11/20/2021 03:00 pm – Caligari FilmBühne
France/Egypt/Netherlands/Greece 2021 112 min Arabic original version with English subtitles
by Omar El Zohairy
Script: Ahmed Amer, Omar El Zohairy, DoP: Kamal Samy, Editor: Hisham Saqr, Production: Still Moving (France), Film Clinic (Egypt), Lagoonie Film Production (Egypt), Kepler Film (The Netherlands), Heretic (Greece), Producer: Juliette Lepoutre, Cast: Demyana Nassar, Samy Bassiouny, Fady Mina Fawzy, Abo Sefen Nabil Wesa, Mohamed Abd El Hady
In a meagre apartment in a dusty nameless city, preparations are in full swing for the four-year-old son’s birthday party. Although money is far beyond tight, the celebration is supposed be top-notch. The authoritarian father intends to use the party as an opportunity to boost his popularity with his social circle and his boss. There are colourful drinks and balloons, and he has even lined up a magician with an extra-special trick up his sleeve: he turns the host into a chicken! Alas, the audience’s delight is short lived when the transformation in the other direction doesn’t work, leaving the host’s wife alone with the kids and the stubborn creditors. Focussing on the mother as the central character, Omar El Zohairy takes a satirical look at Egyptian society. In Cannes, FEATHERS was awarded the Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI Award in the “Semaine de la Critique” section.
Omar El Zohairy studied film directing at the High Institute of Cinema in Cairo and worked as an assistant director on feature films of Egypt’s most prominent filmmakers, including Yousri Nasrallah. His first feature film, FEATHERS, premiered in the competition of the Critics’ Week of 2021 Cannes International Film Festival and won two awards there.
Filmography: 2011 BREATHE OUT, 2014 THE AFTERMATH OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE PUBLIC TOILET AT KILOMETRE 375 (both short films), 2021 FEATHERS
Awards (selection). Award for Best International Feature (Calgary International Film Festival, Canada 2021), Grand Prize and FIPRESCI Prize in the Critics’ Week section (Cannes International Film Festival, France 2021)