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Egypt has selected Yomeddine, directed by Abu Bakr Shawky, as its best foreign-language film submission for Oscar consideration.
The film tells the story of a Coptic leper and his orphaned apprentice who leave the confines of the leper colony for the first time and embark on a journey across Egypt to search for what is left of their families.
“Shawky, who is half-Egyptian and half-Austrian and who was educated at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, should be commended for returning to his country of birth for his first feature and for the decision to turn his cameras on a subject very rarely explored in cinema: leprosy, about which the director previously made a short,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote in its review of Yomeddine.
The pic, which also was written by Shawky and produced by Desert Highway Pictures and Film Clinic, premiered in May in the official competition at Cannes and won the François Chalais Award.
Egypt has entered movies in the best foreign-language film Oscar race since 1958. The country has yet to receive a nomination.
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