Cairo Year Zero


CYZ Poster


Winner: Best Short, REEL Independent Film Extravaganza, 2014
Official Selection: Bronx Film Festival, 2014
Official Selection: Jozi Film Festival, South Africa, 2015
Winner: Excellence Award, RIFF — Rincón International Film Festival, Puerto Rico, 2015
Nominations: Best Director of a Foreign Language Film, Best Music, Best Actor, Madrid International Film Festival 2015




About the Film

In the culminating months before the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, four young friends spend a casual evening roaming their native Cairo before an unexpected altercation fatefully transforms one of them into an unlikely revolutionary symbol.

Writer, Director: Niko Volonakis
Executive Producer: T.S Drake
Producers: Taher Medhat, Niko Volonakis
Production Companies: Graffi Films, HD Media Press Inc.
Soundtrack: Gentleman Lugosi
Language: Greek, Arabic, English subtitles
Imdb page:

Niko Volonakis IMDBAbout the Artist

Though born in New York City, Niko Volonakis immigrated to Athens, Greece when he was seven years old when his father, a Greek national relocated his family there. Since 2002, Niko has divided his time between New York, Greece, Las Vegas and San Francisco, the latter where he studied film and embarked upon his indie film career, playing in a number of indie films and meeting another indie filmmaker, Egyptian Taher Medhat from Cairo. Medhat returned to Cairo in 2010 and kept in contact with Niko during the Egyptian uprising. Shortly thereafter, Greece had its own upheaval and it was at this time that they decided to film both rebellions and use them as the backdrop for several films. CAIRO YEAR ZERO the first of them.

 Film Review, IMDB:

“Director/Writer Niko Volonakis draws his audience into a journey rife with tension: a vibrant reflection of the social and political state of Egypt prior to the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. With Egypt’s Emergency Law suppressing constitutional rights and legalizing censorship, not to mention enforcing police brutality, watching Cairo Year Zero is like observing a pot boil, as something is certain to explode. Volonakis’s characters search for an escape from their repressive environment, finding reprieve only within the safety of their intimate friendships. As they struggle to understand why things don’t feel right, they realize the time to take a stand is now. A truly beautiful, gritty piece illustrating the struggles of the human condition from a personal and global perspective.”