Egypt has always been dubbed as “Hollywood” of the Middle East. But in the past few years, commercialism has pretty much monopolized Egyptian movies.
Luckily, some artists haven’t lost all hopes for the industry and opted for making independent movies.
While some claim this might be the only way to save Egyptian cinema and with all the international recognition they have been getting lately; here are 10 of the best indie films you can’t miss!
Directed by Abu Bakr Shawky, Yomeddine is a movie that tackles the stigma and misinformation about Leprosy disease in Egypt. The main lead is for a real-life leper who undergoes a journey to find his family that abandoned him as a child at Abo Zabaal Colony. This is one you don’t want to miss!
You Will Die At Twenty
The first Sudanese film in 20 years and the winner at Venice Film Festival, You Will Die At Twenty, is a just a masterpiece on all levels. The story is about a family that goes to a Sheikh to bless their newborn, when the latter informs them how the baby will die right after the age of 20!
Leil Khargy (Exterior Night) starring Kareem Kasim, Amr Abed and Mona Hala is the first indie movie to get such hype in many international festivals and for a reason. It is daring, progressive and hilarious. The movie is about the journey of 3 people who meet against all odds and their night out in Cairo.
An award wining short film by Sameh Alaa that needs more recognition is Fifteen. The film is about trauma. Set on a hot summer day, it follows a teen boy who makes his way through the hustle and bustle of Cairo with a baby, until he arrives at a hospital and we learn the story behind his vague expressions.
Ali Meza W Ibrahim
Sherif El Bendary’s movie about mental illness in Egypt is definitely one of a kind. The movie is about two guys who are alienated by the society that looks down on them for being different.
A Gift From the Past
A semi-documentary movie by Kawthar Younis. Hedya Mn El Mdy is about her own father, whom she surprises with tickets to Rome to find his true love from 33 years back. The movie is so emotional, real and touches our deepest fears in life.
Been Bahreen is not your typical feminist movie. The movie presents how the approach of some to feminism may be too extreme and unnecessary!
Zahrt El Sabar
Three characters from three different backgrounds undergoing a journey of self discovery. The plot comes from the beautiful metaphor of a cactus and how their friendship turned into a flower from the seed of hardships!
Last but not least, Egypt’s entry at the Oscars this year. Ward Masmom, starring Mahmoud Hemeda, depicts the lives of two siblings from the lower middle class and how they fight for a better chance.
Who knew Egypt could still offer such realistic and progressive cinema? For all the cinema fanatics, happy watching!