Announcement was made at the star-studded UAE premiere ahead of its theatrical release across the GCC on 21 September
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 20 September 2023: VOX Studios, Film Clinic and Image Nation Abu Dhabi are proud to reveal that their co-production VOY! VOY! VOY! has been selected as the Egyptian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards. The announcement was made at the star-studded UAE premiere in VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, which attended by the movie’s cast including Mohamed Farrag, Nelly Karim, Passant Shawky and Taha Desouky as well as writer and director Omar Hilal and producer Mohamed Hefzy. Inspired by true events, VOY! VOY! VOY! is an Egyptian drama comedy and is currently at the top of the Box Office in Egypt after the world premiere in Cairo on 12 September. The film is released across cinemas in the GCC on 21 September.
A shortlist of 15 finalists for the Academy Award’s Best International Film will be announced on 21 December, with the final five nominees announced on 23 January.
Mohamed Hefzy, Founder and President of Film Clinic said, “We’re overjoyed and honored at the news of VOY! VOY! VOY! representing Egypt in the Academy Awards; an honor that we at Film Clinic had in the past but feels as ecstatic with each of our films. This year Film Clinic produced, and MENA distributed titles representing Egypt, Tunisia, and Iraq in the best foreign film category. He then added; “I’m happy that Dubai is our first Arab city outside of Cairo, especially given that two of the three production companies of this film are UAE companies. We’re keen to witness how the UAE audiences receive VOY! VOY! VOY! especially after the acclaim it is getting since it premiered in Cairo just a week ago.”
Darine El Khatib, Vice President – Production, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment said, “In recent years, Arab films have been gaining international recognition and, we are incredibly proud that VOY! VOY! VOY! has been selected to represent Egypt at the Oscars, which are the most prestigious awards in the film making industry. The box office demonstrates a growing appetite for authentic homegrown films and local representation on screen. As a long-standing supporter of the regional cinema industry with a customer-centric culture, we are proud to release our latest Arabic production VOY! VOY! VOY!”
She added, “There is a multitude of creativity within the MENA region and, we are committed to bring authentic Arabic stories to audiences across the region and beyond. We are grateful to our partners Film Clinic and Image Nation Abu Dhabi for collaborating with us on this project to ensure that fresh regional productions make it to the big screen.”
Ben Ross, Acting CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi said, “As Image Nation’s first foray into Egyptian cinema, along with Film Clinic, we were overjoyed to collaborate with VOX Studios when they came onto the project to create a partnership between the three entities. Now with the successful first week at the top of the Box Office in Egypt, and the announcement that is has been selected to represent Egypt at the Academy-Awards our partnership is off to a strong beginning, and we’re excited for audiences across the rest of the GCC to enjoy VOY! VOY! VOY!”
Omar Hilal – VOY! VOY! VOY!’s writer and director said, “I’m very happy to have attended the film premiere last night in Dubai and it was incredibly special to learn that we have been selected to represent Egypt at the Oscars! A true overwhelming moment that we’re lucky to share with the UAE audience and my partners from Film Clinic, VOX Studios; Majid Al Futtaim and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. Truly humbled by the great news and hopefully the UAE audience find the film as good as Egyptian audiences have found it so far”.
VOY! VOY! VOY! tells the story of Hassan, a security guard living an impoverished life with his mother who dreams of traveling and living abroad. One day, he stumbles on the sport of blind football and cunningly decides to pose as a visually impaired man to join a team close to playing a World Cup tournament in Europe. On this journey, he crosses paths with several characters: a young female journalist who starts to take an interest in the team as he takes an interest in her, a middle-aged coach looking for an opportunity, and his two best friends. Along with them, Hassan goes to unimaginable lengths to be with the team and not miss out on Europe, hoping that this will provide their ticket to a life with more opportunity.
VOY! VOY! VOY! is produced by Mohamed Hefzy and written and directed by Omar Hilal, marking his cinematic debut and transition from the world of advertisements to movies. The film features an ensemble cast of established and emerging movie stars including as Mohamed Farrag, Bayoumi Fouad, Taha Desouki, Amgad El-Haggar, Hanan Youssef, Mohamed Abdel-Azim, and Hagag Abdel-Azim alongside headliner Nelly Karim with a special appearance by Passant Shawky.
The release of VOY! VOY! VOY! was announced at a press conference during the 2022 Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah attended by cast and crew. It releases in cinemas across the GCC on 21 September and tickets are currently on sale. For more information or to make a booking, visit voxcinemas.com or the VOX Cinemas app.
About Fim Clinic
Film Clinic was founded in 2005 by producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy with the mission to support creative up-and-coming talents with the best expertise in the film industry. With a track record of over 40 films varying from commercial blockbusters to award-winning art-house films, Film Clinic has been giving a voice to filmmakers both locally and internationally since its inception. In 2017, Film Clinic set up its own distribution arm, Film Clinic Indie Distribution, to financially support and distribute the work of the most talented and up-and-coming Arab filmmakers.
About VOX Studios
VOX Studios is the dedicated production arm of Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment. In December 2022, it unveiled its debut slate of original Arabic content in keeping with its commitment to support the next generation of home-grown filmmakers and bring quality Arabic content to audiences across the region and beyond. VOX Studios’ sister company VOX Cinemas is the largest exhibitor in the Middle East with more than 600 screens across eight markets.
Moreover, in recent years, it has established itself as one of the largest film distributors in the MENA region, acting as an independent distributor as well as working with major film studios, including Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures.
About Image Nation Abu Dhabi
Image Nation Abu Dhabi is an award-winning film and entertainment company that has built its reputation on breaking boundaries and unleashing imagination. It creates films, TV series, documentaries, and entertainment for consumers throughout the world and is the first UAE company to have multiple productions stream globally on Netflix. The company’s success spans the globe — screening content at over 400 international film festivals and receiving the industry’s highest honors, including two Academy Awards, a BAFTA, and an Emmy. Image Nation has a strong track record of producing high-quality productions through a combination of local talent and international expertise. The company encourages original thought and curiosity while providing a platform for inspiration and practical training through its robust development program — the Arab Film Studio. The company’s mission is to help build the film and entertainment industry across the GCC and MENA; a pioneering ambition in line with Abu Dhabi’s vision to shape a competitive, sustainable, and globally open economy. Image Nation enables all those who engage with it to become guardians of culture and ambassadors of change. Through its content, Image Nation creates opportunities for local talents to tell their stories and work on projects that provide them with the tools to establish and sustain a local industry.