Two Arab Films Selected to Premiere in Cannes

Two Arab films have been selected to premiere at International Critics’ Week, set to take place alongside the Cannes Film Festival in July.

Egyptian director Omar El-Zohairy’s film “Feathers” tells the story of a mother who dedicates her life to her husband and children.

When a magic trick goes wrong at her four-year-old son’s birthday party, an avalanche of coincidental absurdities befalls the family. The magician turns her husband, the authoritarian father, into a chicken.

The mother is now forced to come to the fore and take care of the family while trying to bring her husband back. As she tries to survive, she goes through a rough transformation.

Zohairy’s first short film, “Breathe Out (Zafir),” premiered at the 8th Dubai International Film Festival and won the Muhr Special Jury Prize for Short Films.

His second short film, “The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375,” was the first Egyptian film to be selected for the Cinéfondation competition at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the film went on to win several awards around the world.

The second film selected to compete at the event, which will run from July 7-15, is Tunisian-French filmmaker Leyla Bouzid’s “Une histoire d’amour et de désir” (“A Tale of Love and Desire”).

The film’s story revolves around Ahmed, an 18-year-old, who is French but of Algerian origin and grew up in the suburbs of Paris.

At university, he meets Farah, a young joyful Tunisian girl, who has just arrived in Paris. While discovering a collection of sensual and erotic Arab literature he never could have imagined existed, Ahmed falls in love with Farah.

This film is Bouzid’s second feature film. In 2015, she premiered her first feature movie “As I Open My Eyes,” which was awarded at the Venice Film Festival before being screening at festivals around the world.

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