SAT-7 ARABIC highlights winner of Catholic Film Festival 2019 to raise awareness of societal outcasts. The Egyptian feature film Yomeddine, has won ten awards for its role in shedding light on the lives of the marginalised.

SAT-7 has supported the Catholic Film Festival in Cairo, Egypt since 2016, believing in its role of using culture and arts to build a better society.

“When giving out prizes, the Catholic Church uses the opportunity to discuss social problems in a positive way, encouraging change. In an area where churches are commonly viewed as strict and disapproving, this event gives us the opportunity to show the church’s positive voice,” says George Makeen, SAT-7 Arabic Channels Programming Director.


This year, the 2019 Catholic Film Festival took place between 8-15 February. SAT-7 ARABIC broadcast the opening, and closing ceremonies live to thousands of viewers, supporting the people of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) spiritually and culturally.

“We want to change society’s perception of the Church as limiting and conservative. We want to show that the Church contributes to society positively.” – George Makeen

“People are interested in films and stars, and through the Catholic Film Festival, they see that the Church is the driving force behind the festival, encouraging and supporting the arts,” George Makeen continues to explain.

According to the Center’s president, Fr Boutros Danial, this year’s selected films were chosen for tackling societal taboos and highlighting positive moral and human principles. Reflecting SAT-7’s own values to encourage viewers to confront societal problems with Christian values, SAT-7 ARABIC was keen to broadcast the event.


The winning film, Yomeddine, previously won an award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 and continued to win ten awards at the Catholic Film Festival 2019. It has now become internationally recognised for its role in exposing social discrimination that arises out of ignorance.

Yomeddine tells the story of leprosy survivor Beshav’s journey to find the father who had abandoned him at a leper colony as a child. Scarred and deformed, Beshav faces social discrimination from the people he meets on his journey.

A touching story of forgiveness and self-acceptance, Yomeddine exposes the stigma and marginalisation of people with disabilities in the MENA. Also, the film speaks out against actions stemming out of ignorance and wrongful assumptions.


The director of Yomeddine, Abu Bakr Shawky’s inspiration for the film came from a previous study of the Abu Zaabal Leper Colony, located 40 km outside of Cairo. Here, Shawky met the star of the show, Rady Gamal. Rady Gamal himself survived leprosy at a young age, but not before his face and body were permanently disfigured.

A touching story of forgiveness and self-acceptance, Yomeddine exposes the stigma and marginalisation of people with disabilities in the MENA.

A man of natural charisma and many jokes, Rady Gamal proves that beauty is not only skin deep. Bravely stepping into the limelight and the public eye, after the seclusion and isolation of the leper colony, Gamal encapsulates the essence of Yomeddine.


By supporting the Catholic Film Festival, “We are encouraging churches and viewers to be a positive part of society. Directors, writers and actors can all impact their societies positively through their art,” explains Makeen. “We want to challenge the Church and Christians to find creative ways to interact with the world.”

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