Image credit: Al Araby

The Egyptian International Feature Award Committee has submitted Tamer Ezzat’s movie لما بنتولد’, under the English translation of ‘When We’re Born’, as its nomination for the International Feature Film Category at the 93rd Academy Awards Ceremony. Set to take place on the 25th of April 2021 instead of the usual February, Egypt has been submitting movies to this category since 1959 with Youssef Chahine’s ‘باب الحديد’ or ‘Cairo Station’ as its very first submission. It has been waiting ever since for its first nomination or win.

Directed, co-produced and co-written by Tamer Ezzat, When We’re Born was Nadine Shams last screenplay before her passing in 2014. The movie was written back in 2007 and took over 10 years to be made as there were constant struggles of finding the right people to back the project and showcase it as it is. Shams, who won the best screenplay category at the 10th Malmo Arab Film Festival in October, was also the mastermind behind Tamer Ezzat’s debut documentary ‘The Place I Call Home’, which is said to be linked to this new work. The film stars Amr Abed, Ibtihal El Serety, Salma Hassan, Mohamed Hatem, and Amir Eid, which we thought was an interesting choice of casting.

According to the film’s synopsis on IMDB, it “interweaves the hopes and dreams of three characters at the centre of the Egyptian lifestyle, accompanied by musical narration: a son who yearns to pursue a singing career against his father’s will, a romantic Christian woman who is in love with a Muslim man, and a newly-wed personal trainer who must compromise his principles for a chance to own a gym. Will these characters make the best choices for themselves and the people they love?”

The film first premiered in September 2019 at the Gouna Film Festival and went out on general release on the 23rd of October 2019. The movie has since appeared in many film festivals, netting many awards which consequently led to it being Egypt’s choice for representation at the Oscars. Mohamed Hatem won Best Actor, while the late Nadine Shams won Best Screenplay and Ezzat was awarded Best Director by The Egyptian Society of Filmmakers.

When We’re Born will be marked as Egypt’s 35th submission at the Oscars, but we’re yet to make it to the shortlist of nominations or win any award. Do you think When We’re Born has what it takes to take Egypt to the next level at the 93rd Academy Awards Ceremony? Especially with the ever-growing interest in The Best International Film category since Parasite smashed the category last year? The competition is strong, and the submissions we’re competing with are certainly of high-quality and class. Make sure to check the film out to be able to form an opinion of whether we’ll make it through this year or not.