3rd May, 2018

Watch the director talk about her project here

A recent University of Salford graduate has won a prestigious international television award.

Hanan Youssef Abdullah, an Egyptian filmmaker who graduated from the University’s MA Media Production programme last summer, won the award for the best Short Documentary at the prestigious BBC Arabic Awards.

The invited international audience packed the BBC Radio Theatre in central London to applaud Hanan when she accepted the award in front of a television audience of millions as the ceremony was beamed round the world live.

Hanan’s documentary The Town The Men Left beautifully depicts the challenges of three women, Omay, Eyo and Sokar, each from a different Nubian village in Aswan, Egypt.

These women share a similar struggle – abandoned by their husbands, they live the paradox of being neither married nor divorced and are stigmatized by their communities for working to support themselves and their children.

The film, which is being shown on the BBC Arabic network, was made as part of Hanan’s final major project for the Media Production postgraduate course.

A delighted Hanan thanked the University of Salford and the University’s Dr Lloyd Peters and Lyndon Saunders when picking up the award.

Dr Lloyd Peters, the University’s Programme Leader of MA Media Production, said: “We on the course were always confident that her talent would be recognised.  In fact I reminded Hanan before the ceremony to write a speech ‘just in case’.

“We have all been aware that Hanan has a rare talent to tell interesting stories sympathetically and with courage and this is what the judges have also appreciated.”

Fellow MA lecturer and executive producer of the film Lyndon Saunders added: “Hanan is a born filmmaker who has that all important hunger to tell people’s stories, particularly when they’re ones largely untold.

“She’s also an excellent student of the documentary form as she watches, listens, and studies the genre, striving to apply production and story techniques to the consistent betterment of her own film making.”

Notes to editors:

Hanan Youssef speaking at the recent BBC Arabic Festival

A still from The Town The Men Left.

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