Two Egyptian films were screened at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) in its Middle East and Africa category. “Yomeddine” (Judgement Day) and “Sheikh Jackson” are written and directed by Egyptian-Austrian Abu Bakr Shawky and Amr Salama respectively.
“Yomeddine” is the first full-length independent Egyptian film to be nominated for the Palme d’Or in Cannes Film festival this year. It retells the story of a real-life leprosy survivor who embarks on a journey to find his biological father, starring actors Radi Gamal and Ahmed Abdel Hafiz.
Meanwhile “Sheikh Jackson” is set on the day of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, and delves into the whirring emotions and existential questions the pop star’s death elicits for the sheikh.
According to the MIFF’s website, “Sheikh Jackson questions why people embrace religious fundamentalism, and champions pop culture as another framework for our hopes and dreams”.
“Yomeddine” was screened on August 3 and 12 while “Sheikh Jackson” was screened on August 9 and August 15.
One of the oldest film festivals in the world, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is an annual film festival held over a three week period in Melbourne, Australia.