Setting the stage for the entirety of El Gouna Film Festival (GIFF) is a film that will stir the minds of all in attendance. Renowned filmmaker Amr Salama is back at it again with a special film called “60 Pounds” that dives into the realities of domestic abuse. It is geared to make waves as the first ever short film in history to open an Arab film festival.
Premiering for the first time at El Gouna Film Festival, “60 Pounds” will be a refreshing addition to the festival scene especially with it starring up-and-coming Egyptian rapper Ziad Zaza in his first ever acting role. Today, he is one of the biggest trap artists in the rap scene and following the release of his debut album “El Rays”, he immediately earned a huge fan-base especially with his unique take on drill music.
In the film, Zaza takes on the role of a young man who along with his family suffers at the hands of his abusive father. Tensions end up reaching a boiling point and that is when Zaza takes matters into his own hands to end the suffering. Beyond domestic abuse, the film will also explore Zaza’s journey as a rapper trying to make a name for himself in the music scene.
Diving into the film, Salama went on to describe “60 Pounds” which to him is massive passion project, “I was curious to explore [the Egyptian hip-hop] scene and the background of its leading artists and to add the storytelling element to it in order to take this authenticity and turn it into a compelling story.”
Throughout his career, Salama never shied away from placing a raw and honest lens on the harsh realities of society whether through his portrayal of AIDs in his award winning feature film “Asmaa” or his exploration of identity, death and Islamic extremism in “Sheikh Jackson”. Watching any of his films is always an eye-opening experience for viewers who get to witness unexplored or untouched topics within the fabric of Egyptian society.
Along with its exciting world premiere, “60 Pounds” will also be taking part in GFF’s short film competition. Stay tuned for more updates on the long anticipated international film festival.