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Egypt's The Brink of Dreams Wins L'Œil d'or Award at Cannes

Filmed over four years, The Brink of Dreams captures their transition from childhood to adulthood as they face pivotal life decisions.

Farida El Shafie

Egypt's The Brink of Dreams Wins L'Œil d'or Award at Cannes

The documentary film The Brink of Dreams, produced by Felucca Films and directed by Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir, has been honored with the L'Œil d'or (Golden Eye Award) for Best Documentary at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. This milestone marks the first time an Egyptian film has won this prestigious accolade. The award saw twenty-two documentaries in contention, including notable works by directors such as Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, and Claire Simon.

The film made its debut in the official Critics’ Week competition, with a premiere attended by the cast and crew, including directors Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir, and the girls of Panorama El Barsha Troupe (Magda Masoud, Haidi Sameh, Monika Youssef, Marina Samir, Myriam Nassar, Lydia Haroun, and founder Youstina Samir). The premiere was met with enthusiastic praise from both audiences and critics, with reviews appearing in Le Monde, Variety, and Screen Daily.

Set in a secluded village in southern Egypt, the documentary chronicles a group of girls who defy societal expectations by forming an all-female street theatre troupe. They dream of becoming actresses, dancers, and singers, challenging their families and community through their daring performances. Filmed over four years, The Brink of Dreams captures their transition from childhood to adulthood as they face pivotal life decisions.

Nada Riyadh and Ayman El Amir have previously worked on the short fiction film Fakh (The Trap), which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and received a special mention at the Cairo International Film Festival the same year. Their feature-length documentary Happily Ever After premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2016.

The production team for The Brink of Dreams includes line producer Mohamed Khaled, assistant directors Hamees El Balshy and Doha Hamdy, directors of photography Dina El Zeneiny, Ahmed Ismael, and Ayman El Amir, sound recordists Mostafa Shaaban, Sameh Nabil, Osama Goubail, and Shadwa Ali, composer Ahmad El Sawy, and editors Veronique Lagoarde-Segot, Ahmed Magdy Morsy, Ayman El Amir, and Nada Riyadh.

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