Mohamed Diab

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Mohamed Diab
Mohamed Diab
Ismailia, Egypt
EducationNew York Film Academy
Occupationwriter and director

Mohamed Diab is a writer and director whose work often centers on pressing issues concerning Egyptian society. He is known for his directorial debut film Cairo 678 (Les Femmes du bus 678),[1] which was released a month before the Egyptian revolution and was described by the New York Times as "unmistakably a harbinger of that revolution."[2] Paulo Coehlo tweeted about the film calling it "brilliant" and saying "it should be mandatory for men, regardless of their religion/culture, to watch it".[3]

Diab wrote the blockbuster Egyptian franchise El Gezeira (The Island) films which are the highest grossing Egyptian and Arabic films of all times.[citation needed] The films revolve around a tyrannical drug lord on an island in Upper Egypt. El Gezira is often quoted and referenced in Egyptian pop culture and was the 2007 Egyptian nomination for the Academy Awards. Aside from filmmaking, Diab is known for his vocal participation in the 2011 Egyptian revolution, which earned him a Webby Award.[4]


El Gezeira[edit]

El Gezeira, released in 2007, is inspired by the true story of the rise of a ruthless drug lord who lived on an island in Upper Egypt. The film set box office records and is often referenced in Egyptian pop culture. The sequel El Gezeira 2, released in 2014, begins with the escape of the drug lord from prison during the Egyptian revolution and his rebound to power back home on the island. The film set new Egyptian box office records becoming the highest grossing Egyptian and Arabic film of all times.

Cairo 678[edit]

Cairo 678 marks Diab's directorial debut. The film follows the intertwining stories of a vigiliante trio of women who take on the sexual harassment epidemic in Cairo. The film was released in December 2010 and is considered the most award-winning contemporary Egyptian film. The film was distributed internationally and fared well notably in France, where it sold 265,000 tickets and received ÉcranTotal's "coup de foudre du public" audience recognition.[5]

Eshtebak (Clash)[edit]

After being heavily involved in the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Diab wanted to make a film about the revolution. It took 4 years to develop Eshtebak (Clash), which initially was a film about the rise of the revolution, but ended up being a film that captures the fall of the revolution. The film is set in the violent aftermath of the ousting of president Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood party. Violent clashes had erupted all over Egypt between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and military supporters.

The entire film is shot from within the confines of a police riot truck. Thematically, the film explores the human condition and the roots of terrorism.

The film is a recipient of grants and funding from the San Francisco Film Society, CNC l'aide au Cinémas du Monde and ARTE France.

Eshtebak (Clash) is an official selection for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard category.[6]

Year Title Director Writer Notes
2016 Eshtebak (Clash) Yes Yes co-written with Khalid Diab
2014 El Gezira 2 (The Island 2) Yes co-written with Khalid Diab and Sherine Diab
2014 Décor Yes co-written with Sherine Diab
2010 Cairo 678 Yes Yes
2009 Alf Mabrouk (Congratulations) Yes co-written with Khalid Diab
2009 Badal Fa'ed (The Replacement) Yes
2007 El Gezeira (The Island) Yes
2007 Ahlam Hakekeya (Real Dreams) Yes


Cairo 678 (Les Femmes du Bus 678)[edit]

Festival Awards
Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo Best Film

Silver Hugo Best Actor

Dubai International Film Festival Best Actor

Best Actress

Asia Pacific Screen Awards Jury Grand Prize

High Commendation

Sydney Film Festival Special Mention
Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival Prix Du Public

Prix Jeune Public

Taormina Film Festival Youth Choice Award
Heartland Film Festival Grand Prize
Khouribga Film Festival Best Film

Best Supporting Actress

Third Eye Asian Film Festival Best Film
Mediterranean Film Festival Best Film
Salé Women's Film Festival Special Mention
African Film Festival of Cordoba Audience Choice Award
Cologne African Film Festival Audience Choice Award
Egyptian Oscars Best New Director
Catholic Egyptian Film Festival Jury Prize
Arabian Sights Film Festival Audience Choice Award

In 2011, Christiane Amanpour presented Mohamed Diab with a Webby Award.[7]


  1. ^ AlloCine. "Les Femmes du Bus 678". AlloCiné. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  2. ^ Scott, A. O. (March 22, 2011). "New Directors/New Films at Lincoln Center and Museum of Modern Art". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  3. ^ "Paulo Coelho on Twitter". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  4. ^ "Mohamed Diab | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  5. ^ "Bon début pour les femmes du bus 678". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  6. ^ "The 2016 Official Selection". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
  7. ^ "Mohamed Diab | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2016-04-01.