×

‘Yomeddine’ Director A.B. Shawky to Receive Variety MENA Talent of the Year Award

Egyptian-Austrian director A.B. Shawky, whose unconventional road movie “Yomeddine” is Egypt’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar, will be the recipient of Variety’s MENA Talent of the Year Award, to be bestowed during the upcoming El Gouna Film Festival.

Yomeddine,” in which a middle-aged man raised in a leper colony embarks with a sidekick and a donkey on a journey across Egypt to try to reconnect with his family, world-premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, a rare case of a first feature making the official competition cut. The film won the non-official Francois Chalais Prize in Cannes, which is given to life-affirming works.

Shawky’s passion project, which stars non-professional actor Rady Gamal, who suffers from leprosy and is a resident of the leper colony, won the works-in-progress award last year at the El Gouna festival’s Cinegouna Platform. This year, the completed “Yomeddine” will have its Middle Eastern premiere in competition at the ambitious new film fest on the banks of the Red Sea, where the director will also be honored.

El Gouna artistic director Intishal Al Timimi said in a statement that “Yomeddine” had been “the talk of the town ever since it had its world premiere” at Cannes. He also noted that last year’s Variety MENA Talent of the Year Award was awarded to Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri for his courtroom drama “The Insult,” which went on to score a foreign-language Oscar nomination.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award and look forward to showing ‘Yomeddine’ to audiences around the world,” said Shawky, who studied political science and filmmaking in Cairo and is an alumnus of NYU’s graduate film program.

“Yomeddine,” which was produced by American-Egyptian producer Dina Emam’s Desert Highway Pictures in collaboration with Egypt’s Film Clinic, has been acquired for North America by Strand Releasing, which is planning an early 2019 U.S. outing.

The second edition of the El Gouna festival runs Sept. 20-28.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct Live-Action 'Pinocchio' for Disney (EXCLUSIVE)

    Robert Zemeckis is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio.” Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz will produce through their company Depth of Field with Weitz penning the script. “Paddington” director Paul King had originally been tapped to direct but had to leave the project for unknown reasons at the beginning of the year. David [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content