The Short Film Palme d’Or is the prize every filmmaker hopes to win at the Cannes Film Festival! The milestone award has been recognizing thought provoking and divisive films since 1952. The film submissions are judged by an official board under the Cinefondation, and the Short Film Palme d’Or has previously been awarded to directors including Vasilis Kekatos and Serge Avedikian. For the 73rd Cannes Film Festival, one Egyptian director has been selected along with 9 other directors to be nominated for the prestigious award. Those 10 nominates were selected from around 3,810 submissions received.
Sameh Alaa’s 15 minute film, entitled, “I Am Afraid To Forget Your Face,” is a story focused on a man on a personal yet lonely journey searching for reunion and redemption and is the single Arab film that has been selected to feature in the Short Film category. Alaa’s film is competing against the likes of Sophie Littman and Theo Montaya and will make its debut at the 73rd edition of the Cannes Film Festival this fall.
For anyone who has never come across the works of Sameh Alaa before, he is a Brussels and Cairo based Egyptian filmmaker with an academic background in German Literature and Filmmaking. He graduated from the Academy of Cinema Arts and Technology in Egypt, and later moved to Prague and studied directing at FAMU, before going on to study at the EICAR Film School in Paris.
In 2017, Sameh won NISI MASA‘s European Short Film Pitch and went on to direct “Fifteen”, a film entirely self-produced and funded by Alaa and a family friend. It waswas the first ever Egyptian film to make it to the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival Short Cuts Program.