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Haya Khairat Wins Award at Cannes Film Festival

Haya Khairat makes history as the first Egyptian to receive the Angénieux Special Encouragement Award at Cannes Film Festival.

Farah Desouky

Egyptian filmmaker Haya Khairat is set to make history as the first Egyptian to receive the prestigious Angénieux Special Encouragement Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Since 2018 the Angénieux Special Encouragement Award has been spotlighting emerging talents across the film industry, as a tribute to the late French engineer and inventor of the modern zoom lens Pierre Angénieux.

"I’ve always been passionate about art, it started with basic photography, my father used to take me every Sunday to a different spot in Cairo to visit and take pictures. Then on our way back home, we’d stop by a studio to develop the films,” Haya Khairat tells CairoScene, “I’m very overwhelmed and grateful to be going to Cannes as a filmmaker, and I won’t stop till my film makes it into the festival”.

Khairat began practising photography professionally when she was 16 years old and later went on to study filmmaking at the High Cinema Institute in Cairo. The acclaimed filmmaker’s debut as a cinematographer ‘Dark Chocolate’ won the Audience’s Best Short Film Award at the Cairo International Film Festival in 2019 and she also won the Silver Lynx at 2020’s Dubai Lynx Awards for her work as a director and director of photography for the ‘Zero Tolerance Ribbon’ FGM campaign.

Khairat's work explores the nuances of Egyptian society, shedding light on its cultural and social, landscapes. The award ceremony will be held on Friday, May 26, at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes and Khairat will be granted the Angénieux camera technology for her upcoming project.

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