Omar El Zohairy’s directorial, Feathers, won Best Arab Narrative Film at the closing ceremony at this year’s edition of the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.
The film is a dark comedy that focuses on a woman’s struggles after her husband is transformed into a chicken when a magic trick goes awry. The film has sparked many mixed reviews as many have lauded the film for its unique storyline, whilst others have accused the film of being a negative portrayal of Egypt.
The El Gouna Film Festival’s fifth edition showcased 16 feature films, 23 short fiction films, and 15 documentaries. Finnish director Teemu Nikki’s “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic,” “Life of Ivanna” by Renato Borrayo Serrano, and “Katia” by Russian director Andrey Natotcinskiy, all won Golden Star Awards.
Directed and written by El Zohairy and Egyptian screenwriter Ahmed Amer, “Feathers” is El Zohairy’s directorial feature film debut and received its award by Rob Allyn, president of the Feature Narrative jury. Omar El Zohairy was grateful to receive the award and thanked those who supported him, as he was proud of the fact that he is an Egyptian director, who graduated from the Higher Institute of Cinema in Cairo.
Other winners at the El Gouna Film Festival included Egyptian director Ali El Arabi who won the Best Arab Documentary award for his film “Captains of Za’atari,” which star two Syrian refugees from the Za’atari camp in Jordan, Mahmoud, and Fawzi, both of who attended the festival along with El Arabi.