Festival to celebrate prolific work of the Egyptian writer of script and screen
Dubai - 18 October 2017: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has confirmed that this year’s Arab Lifetime Achievement Award will recognize the illustrious Egyptian writer Wahid Hamed, celebrating his achievements in screenwriting and outstanding contributions to the industry. One of Egypt’s most acclaimed writers with a career that spans four decades, Hamed has an impressive list of credits to his name. Hamed is set to receive the award at the Festival’s 14th edition, running from 6 – 13 December 2017.
Wahid Hamed is renowned for his diverse work and extensive contribution to Egyptian cinema and television. An Egyptian native from the governate of Sharqia, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology before starting his career with drama work in the late 1960s. His breakthrough came in the television series ‘Dreams of the Fly Boy’ (1978), which started his longtime collaboration with distinguished actor Adel Imam. Iconic work was created when the pair came together, including ‘Al Erhab wel Kabab’ (1992), a black comedy about government corruption and the working class of Egypt, as well as ‘Al Ghoul’ (1983) and ‘Toyour El Zalam’ (1995), which focused on political corruption and the Muslim brotherhood’s dogma in Egypt. The two also partnered on the critically-acclaimed and issue-tackling ‘The Yacoubian Building’ (2006), which saw Hamed’s son, Marwan, take the director’s chair.
With almost 40 films and countless television titles to his name, Hamed has worked alongside many esteemed Egyptian directors, including Yousry Nasrallah, Atef El Tayeb and Sherif Arafa, among others. Known for his daring themes in the face of controversy, Hamed’s own work has overcome difficulty to reach the silver screen. Written in the mid-80s, the touching and renowned drama ‘Al Baree’ (1997) faced a lengthy censorship battle, due to its controversial political messages. It was not released until 19 years post its production and only after the ending was changed. Hamed decided to establish his own production company, Wahid Hamed Film Productions, to help bring his and others’ work to the big and small screen.
Hamed also worked on the famed political comedy ‘Ma’ali Al-Wazeer’ (2002), which again featured his unique take on government corruption. He has received critical acclaim and a bevy of awards across countless film festivals, most notably for his films ‘El Le’eb Maa El Kobar’ (1991), ‘Ehky ya Scheherazade’ (2009) and ‘Ot W Far’ (2015). His last television series ‘Al Gama’a’ (‘The Brotherhood’) (2010) and ‘Return of Al Gama’a’ (2017) tackled the history of Imam Hassan Al Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its impact across Egypt.
DIFF’s Chairman, Abdulhamid Juma commented: “The longevity and diversity of Wahid Hamed’s career is testament not only to his great talent, but also to the importance of talented writers to the industry. Screenwriting is a unique art that is the backbone of any story, without which directors could not build a compelling and impactful tale. We are delighted to welcome Mr. Hamed to Dubai to honour his talents with the Arab Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Mr. Hamed expressed his gratitude upon receiving the news of the recognition, and said: “I am very touched to receive this prestigious award from the Dubai International Film Festival and look forward to accepting the award in person in Dubai this December.”
DIFF’s Lifetime Achievement Awards are dedicated to honoring the world’s greatest film industry actors, writers, directors and producers. Previous honorees include Gabriel Yared, Samuel L Jackson, Sami Bouajila, Omar Sharif, Faten Hamamah, Adel Imam, Jameel Rateb, Sabah, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Michael Apted, and Mahmoud Abdel Aziz.
Registration is now open for media, industry professionals and the public for the 14th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival, which will take place from 6 – 13 December, 2017. Please visit www.diff.ae for more information.