'The Gate of Sun', Nasrallah's adaptation of Elias Khoury's novel, was in the Festival de Cannes' Official Selection in 2004.
The 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival has named Egyptian filmmaker Yousry Nasrallah as chairman of the jury of the Short Films category.
The event will take place from May 17 to 28, 2022.
The jury will be headed by Nasrallah, and also includes Monia Chokri, a renowned Canadian actress and director, Laura Wandel, a Belgian filmmaker and screenwriter, Félix Moati, a French actor and director, and French cinema critic Jean-Claude Raspiengeas.
The jury will choose one of the nine films in competition for the Short Film Palme d’Or, which will be presented at the Festival’s closing ceremony on Saturday, May 28.
The jury will give three La Cinef prizes to the finest of the 16 films from film schools that were shown this year. The rewards will be presented at a ceremony on May 26, before the screening of the award-winning films.
In a statement, Yousry Nasrallah said: “A producer once told me he was looking to make small low-budget films, and I immediately ran out. I have nothing against low-budget films, but they have to be big. I want to see the entire world in these films. More precisely, I want to see a world that I can only ever know through said film. A world that the director of this ‘low-budget film’ challenges, shares, embodies, discovers, and shapes for themselves. I know that the films that will be presented to us in this selection are films that will offer me a taste of the things to come in the next few years. In any case, I know I’ll be reconnected with this love for the world and for cinema that I felt at the age of 6, when I saw my first film. And it was BIG.”
Nasrallah studied economics and political sciences at Cairo University and went on to become a film critic and assistant director in Beirut. Upon returning to Cairo in 1982, he worked with Youssef Chahine on Bonaparte in Egypt, with production company Misr International Films going on to produce his first films. He shot his first feature film Summer Thefts (Directors’ Fortnight) in 1988, following up with The Mercedes (1993) which was selected at the Locarno Film Festival, On Boys, Girls and the Veil (1995), a documentary about Egypt’s young people, and The City (1999), which was awarded Locarno’s Special Jury Prize. His eponymous book-to-screen adaptation of Elias Khoury’s novel The Gate of Sun was in the Festival de Cannes’ Official Selection in 2004. He went on to film The Aquarium (2008) and Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story (2009) which was screened at the Venice Film Festival. In 2011, his Interior/Exterior was included in 18 Days, an anthology of shorts screened at the Festival de Cannes in honour of Egypt. The following year he was back in the Official Selection, in Competition with After the Battle. His last film Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces was presented in Official Competition at the Locarno Film Festival in 2016.