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NYFA Grad’s ‘The Square’ Nominated for an Oscar

NYFA Grad’s ‘The Square’ Nominated for an Oscar

January 16, 2014 The Square, shot and co-produced by New York Film Academy graduate Muhammad Hamdy, has been nominated as one of five documentaries for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film, directed by Jehane Noujaim, originally premiered at The Sundance Film Festival where Hamdy ultimately accepted the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary.

“I am proud beyond words,” said NYFA Documentary Chair, Andrea Swift. “Both of his excellent work on The Square, and on Hamdy, personally.”

The Egyptian Revolution has been an enduring ordeal over the past few years. In the summer of 2013, the country overthrew its second president in the span of just three years. Egyptians, particularly their youth, displayed to the world how a population demanding change can drive an entire nation to revolution. The result was a profound movement toward democracy that is still evolving across the Arab world. The life-and-death struggle between the people and the power of the state is still playing out.

The Square gives viewers an intimate look at the daily, harsh realities faced by Egyptians working to build that new democracy. Propelling us into the action, the documentary provides a colorful, visceral experience of the struggle. Cairo’s Tahir Square is the heart and soul of the film, which follows several young activists armed with values, determination, music, humor, an abundance of social media, and sheer obstinacy.

Hamdy filmed over 500 hours of the Tahir Square revolution as he lived it, and subsequently became the cinematographer and co-producer of Noujaim’s award-winning documentary. “He spent three years on the front lines of his country’s revolution – literally on the front lines – his camera was shot and he was wounded,” said Swift. “He kept coming back, using his camera to help make the world a better place, and training fellow revolutionaries how to do the same.”

The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be held on Monday, March 2nd at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

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