Oscars: Egypt Nominates 'Winter of Discontent' for Foreign Language Category

Venice Film Festival - Winter of Discontent H 2012

Directed by Ibrahim al-Batout, the film takes place during the turmoil of the 2011 Egyptian revolution in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Egypt has put forward gritty revolutionary drama Winter of Discontent as its official contender for the best foreign language film Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards.

Directed by Ibrahim al-Batout, the film stars Amr Waked (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Syriana), Farah Youssef and Salah Al Hanafy as it focuses on an activist, a journalist and a state security officer and their entangled lives during the tumultuous events of January 2011 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. It has been noted for its unflinching look at the brutality of Hosni Mubarak's regime as it tried desperately to forestall the revolution. Waked and Al Hanafy both also co-produced. In public life, Waked has been a virulent critic of the recently disempowered Muslim Brotherhood. 

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The film premiered in the Horizons section at the Venice Film Festival in 2012, before screening at the film festivals of Cairo and Dubai. It was acquired by Toronto-based Double Dutch ahead of the 2013 Cannes market.

In 2012, Egypt was unable to submit a film to the Oscars, owing to the post-revolutionary turmoil in the country.

No Egyptian film has ever made the Academy’s nomination shortlist.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 16 with the awards ceremony taking place on March 2, 2014.