Egyptian filmmaker Omar El Zohairy has won the Grand Prize for Best Film in the Critics’ Week at Cannes for his comedic drama about a patriarchal father that turns into a chicken.
The debut feature film tells the story of a passive mother whose life is completely dedicated to her husband and children. However, after a magic spell at a children’s birthday party, the patriarchal father turns into a chicken. As a result of this transformation, the mother is forced to take the lead and take care of her family solely by herself.
‘Feather’ was produced by Paris-based production company Still Moving, and was also co-produced by Egypt’s Film Clinic and Lagoonie FilmProduction, Dutch firm Kepler Film, Verona Meier, and Greece’s Heretic.
Feathers was chosen among a thousand other nominees by a committee under the leadership of director Charles Tesson for the prestigious Semaine de la Critique, and competed against Colombian Simón Mesa Soto’s ‘Amparo’, French Elie Grappe’s ‘Olga’, Italian Laura Samani’s ‘Piccolo Corpo’, and French Julie Lecoustre and Emmanuel Marre’s ‘Rien à foutre’.
El Zohairy studied film directing at the High Institute of Cinema in Cairo, where he also worked as an assistant for Yosry Nasrallah and Ahmed Abdallah among many other prominent film directors during his studies.
His earliest works include the short feature film Zafir (Breathe Out), which premiered at the 8th Dubai Film Festival and won the Jury Special Mention Prize at Muhr Arab Short Competition.
Zafir also competed at 34th Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, and was featured in many local and international film competitions.
Following that, he finished his second short feature film “The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375″, which was his final graduation project from the High Cinema Institute.