Egyptian director Sameh Alaa’s movie “I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face” has won the coveted Palme d’Or in the Cannes Film Festival’s short-film competition.
Starring Seif Eldin Hemida and Nourhan Ali Abdelazez, the 15-minute movie tells the story of a man who undertakes a difficult journey after two months of separation in the hope of a reunion. It was the only Arab film selected to compete for the prestigious prize.
The festival congratulated the director in an online post on Thursday, writing: “Tonight he won the short-film Palme d’Or 2020. Congratulations to Egyptian director Sameh Alaa.”
“I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face” was selected along with 10 other shorts.
The film was up against “Blue Fear” by Marie Jacotey and Lola Halifa-Legrand; the Evi Kalogiropoulou-directed “Motorway65”; “Sudden Light” from Sophie Littman; “Son of Sodom” by Theo Montaya; Paul Nouhet’s “Camille Contactless”; and “Benjamin, Benny, Ben” from Paul Shkordoff, among others.
The 11 shorts were selected from a total of 3,810 films from 137 countries, the festival said on its website.
“I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face” is the first Egyptian film to be nominated and to win the award.