Egyptian ‘Feathers’ Takes The Cannes Grand Prize

Egyptian director Omar El-Zohairy Wins Nespresso Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s parallel Critics’ Week for his debut feature film ‘Reesh’ (Feathers).

It tells a lot about how people feel about themselves, their life and their situation.

For a film about men and chickens, Feathers reveals a lot about women and Egyptian society. The 112-minute Arabic-language film explores the adventures of a mother who is stuck in a repetitive daily routine after a magician mistakenly turns her strict husband into a chicken, as she tries to survive while going through a rough and absurd transformation. Changing him back does not go according to plan and the woman is left with a chicken rather than her husband. Darkly humorous debut feature is a film of biting social satire, wry chuckles, and unsettling oddity.

“I believe that in cinema you need to show the audience something that they’ve never seen before in their life, but they need to see it through you,” says El Zohairy to

‘Feathers’ was chosen from nearly 1,000 nominees by a committee under the helm of artistic director Charles Tesson. The film, produced with European assistance, was received by a standing ovation from the audience.

The Cannes Film Festival continues until July 17. The winners of the festival’s biggest prizes are announced in its last few days.

Omar EL ZOHAIRY was Born in Cairo in 1988. He studied film directing at the High Institute of Cinema in Cairo. During his studies, he worked as an assistant for Yosry Nasrallah and Ahmed Abdallah among many other prominent film directors in Egypt. His first short feature film Zafir (Breathe Out) premiered at the 8th Dubai Film Festival and won the Jury Special Mention Prize at Muhr Arab Short Competition. Zafir competed at 34th Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival – Cinema
and was featured in many local and international film competitions. He finished his second short feature film “The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375”. It is his graduation project from the High Cinema Institute.

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