TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Feathers of a Father

Omar El Zohairy, Ahmed Amer, Juliette Lepoutre

France, Egypt


When a magician’s trick goes wrong at 6-year-old Mando’s birthday party, an avalanche of coincidental absurdities befall the boy’s family. The magician turns Sami, the authoritative Egyptian father, into a chicken, and fails to bring him back. The mysterious transformation of the father sets the family off to a tragically funny adventure of self-discovery to survive without the patriarch.
Rasha, the passive mother, is suddenly responsible for the family. She slowly transforms into a strong independent woman. Ramadan, the teenage son, goes on a journey to discover himself and his sexuality; in the end he realizes that he can be a man without walking in his father’s footsteps. Mando struggles without his father but finds solace in his older brother.
When the father comes back as an invalid, he is more of a burden. His long-awaited return is nothing but disappointment. The family learns that life is possible without a dictator as a leader.


Our characters are at the beginning of a journey of self-discovery. It is their first time finding out they can live without authority. I consider my characters as prisoners in the process of a prison escape; they run, with the only aim to achieve freedom. They are people living a tough situation, nothing more.
The film’s effectiveness is in the details and the authenticity of the environment and its inhabitants. I plan to cast real-life characters in most of the roles. Real locations in a state of decay will be a testament to the state of the nation. Visually, the picture will be an image that is very close to reality; unembellished, raw, violent. These elements will be used to create absurd hyper-real situations to tell the story of this family in post-revolution Egypt.
This genre of dark comedy depends strongly on the serious and seemingly normal reactions of the characters to an extremely absurd situation, a Kafkaesque world where the audience is unsure whether to laugh or cry.

budget, distribution & sales

“Feathers of a Father” will be positioned as a challenging debut by an emerging filmmaker with a strong director’s vision and innovative cinematographic language. We believe the film to be very daring coming from the Arab world, and with great potential outside of its local region. Omar was determined to secure a French lead producer so his film could reach an international visibility in both the festival and distribution circuits. Together we will choose a solid sales agent who believes in the potential of the film and understands the importance of different cultural and cinematographic voices. So far we received strong interest from several sales companies and distributors. Coming out of the Cinéfondation Residence and TorinoFilmLab, we are developing the project with the support of Hubert Bals Fund and the Baumi Award. Currently in financing along with co-producer New Century in Egypt, we have secured 52% of our estimated € 850.000 budget, including the CNC – Aide aux cinémas du monde.

When an abusive Egyptian patriarch turns into a chicken, his family slowly and painfully becomes free.
Omar El Zohairy

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Ahmed Amer


Juliette Lepoutre


production notes

original title
Feathers of a Father

directed by
Omar El Zohairy

produced byStill Moving
6, Rue Boissonade
75014, Paris

in co-production with
New Century - Egypt

written by
Omar El Zohairy
Ahmed Amer

total production budget
€ 850,000