10/24/2018 – The director A.B. Shawky and producer Dina Emam presented their fiction film Yomeddine in the Meeting Point section of the festival on Wednesday. The film, which is participating in the competition, tells the story of a person suffering from leprosy who decides to go in search of his family following the death of his wife. Berhay crosses Egypt in the company of an orphan child, Obama, overcoming all the difficulties which he encounters en route.
This story, produced with a very small budget, was the director’s graduation project. A.B. Shawky had already completed a previous project in a leprosarium. In fact, the title of the film comes from a phrase he heard there. ‘Yomeddine’ in Egyptian means ‘the day of final reckoning’. The director heard someone say that “on that day we will all be free”.
In order to create the film, “we had to do a huge amount of paperwork and we still haven’t done all of it”, A.B. Shawky confessed, explaining that bureaucracy is all-pervasive in Egypt.
The majority of the actors in the film had never acted before, while others had only appeared in advertisements or small roles, and had other jobs in order to make a living. Dina Emam mentioned that “the boy without legs is very proud of this opportunity to demonstrate that he can be like the others”. The film was a watershed event in the life of the protagonist. “In the past, people would have been scared of him, but now he’s a very special figure in Egypt”, said Dina Emam.
The producer concluded with a reflection: “the film not only changed the life of the protagonist, but also the lives of all of the people who saw it in Egypt, and this is the biggest prize and gift for them”.
Amor, Avenidas Novas
Prior to the screening of Yomeddine, the short film Amor, Avenidas Novas by Duarte Coimbra was shown. The story focuses on a 20 year old man who has an idealised perception of love based on his parents’ relationship. The director noted that it is also a critique of a problem which severely affects Lisbon. “The city is adapted to suit tourists instead of the people who live there, and this creates problems among today’s young generations in Lisbon in particular”.