Ahmed Atef Dorra (1)

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Dr. Ahmed Atef Dorra
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Born (1971-04-17) April 17, 1971 (age 51)
  • Filmmaker
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Film critic
  • Poet
  • Novelist
  • Visual artist
Spouse(s)Noha Fahmy, 2017

Ahmed Atef "Dorra"; born April 17, 1971) is an Egyptian Filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, film critic, poet, novelist and visual artist. [1] He is considered one of the prominent faces of Arab Cinema and one if its most innovating voices. Most of his films were presented all over the world and gained important prizes.


Dorra started his career as a professional child actor for Egyptian TV series from 1981 to 1986. As a filmmaker, he specialized in directing documentary films which reflected Egyptian reality with audacity and poetry. He became a noticeable name with his first feature film Omar 2000 (2000), which was critically acclaimed for its cinematic style as similar in its high dose of imagination to Federico Fellini and Emir Kusturica. He gained commercial success in many Arab countries with his second feature film "Ezzay el banat tehebak"(2003), a semi musical picture with high light-comic tone in adolescent spirit. Then he spent three years of devoting himself to advanced film directing studies and film development fields. He works expert for the project (Euromed Audiovisual - Euro-Mediterranean Audiovisual I) with the pillar operated by Junta de Andalucia. Then gained a scholarship grant, permitted him to enroll in a Master Degree Program in the School of Cinema and Television at the University of Southern California (2005-2006). He then returned to Egypt to launch his film production company (EGYPT FILMS) to give himself the freedom of realizing his dream projects. He started by self-producing and directing Demons of Cairo "Al Ghaba" (2007) and two consecutive films about the Arab spring: (The Oriental Gate, 2013), Before the Spring (2014) that were both representing the role of youth and bloggers in the uprising of Arab countries.

He spent the next following couple of years in the making of his TV series Strong Women "Setat Adra" (2016), which gained the highest ranks of visibility as most successful - out of Ramadan season- TV series, aired in more than 6 major Arab TV channels.

From 2018, he decided to start a new phase in his creative endeavor and devote himself to literature and visual arts. By the end of 2020, he finished his first Novel "One soul" to be published in 2021 which will see also the first exhibition of paintings.

Early Life

Dorra worked as a professional child actor from the age of ten in more than 20 TV series produced by the Egyptian National TV, in the 1980s, such as Al Tahouna, Amr ibn el Aas, Men al qasa al azim, Asr el hob, Ahmed Shawki, Zohour men nour, Al Khalil ibn Ahmed…He was also part of the junior football team of Al Zamalek club, and joined Egyptian National football team for Juniors in the preliminary matches for World Cup for Juniors.


Dorra studied film at the High Cinema Institute in Cairo and graduated in 1993. He won a Fulbright grant in 2005 that permits him to join the Master's degree at the University of Southern California, with special focus in visual effects and advanced directing. He studied short cinema courses at Eave, Berlinale talent campus, UCLA, among others. He returned to Egypt from the USA to launch his film production company (EGYPT FILMS) to give himself the freedom of realizing his dreams. He started auto-producing and directing Demons of Cairo (Al Ghaba) (2007), the duo films about Arab spring : The Oriental Gate (2013), Before the spring (2014), both representing the role of youth and bloggers in the uprising of Arab countries. He spent the next following couple of years in the making of his TV series Strong Women (Setat Adra) (2016), which gained the highest ranks of visibility as most successful - out of Ramadan season- tv series, aired in more than six major Arab TV channels.

He earned a PhD in VAE cinema from the Sorbon. For 25 years, he traveled a long cinematic path, making a dozen films and television series that combine direct cinema and experimental research in a poetic exploration of the real. (a new position who have been created for the first time in the long history of the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper since its birth in 1875).

Ahmed Atef Dorra is also film critic, columnist at Al-Ahram Organisation since 1993, and become head of cinema section two times 2012 and 2014 until he becomes its managing editor: supervisor of all sections of arts in 2014. He was elected vice president of Egyptian Film critics Association[2]. He published many books in cinema like Cinematographe Lumière, in poetry like (The Good Daughter). In 2021, his philosophical thoughts book (Catalog of Life) will see the light.

As international advisor, he was elected as Regional Secretary of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers since 2013. He works as expert for the project Euromed Audiovusel I with the pillar operated by Junta De Andalucia (Spain). Egyptian representative of festivals of Milan, Pantin among others. Counselor on international relations of Egyptian Syndicate of Film professions, and Alexandria film festival. He had a parallel career as film festivals' director. Among his posts the role of vice president of Cairo film festival of children film, director of festival for European films in Cairo (2005) and head of cultural section of the prestigious Cairo international Film Festival in 1997, which he occupied the role of its director in (20120. He teaches film studies and history of cinema at the British University in Egypt. He was chosen in 2014 by Egyptian Minister of Culture Dr. Gaber Asfour, to become assistant-minister, but Asfour quit his post very soon after, before this assignment could be achieved. Atef contributed co-edited the research study : The National strategy for Culture, that Asfour submitted to the presidency in the end of 2014.


-One soul (novel), 2021

-Hidden faces (paintings Exhibition), 2021

- Eternity (fiction feature Films), 2022

-Al Alamein International Film festival (Founder and President), 2021

- Catalog of Life (philosophical thoughts), 2021


Andalusia (fiction feature film): The search for lost humanity is at the heart of the concerns of each of his films. Marginalized, street children, bloggers, unemployed youth, homeless; it is the people who speak and take center stage. Through the poetry that he practices, his films reveal a humanist and free speech inhabited by a brute and indomitable force.


He is married to painter Noha Fahmy in 2017



1- Before The spring (2015)

2- The eastern gate (2014)

3- Demons of Cairo aka Al Ghaba (2007)

4- How to let girls love you (2003)

5- Omar 2000 (2000)


Seat Adra (2016) – 45 episodes of 38 minutes each


1- Madad Madad (1991)

2-Cigarettes Stumps (sabares) 1993

3-Lumiere Take 2 (1995)

4-Extension (1996)

5- Time machine ( produced for mbc group) 2013


-Al Tahouna

-Amr ibn el Aas

-Men al qasas al azim

-Asr el hob

-Ahmed Shawki

-Zohour men nour

Al Khalil ibn Ahmed


Selected and awarded by major film festivals such as Rotterdam Film Festival, Montreal World Cinema, Hamburg Film Festival, FESPACO, Cairo Film Festival, San Francisco Arab, Burundi, Senegal, Rabat, Brussels, Kiev and others, Atef's films have traveled the world. Among his important awards: The Movies Med ( the best Mediterranean script that promotes mutual understanding (2010), European Union Prize for the best film that promotes freedom at FESPACO (2015), Human Rights Prize at Kelibia festival (Tunisia) (1991), Best Film at the New York Film Festival for Social Films (2015), Best film at Washington DC independent film festival.(2008), Best sound and best film reflecting city at FESPACO 2009. He served as a jury member at: Tetouan (Morocco), Tehran (Iran), National Film Festival (Egypt), Critical Jury (Clermont Ferrand) (1994), Critical Jury (Carthage) (1995), Critical Jury (Milan) (1998), Jury Fipresci (Cannes Film Festival) (2010), expert at Euromed Audiovisual I (2003).


  1. Atef, Ahmed. "Ahmed Atef at IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-04-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Egypt Today".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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