Ajyal Film Festival 2024

All Films


Ajyal Competition, Ajyal at Vox - Ajyal Film Festival 2021

Omar El Zohairy / Feature Narrative / France, Egypt, Netherlands, Greece / 2021 / 112 min / Colour / DCP / In Arabic / English subtitles / Middle East Premiere
Rated: Mature subject matter which may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas.


When a magic trick goes terribly awry at a children’s birthday party, the autocratic father of an impoverished family is turned abruptly into a chicken. This ludicrous event causes an avalanche of coincidental absurdities to befall everyone else. The dutiful mother, whose mundane life was dedicated to her husband and children, is now thrust to the forefront as head of the new, unusual household and primary breadwinner for her family. While trying everything to bring her husband back and secure their financial survival, she undergoes a considerable transformation of her own.
Even as a chicken, her husband seems to be demanding as ever, and you get the impression that this henpecking behaviour started long before he became poultry. Treated with darkly humorous absurdity, the film uses its farcical premise to highlight more profound issues of gender and wealth inequality that many households in Egypt face. The wife’s place in the family has fundamentally changed, and she will do everything to protect her newfound liberation in this brilliantly composed comedic satire of patriarchy. Filmmaker Omar El Zohairy made history with this film by winning the Grand Prize at Critics’ Week in Cannes this year, becoming the first Egyptian film to win in this segment of the festival.

About the Director

Omar El Zohairy began work as an assistant director on feature films of Egypt’s most prominent filmmakers, including Yousri Nasrallah. Zohairy’s first short film, ‘Breathe Out’ (Zafir), premiered at the 8th Dubai International Film Festival and won the Muhr Special Jury Prize for Short Films. His second short film, ‘The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375’, was the first Egyptian film selected for the Cinéfondation competition at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and the film went on to win several awards around the world.


Omar El Zohairy
Ahmed Amer, Omar El Zohairy
Juliette Lepoutre
Hisham Saqr
Associate Producer
Daniel Ziskind
Production Designer
Asem Ali
Executive Producer
Mohamed El Raie
Mohamed Hefzy, Shahinaz Al Akkad, Derk-Jan Warrink, Koji Nelissen, Giorgos Karnavas, Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Verona Meier, Pierre Menahem
Kamal Samy
Sales Company
Production Company
Still Moving
Ahmed Adnan
Niels Barletta
Film Clinic Indie Distribution
Demyana Nassar, Samy Bassiouny, Fady Mina Fawzy, Abo Sefen Nabil Wesa, Mohamed Abd El Hady

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