DUBAI: Egyptian director Omar El-Zohairy’s “Feathers” took home the Best Arab Narrative Film at the closing ceremony of El Gouna Film Festival on Friday.
“Feathers” tells the story of a mother who dedicates her life to her husband and children. When a magic trick goes wrong at her four-year-old son’s birthday party, an avalanche of coincidental absurdities befalls the family. The magician turns her husband, the authoritarian father, into a chicken.
Despite its big win, the film — which won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week — sparked controversy at the event and on social media.
Some Egyptian filmmakers and actors, including Sherif Mounir, Ahmed Rizk and Ashraf Abdel Baqi, left the screening of the film last week because they thought the movie was offensive to Egypt.
Meanwhile, the top prize in the three main categories of Feature Narrative, Documentary and Short Film went to Finnish director Teemu Nikki’s “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic,” “Life of Ivanna” by Renato Borrayo Serrano, and “Katia” from Russian director Andrey Natotcinskiy.
Egyptian director Ali El Arabi’s “Captains of Za’atari” won Best Arab Documentary film, while director Mounia Akl’s “Costa Brava, Lebanon” won the inaugural El Gouna Green Star Award for raising awareness on environmental issues and the Fipresci award for Best Debut Film.