MAD Solutions to feature 6 titles at Cairo International Short Film Festival

11 January 2024
After making waves on the festival circuit, winning numerous awards, and submitting films to the Oscars, MAD Solutions ends this year on a high note and sends off six titles from its distribution slate to the fifth edition of the Cairo International Short Film Festival, which will be held from December 19th to the 22nd.
The MAD lineup includes Khalil Dreyfus Zaarour’s THE BIRDS HAVE LEFT BEIRUT, Aziz Zoromba’s SIMO, Mai Wael’s NEB TAWY, Mohamed Hosny Yassin’s OVERCAST, Alaa Mahmoud’s 1+1, and Walid Messnaoui’s NO KEY.
Coming in first is Khalil Dreyfus Zaarour’s THE BIRDS HAVE LEFT BEIRUT, which recently won the Best Short Documentary Award at the 2023 Bahrain Film Festival and will screen on Tuesday, December 19th at 7:15 pm.
Directed and written by Khalil Dreyfus Zaarour, THE BIRDS HAVE LEFT BEIRUT delves into the aftermath of a pivotal event that occurred on August 4th, 2020. This date shook a country, changed a city, and destroyed lives. The film views the disaster through Zeina’s eyes.
Next up is Aziz Zoromba’s SIMO which will screen on Wednesday, December 20th at 7 pm and tells the compelling story of the complex brotherhood between Simo and Emad, which is filled with competition and jealousy.
In a desire to prove his popularity and his capabilities to his older brother, Simo sneakily takes over Emad's online gaming. However, his actions take a dangerous turn that may seriously impact the future of their family.
The short film, which held its international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and its European premiere at the 73rd Berlinale, won numerous awards, including the Best Canadian Short Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Denis Villeneuve's Favorite Short at the 19th Prends Ça Court! Gala, and the Canadian Screen Award for Best Live-Action Short.
Third in line is Mai Wael’s NEB TAWY, which world premiered at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, where it won a top award, and will screen on Thursday, December 21st at 7:15 pm. 
The film follows a young woman who began working with her uncle on the illegal excavation of artifacts after her father’s death. As the days go by, she does everything she can to keep her father’s memory alive, until one day she realizes something that will turn her life upside down.
After that is Mohamed Hosny Yassin’s debut short OVERCAST, which world premiered at the Sharm El-Sheikh Film Festival and will screen on Thursday, December 21st at 7:15 pm.
OVERCAST follows Diab, who has returned to his village with a wife and is keen to hide her from everyone to the extent of forbidding her from any social engagement.
As time goes by, circumstances force him to seek his neighbors’ help. Such an emergency will make him question his radical thoughts and his beliefs about real manhood.
MAD’s penultimate entry in the Cairo International Shorts Film Festival is Walid Messnaoui’s NO KEY, which screened at the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival and won nine awards at five prestigious film festivals, including Best Crime Short (Outstanding Achievement Award) at the Indie Short Fest - Los Angeles International Film Festival, Best Actor at the Korea International Film Festival, and Best First-Time Short Film at the Boden International Film Festival.
The film follows a young burglar named Amine, who, in his desperate hunt for a way out of his gloomy existence on the rough streets of Casablanca, discovers a sealed jewelry box that represents his ticket to a brighter future in Europe.
However, when other gangs find out what’s in his possession, he must brave their treacherous terrain and face his demons to keep his dream alive.
The short will screen on Thursday, December 21st at 3:30 pm.
MAD’s final entry in the festival is Alaa Mahmoud’s 1+1, which screened at the Aswan International Women's Film Festival, Meta Film Festival, and Tripoli Film Festival, Lebanon.
Set in a city ravaged by the Great War, the film stars British award-winning actor Amir El-Masry and follows the challenging journey of a man and a woman from opposing parties as they navigate the delicate balance between engaging in conflict and seeking a peaceful existence.
The film will screen on Wednesday, December 20th at 7 pm.