This Egyptian Film Just Scored a Cannes Palme D’Or

History was made.

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Sameh Alaa’s film I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face made headlines when it was first nominated for Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme D’or. Today, it made history. The short is the first Egyptian film to be awarded the prize. 

The 15-minute film follows a young man named Adam as he tries to reconcile with his girlfriend after 82 days of separation. Alongside Alaa, the short was produced by Egyptian filmmakers, Mark Lotfy who is known for his short film Piece of Wood, and Mohamed Taymour. 

I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face was previously screened at the Toronto Film Festival, and won the Moscow Film Festival Prize for Best Short Film. The filmmakers also scored a win right at home, snagging the El Gouna Film Festival’s Star for Best Arab Short Film

At Cannes, the film was shortlisted amongst 11 international shorts, including Blue Fear by Marie Jacotey and Lola Halifa-Legrand, Sudden Light by Sophie Littman and Paul Nouhet’s Camille Contactless.

Other note-worthy Arab films that were showcased at the Cannes Film Festival this year include Lebanese film Passion Simple by Danielle Arbid, and Egyptian film Souad by Ayten Amin.

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