Amr Gamal’s THE BURDENED to hold its Arab World premiere at Baghdad Film Festival

22 February 2024
The Brilliant Yemeni drama THE BURDENED — which was Yemen’s official submission for Best Foreign Film at the 96th Academy Awards — will be holding its Arab World premiere at the Baghdad Film Festival (February 10th to the 14th) with the film’s cast and crew in attendance.
Based on true events that took place in Aden around 2019, the film follows the struggles of a married couple and their three children after both husband and wife lose their jobs as a result of the country's economic crisis.
After the mother discovers she is carrying a fourth child, the beleaguered parents try to get an abortion despite their community's conservative stance, forcing the family to make tough decisions in order to survive.
After a triumphant world premiere at the Berlinale’s Panorama Section, becoming the first ever Yemeni film to be officially selected at the German festival, where it went on to win the Amnesty International Film Award and the second place Audience Award, THE BURDENED went on to screen at several prestigious film festivals and win numerous awards, including the Best Screenplay Award at Durban, the Best Directing and Best Screenplay Jury Awards at Valencia, a Special Jury Award for Best Film at the Taipei Film Festival, and the Gold Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival.
The film has also had quite the busy festival tour so far, screening at festivals such as the Shanghai, Sydney, Beijing, Golden Apricot Yerevan, Cairo, Zurich, War On Screen, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Rio de Janeiro, and Bergen film festivals, alongside competing at the Septimius Awards.
Additionally, it has received many positive reviews from Screen Daily, the Film Verdict, the Moveable Fest, Film Companion, Critic's Notebook, and Independent Arabia, with Basma ElMahdy of New Lines Magazine saying, “(Amr Gamal’s) portrayal of Esraa and Ahmed’s struggles to keep a roof over their three children’s heads serves as a stark reminder of the power of cinema to convey the intimate complexities of everyday life of civilians under a war.”
The Burdened was directed and co-written by Amr Gamal alongside Mazen Refaat, lensed by Mrinal Desai, edited by Heba Othman, and co-produced by Amjad Abu Alala of YOU WILL DIE AT TWENTY — Sudan's first ever Academy Award submission.
The film also stars Khaled Hamdan, Abeer Mohammed, Samah Alamrani, and Awsam Abdulrahman.
Amr Gamal is an independent Yemeni film and theater director born in Poland in 1983.
In the spring of 2018, production began for his first feature film 10 DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING. The film premiered in Aden in the summer, becoming the first film to open commercially in Yemen in three decades. The film then continued screening for over eight months and was Yemen's official submission to the Oscars in 2018.