Ahmed Atef Dorra
Ahmed Atef “Dorra”; born April 17, 1971) is an Egyptian Filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, film critic, poet and columnist. He is considered one of the prominent faces of Arab Cinema and one if its most innovating voices. Most of his films presented all over the world and gained important prizes. He started his career as professional child actor for Egyptian tv series from 1981 to 1986. He specialized in directing documentary films which reflects the Egyptian reality with audacity and poetry. He became a noticeable name with his first feature film “Omar 2000 (2000), which was critically acclaimed and described his cinematic style with high dose of imagination. He gained commercial success in many Arab countries with his second feature film “Ezzay el banat tehebak”(2003) , a semi musical picture with high light-comic tone in adolescent spirit. Then he spent three years of devoting himself to advanced film directing studies and film development fields. He works expert for the project euromedaudiovusel I with the pillar operated by Junta De Andalucia (spain). Then gained a scholarship grant, permitted him to enroll in Master Degree Program of School of cinema and Television of University of Southern California ( 2005-2006). He returned Egypt to launch his film production company (EGYPT FILMS) to give himself the freedom of realizing his dreams.He started auto-producing and directing Al Demons of Cairo ( Al Ghaba) (2007), the duo films about Arab spring : ( The Oriental Gate) 2013, Before the spring ( 2014). He spent the next following couple of years in the making of his Tv series Strong Women ( Setat Adra) ( 2016), which gained the highest ranks of visibility as most successful – out of Ramadan season- tv series, aired in more than 6 major Arab tv channels.
From 2018, he decided to start a new phase in his creative endeavor and devote himself to literature and visual arts. By the end of 2020, he finished his first Novel ” One soul” to be published in 2021 which will see also the first exhibition of paintings.
He was earned a PhD in VAE cinema from the Sorbon. For 25 years, he traveled a long cinematic path, making a dozen films and television series that combine direct cinema and experimental research in a poetic exploration of the real.
For his writing career, he is film critic, Columnist, poet, scriptwriter, and novelist.
Ahmed Atef is film critic, columnist at Al-Ahram Journalistic Foundation since 1993, and become head of cinema section two times 2012 and 2014 until he becomes its managing editor : supervisor of all sections of arts in 2014. He was elected vice president of Egyptian Film critics Association. He published many books in cinema like :Cinematograph Lumiere, in poetry like ( the good daughter). In 2021, his philosophical thoughts book ( Catalogue of Life) will see the light.
As international advisor, he was elected as Regional Secretary of the Panafrican Federation of Filmmakers since 2013. He works as expert for the project euromedaudiovusel I with the pillar operated by Junta De Andalucia (Spain). Egyptian representative of festivals of Milan, Pantin among others. Counselor on international relations of Egyptian Syndicate of Film professions, and Alexandria film festival.
He have parallel career as film festival director. Among his posts the role of vice president of Cairo film festival of chiuldren film, director of festival for european films in Cairo ( 2005) and head of cultural section of the prestigious Cairo international Film Festival in 1997, which he occupied the role of its director in (20120. He teaches film studies and history of cinema at the British University in Egypt.
He was chosen in 2014 by Egyptian Minsiter of Culture Dr. Gaber Asfour, to become assistant-minister, but Asfour quit his post very soon after, before this assignment could be achieved.
Atef contributed co-edited the research study : The National strategy for Culture, that Asfour submitted to the presidency in the end of 2014.
The search for lost humanity is at the heart of the concerns of each of his films. Marginalized, street children, bloggers, unemployed youth, homeless; it is the people who speak and take center stage. Through the poetry that he practices, his films reveal a humanist and free speech inhabited by a brute and indomitable force.
Awards and Honors
Selected and awarded by major film festivals such as Rotterdam Film Festival, Montreal World Cinema, Hamburg Film Festival, Fespaco, Cairo Film Festival, San Francisco arab, Burundi, Senegal, Rabat,Brussels, Kiev and others, Atef’s films have traveled the world.
Among his important awards: The Movied Med (best Mediterranean script that promotes mutual understanding (2010), European Union Prize for the best film that promotes freedom at Fespaco (2015), Human Rights Prize at Kelibia festival ( Tunisia) (1991), Best Film at the New York Film Festival for Social Films (2015), Best film at Washington Dc independant film festival.( 2008), Best sound and best film reflecting city at FESPACO 2009.
He served as a jury member at: Tetouan (Morocco), Tehran (Iran), National Film Festival (Egypt), Critical Jury (Clermont Ferrand) (1994), Critical Jury (Carthage) (1995), Critical Jury (Milan) (1998), Jury Fipresci (Cannes Film Festival) (2010), expert at Euromed-audiovisueI (2003).