Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah was awarded the Middle East Filmmaker of the Year award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) on Monday. He got the award by Variety, a leading American magazine, for his latest film, Baad El-Mawkea (After the Battle), which is about the aftermath of the Battle of the Camel during the Egyptian Revolution.
The film stars Menna Shalaby and Baseem Samra.
Samra portrays impoverished Pyramids tour guide Mahmoud. He is coerced
into taking part in the brutal attack on anti-government demonstrators
in Tahrir Square. He is badly beaten by protesters and afterwards he and
his family are taunted and ridiculed because the attack is widely
thought to have been instigated by agents of the Mubarak regime.
Nasrallah, born in Egypt in 1952, said the men who took
part in the attack, mostly tour guides from the Pyramids area, were easy
targets for those who wanted to exploit them. "They were extremely worried about their livelihood. Revolution means
no more tourists, it means hunger. So they were easily manipulated and
pushed into battles that were not theirs," Nasrallah told Reuters.
Baad El-Mawkea first debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in
May, making Nasrallah the first Arab director to participate at Cannes'
official competition after the late Youssef Chahine. Nasrallah's other works include the 2009 film Sheherazade, Tell me a Story and The City, which
won the special jury prize at Locarno in 1999. His first film, Sarikat Sayfeya (Summer Thefts), was shown in 1988 in the parallel director section of the Cannes festival.