine”, writing extremely positive reviews about the movie, which presents an innovative mixture of tragedy, comedy, and condensed shots of emotions and sentiments.
“A man who has recovered from leprosy goes in search of the father who abandoned him in a sentimental drama that infantilizes its lead character,” wrote Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian.
“Recalling about a thousand other titles, with the Lynch films ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘The Straight Story’ definitely near the top of the list, this is a picaresque road movie about two mismatched characters, with rookie director A.B. Shawky offering a motley and not entirely smooth cocktail of drama and melodrama, a dash of social critique and insight, some chuckles and a few tugs at the heartstrings, mainly by virtue of its near-virtuoso score,” wrote Boyd van Hoeij in The Hollywood Reporter.
It is expected that the nominations for the 2019 Oscars will be released on Jan. 22, 2019 as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network announced.
Yomeddine recently won the best Foreign Language Contender Award at the Heartland Film Festival in Indiana