Two Egyptian films – ‘Before the Spring’ and ‘Who Killed the Armenians?’ – garnered top awards at the Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York, reports.
The festival runs from 15 to 22 March, with both films screened on 19 March at the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas.
Before the Spring, directed by Ahmed Atef, won the festival’s Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature Award.
The feature film – which is based on true stories and stars Ahmed Tawfik, Hanan Metawe and Hana Shiha – centres on a young blogger who lost both his eyes during Egypt’s 2011 revolution, telling his story in flashbacks.
Who Killed the Armenians? is a documentary prepared by Egyptian satellite TV anchor Myriam Zaki and director Mohamed Hanafi.
The film, which is a documentary on the Armenian genocide, won the Audience Award and The Vanya Exerjian: Empowering Women and Girls Award, which went to Zaki.
Through rare footage and documents from World War I, the film investigates the different aspects of the genocide and how it occurred, with filming taking place in Egypt, Armenia and Lebanon.
Hanafy and Zaki were both present at the festival for a Q&A session after the screening.
The Socially Relevant Film Festival’s mission is “raising awareness towards social issues through the powerful medium of cinema,” as stated on its website.
Films selected for the festival centre on “human interest stories, character driven situations and good storytelling without the need to rely on gratuitous violence, crime and violent forms of storytelling.”