Ibrahim El-Batout

Up Next: Middle Eastern Filmmakers

Hailing from a news and documentary background, Egyptian helmer el-Batout’s first two features, “Ithaki” and this year’s “Eye of the Sun,” have been notable for their often stunning visuals and weaving narratives. “Eye of the Sun” was honored at this year’s Taormina Film Festival, a testament to the quality of a film which effortlessly journeys from Baghdad — with real-life footage shot by el-Batout on location — to an impoverished Cairo neighborhood. El-Batout is prepping his next — and biggest-budget — feature, an adaptation of Essam Youssef’s controversial novel “Quarter Gram,” about a gang of Egyptian junkies.