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Two films by Egyptian producers win post-production awards at Amman Int'l Film Festival
Published in Ahram Online on 30 - 08 - 2021

Two films produced by Egyptian filmmakers received post-production awards during the Amman International Film Festival (23 - 31 August): Journey of Eternity, with associate producer Mohamed Atef, and This is Cairo, produced by Kesmat Elsayed.
Journey of Eternity, a coproduction between the US, Egypt and Iraq, was awarded the Creative Media Solutions award (Film Branding Services, in the post-production category). The Film Branding Services grant is $10,000.
Directed by Frank Gilbert, an Assyrian writer and producer, known for Buffalo Bill Rides Again (1947), Lighthouse (1947) and Tattletales (1974), Journey of Eternity is co-produced by an Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Atef (associate producer), working with producers Cecile Cinco and Shar Yonan.
The feature narrative film "talks about an Iraqi music professor named Esho who is engaged to an Iranian lady. The nonpolitical character, the professor finds himself entangled in a difficult political situation of Iraq in the 1980s," Atef reveals to Ahram Online.
"The film protagonist's story reflects in some ways the circumstances that surrounded the character of Roman Polansky's The Pianist [2002]," Atef says without going any further into the plot details.
The IMDb synopsis of the film reveals that while Esho finds himself in prison, "he witnesses the unjust execution of three activists who become heroes in their martyrdom for defending the human rights of the indigenous Assyrian people in the Middle East. Upon his prison release, Esho vows to honour the martyrs' courage and sacrifice by journeying the world to share their stories. Ultimately, he gains international attention when he meets an American journalist William Cooper, a representative of the United Nations Human Rights Organisation."
The cast features mostly Iraqi and American-Iraqi actors. Atef also adds that American actor Eric Roberts is among the film's cast, playing the role of the UN representative.
Still from Journey of Eternity
This is Cairo is produced by Kesmat Elsayed. The film won SAE post-production facilities valued at $21,000.
The film was directed by renowned Egyptian filmmaker Hala Galal.
Born in 1966, Galal directed several documentary films, including Women's Chitchat, for which she received a silver award for best documentary at the 4th Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam in 2005. Galal also directed Time Out, The Cities Choose Her Death, Unusual Garden, Journey, and People's Affairs. She also produced a number of films, including Colours of Love, directed by Ahmad Ghanem; The Door, directed by Abdel-Fattah Kamal; and Beirut Take-1, directed by Ahmad Rashwan.
Galal is also a co-founder and executive director of SEMAT Production and Distribution.
The second edition of the Amman International Film Festival closes on 31 August. While the festival revealed the winners of the production and post-production awards, the winning films are yet to be announced during the festival's closing ceremony.
This is the second time that Egyptian productions have won support from the Amman festival. Two Egyptian producers/directors were awarded the production award during the festival's inaugural edition (August 2021).
These are 'Home There… Cinema Here' by Nidal Al-Dibs, produced by Mostafa Youssef (Syria/Egypt), which was granted an award of $7,000 from Rum Pictures (Jordan) for colour grading services, and 'The Lottery' by Karoline Kamel and produced by Mai Saad (Egypt), which granted participation in the MAFF Market Forum – Post Production Platform from the Malmö Arab Film Festival.
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