Following Its Successful Participations at Berlin and Cannes
Naji Ismail's Om Amira wins the ACT award as the Best Women's Film at the Ismailia International Film Festival
Brilliantly depicting the issues and struggles of the working Egyptian mother, the short documentary film, Om Amira by Naji Ismail received the Act award granted to the best women's film, yesterday (Sunday) during the closure ceremony of the 17th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts at which the film participated within the Short Documentary Films Competition.
The Appropriate communications center for development (Act) grants a $1000 award to the best women's film out of 15 films participating in this round.
Produced by Rahala for Production & Distribution that was founded by Naji Ismail, Om Amira was supported by Ana Hunna initiative that aims to economically showcase the true power and influence of women within their communities through film productions.
The 24-minute film tells the story of Amira's mother (Om Amira) who, resides with her family on a roof top, Downtown Cairo. Having no other option but to toughen up to support her family and her sick daughter suffering from a heart condition, she sells home-made sandwiches for living, spending all night long until the sun rise in the streets of the sleepless city of Cairo. For her struggle and dedication to support her family, the main character, Om Amira, received the Perfect Mother award.
Previously, Om Amira was officially selected in 2014 Berlin International Film Festival and it was the first Egyptian film ever to participate in this competition, the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival, the Arab Texas Film Festival in the US, and the Festival Cinema Africano, Asia, America Latina in Italy. Furthermore, the film won the Best Cinematography award at SIMA Awards "Social Impact Media Awards" within the Short Documentary section. The film will also participate in the 12th Palace Film Festival starting on June 28th, 2014, in Balchik, Bulgaria.
Om Amira is written and directed by Naji Ismail who comes from Upper Egypt and graduated from the High Cinema Institute in 2005. During his college years, Naji wrote and directed the short fiction film El Balad as a college project, about an isolated village before which a bus passes by and never makes a stop until an average guy decides to stop it. In 2010, Ismail won a scholarship offered by the Documentary Center at The George Washington University in USA.
Ismail also directed The Story of the Revolution; a short film featuring a visual narration of the revolution days through Ahmed Hadad's verses. In 2012, Ismail scripted Knocking on Doors which highlights several complicated relationships between people from different walks of life.
Established in 2012 by Naji Ismail, Rahala for Production and Distribution aims to be a leading company in the independent filmmaking industry by collaborating with talented filmmakers whose passion would drive them to transform their independent ideas into bold and creative films. Rahala inc. is keen to produce and co-produce films from across the world and specifically from across Africa.