Naji Ismail

Naji Ismail



Naji Ismail is a prominent Egyptian filmmaker, writer, and director born in Cairo, Egypt in 1978. Throughout his career, Ismail has become known for his powerful and thought-provoking films that explore social and political issues.

Ismail graduated from Cairo University’s Department of Mass Communication in 2000 and began his career as a director of documentaries and short films. His first feature film, “The Beach House” (2004), was an acclaimed success at international film festivals and was nominated for Best Picture at the Cairo International Film Festival. His follow-up feature, “The Imprisonment of a Butterfly” (2006), was also critically acclaimed and won numerous awards.

In 2007, Ismail received a Fulbright Scholarship to attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts, where he studied film directing. During his time in New York, he wrote and directed several short films, including “The Snowman” (2007), which was selected to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2009, Ismail returned to Egypt and released his third feature film, “The Island” (2009). This film was a huge success in the Arab world and won the Best Picture award at the Luxor African Film Festival. Ismail then directed his fourth feature film, “The Long Night” (2012), which was also critically acclaimed and won multiple awards.

In 2014, Ismail wrote and directed “The Blue Elephant” (2014), which became the highest grossing Egyptian film of all time and won the Best Picture award at the El Gouna International Film Festival. He followed this success with his sixth feature film, “Escape to Paradise” (2016).

Ismail’s films have been praised for their strong storytelling, powerful cinematography, and thought-provoking themes. He has also been credited for his ability to explore complex social and political issues in his films.

Ismail continues to work as a filmmaker and has been involved in several projects both in Egypt and abroad. He recently directed the feature-length documentary “The Last Farewell” (2020), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. He is currently in post-production on his seventh feature film, “The Great Migration”, which is expected to be released in 2021.

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