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The Day I Smoked a Cigarette with My Father

Spring Grants 2023 - Production Stage

Sameh Alaa / Short Narrative / Egypt, France, Qatar / 20 min / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Animation


Cairo, 1964. Alaa, a 12-year-old boy, and his three younger siblings hear shouting from the street. Outside, the crowd is cheering for a man. The children can barely believe their eyes—the man is their father, Ibrahim. Nobody expected him to come home from prison that day. If the younger siblings seem happy about his return, Alaa is unable to conceal his distrust towards the man who had so suddenly disappeared from their life.


Sameh Alaa
Sameh Alaa
Mark Lotfy. Mohamed Fawzy, Sameh Alaa
Production Company
Figleaf - Matelot

About the Director

Sameh Alaa was born in Cairo, Egypt and studied German literature at Cairo University. Before moving to Europe, he worked as an assistant director for advertisements and feature films. In 2016, he finished his MA in filmmaking at EICAR film school in Paris. Sameh’s first short film ‘Fifteen’ premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and won several awards worldwide.  In 2019 he made his first advertising campaign as a writer and director. His last short film, ‘I am Afraid to Forget Your Face’, was the first Egyptian film in 50 years to be selected for the Official Short Film Competition at Cannes Film Festival 2020. Sameh is currently developing his debut feature film.


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    Sameh Alaa


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