The film is Yemen's official submission for the 96th Academy Awards too.
Amr Gamal’s Yemeni drama The Burdened has received the Gold Hugo Award as part of the New Directors Competition at the 59th edition of The Chicago International Film Festival, which ran from October 11 to 22, 2023 in Chicago, US.
The film, which is Yemen’s official submission for Best Foreign Film at the 96th Academy Awards, is based on true events that took place in Aden around 2019. It 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.
The film’s world premiere was held at the Berlinale’s Panorama Section — 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 has screened at several prestigious film festivals and won numerous awards, including the Best Screenplay Award at Durban, the Best Directing and Best Screenplay Jury Awards at Valencia, and a Special Jury Award for Best Film at the Taipei 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, and Rio de Janeiro film festivals, alongside competing at the Septimius Awards.
The Burdened is co-produced by Amjad Abu Alala, directed and co-written by Amr Gamal alongside Mazen Refaat, lensed by Mrinal Desai, and edited by Heba Othman. It also stars Khaled Hamdan, Abeer Mohammed, Samah Alamrani, and Awsam Abdulrahman.
Additionally, Mohamed Kordofani’s debut Sudanese drama feature Goodbye Julia won the Roger Ebert Award at the Chicago International Film Festival.