Creating an account with gives you access to more features and services, like our weekly newsletter and other special features just for the film community.



Sign up to access information about new releases before anyone else. By joining you’re entered for a chance to
win two tickets to a red carpet premiere
at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

By clicking the Sign Up button, you agree that we may send you Tribeca Film emails at the address provided above from time to time on behalf of Tribeca Enterprises (about events, promotions and activities). You can unsubscribe at any time by following the instructions in any email you receive.



The most expensive Egyptian film ever made, The Yacoubian Building is a sprawling, star-studded epic that spans all the social classes populating contemporary Cairo. In three fast-moving hours, it dramatizes topical issues like adultery, political corruption, Islamist terrorism, and the hitherto taboo subject of homosexuality. First-time director Marwan Hamed crafts a gripping drama out of Alaa Al Aswani's novel, an Arabic-language bestseller already in its 12th printing. The famous Yacoubian Building was constructed in downtown Cairo in 1937 to house the city's upper crust. Today the tenants of its spacious apartments are a bit down-in-the-dumps, while its rooftop laundry rooms have been converted into homes for the poor. The main characters include Zaki Pasha (Adel Imam), an aging playboy who represents a vanishing world of gentility; a French singer and his former love Christine (Yousra); and Bosnaina (Hind Sabry), a pretty, disillusioned girl who lives on the roof. The growing influence of Islam in Egypt is dramatized through two controversial storylines. The doorman's son Taha (Mohamed Imam), frustrated in his attempts to move up in society, turns to religious fanaticism and ends up training for jihad in a desert camp. Meanwhile, the religious piety of Haj Azzam (Nour El Sherif), who has risen from shoeshine boy to rich businessman, is exposed as a sham that hides only self-interest. The film's frank treatment of homosexuality in the relationship between a newspaper editor and a young soldier is revolutionary in the context of Egyptian cinema. These interwoven dramas are as satisfying and enjoyable as a good, long read.

Film Information
Year: 2006
Length: 165 minutes
Language: Arabic
Country: Egypt
Premiere: North American
Cast & Credits
About the Director(s)

Born on April 4, 1977, director Marwan Hamed graduated from the Higher Institute of Cinema in 1999. He has worked as an assistant director for a number of high profile Egyptian filmmakers, including Sherif Arafa, Samir Seif, and Khairy Beshara. Hamed has also made a name for himself directing commercials. To date, he has made more than 60 television ads for multinational companies in the Middle East. In 2001, he directed the short film Lily, for which he won two golden prizes, one at the 2002 Carthage Film Festival and the other at the International Tunisian Short Film Festival. Lily also came in second place at the 2002 Milan Film Festival and was screened at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. In addition to Lily, Hamed has also made two short documentaries and several other short films. The Yacoubian Building is his first feature film.


© 2015 Tribeca Enterprises LLC | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions