Egyptian movie makers have been trying to reach the Oscar finals for over 57 years, but their endeavors have always gone unheeded from 1958 to 2014. Egyptian movie makers nominated 34 movies for the international award though the Oscar management has not yet accepted one of them.
The following report lists 29 Egyptian movies that were close to competing the best foreign language film Oscar award.
29. "Bab al-Hadid"
The first Arab and African film nominated to qualify for an Oscar in 1958. It was directed by Youssef Chahine, and starred Farid Shawqy, Hind Rostom, and Hassan al-Baroudy. The movie was accepted into the 8th Berlin International Film Festival. It ranked 4th among the top 100 films in the history of Egyptian cinema list prepared by Egyptian critics.
28. "Doaa al-Karawan"
The movie was based on the novel "Doaa al-Karawan" by Taha Hussein and was screened for the first time in 1959, directed by Henry Barakat and Youssef Chahine, starring Faten Hamama, Ahmed Mazhar, and Amina Rizk. Al-Fonoun magazine put Doaa al-Karawan movie in 1984 in the 6th place among the top 100 films in the history of Egyptian cinema.
The movie focuses on the adolescence phase in girls' lives and addresses their dreams boldly, compared with the reality of their lives.
"Al-Moraheqat" premiered in 1960, directed by Ahmed Diaa Eddin, starring Magda and Roshdie Abaza.
26. "Wa Islamah"
A historical film based on the novel "Wa Islamah" by author Ali Ahmed Bakathir. It was produced in partnership between Egypt and Italy, and was displayed for the first time in 1961.
The film was directed by Shady Abdel Salam, Andrew Marton, and Italian Enrico Bomba, starring Ahmed Mazhar, Lubna Abdel Aziz, Hussein Riyad and Roshdie Abaza.
25. "Al-Les wal Kelab"
A movie based on the novel of Naguib Mahfouz "Al-Les wal Kelab" (The Thief and the Dogs). "Al-Les wal Kelab" was displayed for the first time in 1962. It was directed by Kamal al-Sheikh, starring Shadia, Shoukry Sarhan, Kamal al-Shenawy and Fakher Fakher.
24. "Om al-Arousa"
"Om al-Arousa" is a social film, produced in 1963, and directed by Atef Salem. It was starring Emad Hamdi, Taheya Karioka, Youssef Shaaban, and Hassan Yousef.
"Al-Mostaheel" is a drama that tells the story of a young, spineless man who falls under the control of his father. After the death of his father he tries to act contrary to his father's instructions and is exposed to many trials to eventually discover that his father's decisions were sound.
The movie was displayed for the first time in 1965 and directed by Hussein Kamal.
The movie was starring Nadia Lotfy, Kamal al-Shinawy, Salah Mansour, Karima Mokhtar, and Sanaa Gamil.
22. "Al-Qahera 30"
A drama film based on Naguib Mahfouz's novel "Al-Qahera al-Gadida", produced in 1966, and directed by Salah Abu Saif. "Al-Qahera 30" starred Hamdy Ahmed, Soad Hosny, Abdel Moneim Ibrahim and Ahmed Mazhar. The movie was set in the 1930s about Mahgoub, a poor young man coming from Upper Egypt to Cairo. Magoub meets Salem, another man from his village living in Cairo, who asks him to help him get a job. Salem agrees to marry a young girl and to get paid by a rich man, Qassem Bey, in return for allowing Qassem Bey to sleep with his wife once a week, which becomes Salem's job.
A movie that tackled the theft of Egyptian artifacts. It was directed by Shady Abdel Salam, and starred Ahmed Mare'y and Nadia Lotfy. The movie was not accepted a nominee for the best foreign language movie Oscar award in 1970.
20. "Emraa wa Ragol"
A drama film produced in 1971, directed by Hossam Eddin Mostafa, and starring Roshdie Abaza, Zizi Mostafa, and Nahed Sherief.
19. "Zawgaty wal Kalb"
A film inspired by the English writer William Shakespeare's play "Othello". It revolves around a man who suspects his wife is cheating on him. The husband's doubts quickly destroy his marital life. "Zawgaty wal Kalb" was directed by Saeed Marzouq, starring Soad Hosni, Mahmoud Morsy, Nour al-Sherief, Zizi Mostafa, and Wahid Saif. It was displayed for the first time in 1971.
18. "Embratoreyet Meem"
One of the Egyptian cinema's popular classic movies. It was produced in 1972, directed by Hussein Kamel, and starred Fatem Hamama, Ahmed Mazhar, and Dawlat Abyad.
17. "Oreedo Hallan"
The plot revolves around a wife who leads a miserable martital life and demands divorce from her husband who refuses. She was forced to resort to court.
The film was produced in 1975, directed by Saeed Marzouk, and starring Faten Hamama and Roshdie Abaza.
16. "Ala man Notleqo al-Rosas"
The film is about a man who shoots chairman of one of the public housing companies. The man is hit by a car as he escapes after he commits the crime. The prosecutor starts investigating the incidents.
"Ala man Notleqo al-Rosas" was produced in 1975, directed by Kamal al-Sheikh, and starring Soad Hosny, Mahmoud Yassin, and Ezzat al-Alayly.
15. "Eskendereya Leh"
The first film of a series of films that dealt with Youssef Chahine's autobiography. The film shows the way people lived in Alexandria during World War II.
It was first displayed in 1978, directed by Youssef Chahine, starring Mohsen Mohey Eddin, Naglaa Fathey, Abdallah Mahmoud, Ahmed Zaky, and Farid Shawky.
14. "Ahl al-Qemma"
A social film, produced in 1981, directed by Ali Badrakhan, and starring Ezzat al-Alayly, Nour al-Sherief, Soad Hosny, Omar al-Hariry, and Nadia Ezzat.
It revolves around economic openness during the 1970s and its impact on Egyptian society.
13. "Eskendereya Kaman w Kaman"
The movie is the third of a series of movies about director Youssef Cahine's autobiography. It was produced in 1990, starring Hussein Fahmy, Yousra, and Amr Abdel Galil.
12. "Ard al-Ahlam"
It was produced in 1973, directed by Dawoud Abdel Salam, and starring Fatem Hamam and Yehya al-Fakharany.
A historical film, directed by Youssef Chahine, starring Amr al-Sherief, Laila Elawy, and Mahmoud Hemeida. It was produced in 1997, and it deals with the story of the Arab philosopher Ibn Rushd in Andalusia during the 12th century.
10. "Asrar al-Banat"
The film deals with the problems faced by young people who fall in love as their family start to intervene with their affairs.
It was produced in 2001, directed by Magdy Ahmed Ali, starring Dalal Abdel Aziz, Sawsan Badr, Sherief Ramzy, Maya Shiha, and Ezzat Abu Ouf.
9. "Sahar al-Layaly"
A social film, produced in 2003, directed by Hany Khalifa, starring Hanan Turk, Mona Zaky, Jihan Fadel, Ola Ghanem, Sherief Mounir, Ahmed Helmy, Khaled Aboul Naga, and Fatehy Abdel Wahab.
8. "Baheb al-Cima"
A social film, produced in 2004, directed by Ossama Fawzy, and starring Mahmoud Hemeida, and Laila Elwy.
7. "Yacoubian Building"
The movies was based on the novel "Yacoubian Building" by Alaa al-Aswany. It was produced in 2006, directed by Marwan Hamed, starring Adel Emam, Nour al-Sherief, Ahmed Bedeir, Hand Sabry, Ahmed Rateb, Khaled al-Sawy, Youssra and others.
6. "Fi Sha'et Mar al-Gedida"
It was produced in 2007, directed by Mohamed Khan, and starring Ghada Abdel, Khaled Aboul Naga and Youssef Dawoud.
A movie based on a true story and revolves around a drug dealer and his relation with the army and police. It was released in 2007, directed by Sherief Arafa, and starring Ahmed al-Saqqa, Mahmoud Yassin, Hend Sabry, Zeina and Asser Yassin.
4. "Rasael al-Bahr"
A drama film starring Asser Yassin, Basma, Mohamed Lotfy, and Mai Kassab. It was produced in 2010 and directed by Doawoud Abdel Sayed.
A drama film starring Sawsan Badr, Ahmed Azmy and Rouby. It directed by Khaled al-Hagar and produced in 2011.
2. "Al-Sheta eli Fat"
The movie resolves around the 25 January revolution and its implications. It was produced in 2013, directed by Ibrahim al-Batout, starring Amr Waked and Farah Youssef.
1. "Fatat al-Masnaa"
A drama that revolves around a poor girl called Haiam, 21, who works at a clothing factory. She experiences love and is criticized by the community she lives in.
The film was produced in 2014, directed by Mohamed Khan, starring Yassmin Raees, Hany Adel and Salwa Khattab.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm