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Zohairy Wins in Palm Springs

He's a fledgling film director with virtually no prior recognition, but Omar Zohairy is already making big waves internationally, having won an award at the Palm Springs International ShortFest.

On Sunday, the Palm Springs International ShortFest announced its Best of Fest winners. Why should you care? Well, among the winners is Egyptian director Omar El Zohairy, who received the award for best student live action short over 15 minutes, for his work on The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375.

The festival ran from June 17 to 23, and is considered the largest short film festival in North America. Celebrating its 20th anniversary the festival screened 330 short films and distributed $115,000 in prizes, with first place winners receiving a one-year download membership to Videoblocks , AudioBlocks or GraphicStock.

The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375 is essentially Zohairy's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Death of a Government Clerk. Running 17 minutes in length, this short has generated a lot of buzz, and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, in addition to being nominated as a contender in the Cinefondation competition. This honour marks the first time an Egyptian has been nominated in the category.

To learn more about this amazing up-and-coming director and his acclaimed short, check out his full interview with CairoScene right here.