2014 was a year full of ups and downs and turmoil but there were also great Egyptians that had a breakthrough within the country and worldwide, High achievers, in Sports, Culture, Science & Technology. Here’s the list of brilliant Egyptians that made a breakthrough last year.
The 18 year old Digital Artist AHMED ELDIN became iconic in the music history for creating Pink Floyd’s First Album in 20 years. ElDin’s artwork was picked from Behance.net an online gallery and was then used for
“The Endless River” cover album. His artwork has been featured in cities across the globe from New York to Paris, Sydney, Berlin, Milan and London.
FILM & THEATRE
1. The 36th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival – held in November 2014 – Zaki Aref winning the Silver Pyramid for Best Artistic Contribution in the International Competition for his cinematography in Kareem Hanafy’s debut film Gate of Departure.
2. Omar El Zohairy’s short film, The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375, was selected for the Cannes’ Cinéfondation competition for student shorts – one of 16 films picked from 1,631 submissions. El Zohairy, a recent graduate of the High Cinema Institute in Cairo, previously won a Special Mention prize in the Murh Arab Short category at the 2011 Dubai International Film Festival for his short film Zafir (Breath Out).
3. Veteran actor Khaled El Nabawy surprised fans when he took to the stage to depict the life of Anwar El Sadat in a US theatrical production written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright and directed by Molly Smith titled Camp David. The historical drama depicts negotiations between then American president Jimmy Carter and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat. The play premiered in Washington DC.
4. Mohamed Khan’s Factory Girl scooped four awards at the 18th edition of the Egyptian National Film Festival, bringing the film’s tally to a total of nine awards so far. Factory Girl’s writer Wessam Suleiman received Best Writing Award at Morocco’s Sala Women Film Festival; the film got a Special Jury Prize at MEDFilm Festival in Italy, and won the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) award for Arab Feature Competition at its premiere at last year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), where leading actress Yasmin Raeis received Best Actress award in the Muhr Arab Feature Competition. Raeis later received award for Best Actress from Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden. Factory girl is Egypt’s submission to the category of best foreign feature at the 87th Academy Awards in February 2015.
5. Egyptian filmmaker Sara Mourad won first prize for her short film Quietly in the Arab Women Filmmakers section at the sixth edition of the Baghdad International Film Festival in October of last year. Quietly, which tackles the taboo subject of abortion, marks the amateur filmmaker’s debut.
6. Jehane Noujaim became the first Egyptian filmmaker to be shortlisted for an Academy Award for her film The Square.
7. Egyptian documentary filmmaker Naji Ismail’s Om Amira (Amira’s Mother) won Best Documentary at Aan Korb, the BBC Arab Film and Documentary Festival in London late last year. Om Amira, which is part of the “Ana Hunna” (“I Am Here”) initiative, tells the story of an Egyptian woman who struggles to make ends meet to help her sick daughter Amira. The film formerly received the ACT award as Best Women’s Film at the 17th Ismailia International Film Festival in the Short Documentary section. It was also screened at the Berlinale Shorts section of the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival and was part of the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival.
8. Independent Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Abdalla was featured as Filmmaker-in-Focus at the 25th Singapore International Film Festival in December 2014. The Filmmaker-in-Focus is one of the regular sections at the Singapore film festival and regularly selects a prominent figure from the international cinema scene. The festival included screenings of Abdalla’s films Heliopolis, Microphone, Rags and Tatters, and Décor.