The Egyptian film “Youm Lel Setat” (A Day for Women) was chosen to be the opening film of the fourth Faten Hamam Film Festival, which kicked off Wednesday at the Cairo Opera House.
The film by prominent director Kamla Abu Zekry stars veteran artists Elham Shahin, Nelly Karim, Hala Sedky, Mahmoud Hemida, and Ahmed El-Fishawy.
The Faten Hamama Film Festival will last until May 7. This year’s edition is dedicated to reviving silent heritage. The festival will screen several films by Charlie Chaplin, as well as several films that were produced in the early 1900s.
The festival, headed by director Magy Anwar, holds the name of Hamama as a dedication to her enriching journey in Arab cinema.
The film is set in one of the working class neighbourhoods, where the youth centre dedicates a day at the local pool for women only. As the plot continues, the audience gets to see the consequences of this decision on the psychological and emotional life of both men and women living in the neighbourhood. While women of different ages gather each week to enjoy the luxury of swimming in a pool, the audience gets to see them sharing their dreams and experiencing life.
The film has achieved a series of awards in several national and international festivals—the latest being the Best Feature Film award at the 37th African Film Festival in Verona, Italy.
Last September, the film won the Grand Prize at the African Cinema Festival in Khouribga, Morocco, only a few days after its female stars—Nelly Karim, Elham Shahin, and Nahed El Sebaie—shared the Best Actress award for their performances at the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in Russia.
The script was written by Hanaa Atiya and produced by Elham Shahin through her company Shahin Film.
The film made its GCC premiere at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) during its Arabian Nights programme.