<![CDATA[rss-Arts & Culture]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Arts & Culture]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA['The Mountain Between Us' to open up CIFF]]>39th Cairo International Film Festival, starting on Tuesday November 21 and running until Thursday November 30, will kick off with a film screening of the survival drama "The Mountain Between Us."


Kate Winslet

and Idris Elba, the film is directed by Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad. This drama adventure story follows two strangers who find themselves the survivors of a plane crash in the harsh wilderness of a snowy mountain. With rescue looking more and more unlikely, the pair must learn to work together. As they grow closer, a passionate bond begins to develop between them. "The Mountain Between Us" was released on October 6, 2017.

Abu-Assad is a Palestinian/Dutch filmmaker born in Israel, and is best known as the director of two Oscar-nominated films, 2005’s "Paradise Now" and 2013’s "Omar."
11/21/2017 1:04:44 PM
<![CDATA['Photocopy' to screen in CIFF]]> "Photocopy" will also screen at the fifth International Arab Cinema Meetings in Marseille on November 22.

Moreover, "Photocopy" will be shown as the closing film of the Arabian Cinema Week in New York City on November 23 at 6 p.m. Arabian Cinema Week is organized by Moviepigs, an online platform tailor-made to screen Middle Eastern films.

The film narrates in a smooth manner the story of an elderly man, who, upon his retirement, decides to open a photocopying shop. He starts to re-discover life, his love for his neighbour and the people around him.

Egyptian journalist and "Photocopy's" scriptwriter, Haitham Dabbour, previously stated in an interview with Egypt Today that he chose to present a love story between an elderly couple because these types of love stories “have not been well presented in the Egyptian cinema.”

"Photocopy" won El-Gouna Golden Star Award for Best Arabic Feature Narrative Film. The movie stars Mahmoud Hemeida, Sherine Reda, Farah Youssef, Aly Tayeb and Ahmed Dash, and is directed by Tamer Ashry. "Photocopy" will screen for the first time in Egyptian cinemas at the end of December. ]]>
11/21/2017 12:57:08 PM
<![CDATA[Today in History – ‘Rocky’ Premieres]]>

Directed by John G. Avildsen, Stallone portrays struggling small-time boxer Rocky Balboa. Small in brains but big in heart, Rocky lives in the streets of Philadelphia and makes ends meet by collecting debts for a loan shark. He dreams of a nobler future, but the people around him are doubtful that he can get there. One day, Balboa meets a woman at a pet shop named Adrian and begins to grow closer to her, and a new opportunity rises up for Rocky when undefeated world champion Apollo Creed personally picks Balboa to face him.

The film became a massive success, was nominated for nine Oscar awards and was awarded with three, becoming a permanent fixture of popular culture, and spawning six more installments.

11/21/2017 12:06:34 PM
<![CDATA[“Mastoura” documentary to participate in TIFF]]>
The documentary revolves around two Egyptian ladies, Mastoura and Mervat, who narrates their stories, explaining how their lives have changed after they received the “Takaful and Karama” program, tailor-made by the Ministry of Social Solidarity to help women in need.

This is the first documentary produced by the Ministry of Social Solidarity. “Mastoura” previously participated in Cannes International Film Festival in 2017. The documentary won the Best Film Award and the Best Montage Award for El Sawy Cultural Wheel short movies festival in 2016. “Mastoura” is directed by Mohanad Diab.
11/21/2017 11:02:21 AM
<![CDATA[Marvel meets 'The O.C.' in new Hulu superhero show]]>
The fall season has already seen the debuts of Netflix's "The Defenders" and, on Friday, "The Punisher," as well as one show all involved might like to forget -- ABC's critical and ratings flop "Inhumans."

In the slipstream of this glut of small screen superheroism comes "Runaways," Hulu's first dip into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Along with Freeform's upcoming "Cloak and Dagger" and the as yet homeless "New Warriors," it is part of a trio of Marvel properties aimed more directly at the teen market than the nine series already shown on Netflix and ABC.

"Runaways" stars a group of relatively new young actors as a ragtag bunch of teenagers from diverse backgrounds who unite against their own parents, evil superheroes who form a criminal society known as The Pride.

The task of creating the show -- based on a cult comic book series of the same name -- fell to long-time writing partners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the team behind hit teen dramas "The O.C." and "Gossip Girl."

The showrunners and Marvel Television chief Jeph Loeb told journalists on a recent set visit in Tarzana, southern California, that the studio thought of "Runaways" as "'The O.C.' in the Marvel universe."

- Typical teen drama -

"The story is about family, it's about that moment where a kid realizes that their parents are fallible, that they are imperfect, that they may not be who they necessarily thought they were growing up," Schwartz told AFP.

That experience, he said, is something ordinary kids all over the world go through -- even with run-of-the-mill parents who aren't criminal geniuses with superpowers.

"That central premise of the book -- every teenager thinks their parents are evil, what if they actually were? -- is delicious and fun, but there's also a real truth to it that transcends genre," he added.

Originally conceived as a movie, "Runaways" was ordered as a TV pilot by Hulu in August last year, and rolls out its first three of 10 episodes on Tuesday.

Hulu has around 32 million individual users, a quarter of the number rival streamer Netflix attracts and less than half the Amazon figure.

But it has the wind in its sails following critical acclaim and eight Emmy Awards for its dystopian sci-fi series "The Handmaid's Tale."

The Runaways include a highly-intelligent jock, a powerful witch, a flying alien, a character with a psychic link to a dinosaur and, inevitably, another with superhuman strength.

As with many Marvel shows, the writers take their time establishing their characters' backstories, concentrating on typical teen drama tropes such as cyber bullying and underage drinking.

- 'Questioning the truth' -

Part coming-of-age story, part family drama, it goes long stretches with the superhero element buried somewhere in the background, not showing anyone so much as bend a spoon.

The teens -- played by Rhenzy Feliz, Gregg Sulkin, Virginia Gardner, Allegra Acosta, Ariela Barer and Lyrica Okano -- come across more as a millennial "The Breakfast Club" than an "Avengers" tribute act.

While they are all fresh faces, the adult cast features some old hands, not least Ryan Sands -- platinum blond vampire Spike in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" -- as evil genius Victor Stein.

His wife Janet is played by TV veteran Ever Carradine -- last seen as the sinister wife of one of the commanders in "The Handmaid's Tale."

"It's about questioning parents that maybe you've idolized, questioning close friendships that you've always thought were rock solid and then you learn something about that person that changes everything," she told AFP.

"It's... questioning the truth, questioning and sticking to your own personal judgment."

Early reaction bodes well, with reviews website Rotten Tomatoes reporting an 86 percent approval rating with an average of 7.4/10 based on 21 reviews.

"'Runaways' might not get as much hype as its cousins at Netflix and on the big screen, but it's a solid addition to Hulu's now Emmy-winning original lineup and the Marvel live-action universe," said Chelsea Tatham of the Tampa Bay Times.]]>
11/21/2017 10:29:50 AM
<![CDATA[Hurley, Longoria in CIFF opening ceremony]]>
Hurley was born on June 10, 1965. She started to gain fame since a well known cosmetics company gave her the first modeling job at the age of 29. In 1987, Hurley acted in her first movie, “Aria”. Hurley played the role of the devil in “Bedazzled”, achieving a boom in her success through this role.

Her films include “Passenger 57”, “EDtv”, “Serving Sara”, and others. Hurley is the owner of a beachwear line.

Eva Longoria was born on March 15, 1975. Longoria began to come under the spotlight after performing the role of Isabella Brana in the famous soap opera “The Young and the Restless” from 2001 to 2003.

Eva Longoria - photo courtesy of Flickr by Web Summit

Longoria’s master role was in the worldwide successful series “Desperate Housewives”, which ran from 2004 to 2012. She played the role of Gabrielle Solis. She was previously nominated to win a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in “Desperate Housewives”.

Longoria acted in a number of movies, such as “Over Her Dead body”, “Harsh Times”, and “John Wick”, among others.

The 39th CIFF is set to kick off on November 21 and will run to November 30. Both the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony will take place in Al Manara Conferences Palace, located in the New Administrative Capital.

The film screenings will take place in Cairo Opera House’s Small Hall, Hanager Theater, the American University in Cairo, the Cultural Creative Artistic Center and Odeon Cinema.


CIFF management chose to screen the American movie “Mountain Between Us” in the opening ceremony of the festival, which stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.

Hussein Fahmy, veteran Egyptian actor and former head of CIFF, will be the jury committee head of the International Official Competition. Australia will be this edition’s guest of honor.

The 39th edition of the festival will honor great late cinema critic Samir Farid. The festival’s management is preparing a program to honor a number of late distinguished filmmakers, such as great Egyptian director Mohamed Kamel el Kaliouby and veteran Lebanese director John Shamoun.

The festival’s management also decided to choose Egyptian megastar Youssra to be this year's honorary president of the festival. The festival will screen 175 films this year from 53 countries.

Renowned comedian Samir Ghanem is set to receive the Faten Hamama Honorary and Excellence Award, becoming the first comedic actor to receive this award.

The festival’s management has decided to grant the Faten Hamama Honorary Award this year to famous Egyptian-Tunisian actress Hend Sabry and well-known Egyptian actor Maged el Kidwany.

The Faten Hamama Honorary Award is usually given to young artists and filmmakers with significant contributions to the art of cinema.]]>
11/20/2017 5:50:51 PM
<![CDATA[French romantic comedy film to screen at Cinema Daal]]>
Directed by Eric Rohmer, “La Collectionneuse” stars Patrick Bauchau and Haydee Politoff.

The film revolves around two friends, Daniel and Andrien, who take a trip to Riviera Beach, but the vacation is disturbed by a woman, Haydee, who is known for her long list of relationships.

Both Daniel and Andrien despise Haydee’s concept of relationships, but lately, they change their point of view.

Released in 1967, the film won the Silver Berlin Bear and the Youth Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1967.
11/20/2017 5:37:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian mission excavates New Kingdom’s tombs]]>
The tombs of ministers, nobles and top officials of the Kingdom are located at the north of Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site on the west bank of the Nile River, thus Waziri believes that the cemetery was transferred from the east to the west bank of the Nile.

This comes as part of the inspection tour that also took place in other archaeological sites such as Tuna Al-Gabal, Al-Ashmounein site, and Malawy museum, where Waziri was accompanied with El-Shahat, deputy head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities sector, and the head of the Central Department of the Middle Egypt Antiquities.
11/20/2017 5:33:42 PM
<![CDATA[ ‘El Kenz’ amasses LE 19M in revenues after 80 days in cinemas]]>
“El Kenz’s” storyline spans the Pharaonic, Abbasid, Ottoman and modern period of the country, ending in the 1970s. The movie revolves around corruption and how some religious men impose their authority over politics to gain higher positions and power, as well as the issues related to mixing religion with politics.

The veteran, renowned Egyptian director, Sherif Arafa, is one of the most important directors in Egypt. He is also known for his captivating stories and excellent quality films.

The movie includes a dazzling cast of Egyptian superstars and actors such as Mohamed Ramadan, Amina Khalil, Sawsan Badr, Mohy Ismail, Mohamed Saad, Hend Sabry and Ahmed Rezk. “El Kenz” is the latest movie directed by Arafa and written by Abdel Rahman Kamal. ]]>
11/20/2017 2:47:08 PM
<![CDATA['Youm lel Setat' wins the Best Movie Award at VIFF]]>
The movie screened at the 11th edition of the Gli Occhi dell’Africa in Pordenone, Italy, on November 14 and was included in a program dedicated to presenting the best African movies to Italian audiences.

Most recently, "Youm lel Setat" participated in the 31st African Film Festival in Italy, which was held from November 3 to 12.

The film won four awards at six international film festivals last October.

The story of the movie takes place in one of the underprivileged Egyptian districts, where the three main heroines of the movie, Azza, Shaimaa and Laila, live. One day, a new swimming pool opens in their neighborhood with a day designated for women only; Sundays.

The first Sunday witnessed the gathering of all the women in the area who come from diverse backgrounds. Azza has long dreamed of wearing swimsuits, Shaimaa finally finds someone who listens to her when she talks about her private life and Laila tries to overcome her grief over her late son.

The movie stars Elham Shaheen, Nelly Karim, Ahmed al-Fishawy, Mahmoud Hemeida, Eyad Nassar, Nahed al-Sebaie, Hala Sedky and Ahmed Dawoud. “Youm Lel Setat” is written by Hanaa Attia and directed by Kamla Abou Zekri.

"Youm lel Setat" won the Best Movie Award at the Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam, and the movie’s heroine, Elham Shaheen, was honored for her artistic career.

"Youm lel Setat" previously won the Best Film Award at the 20th Khouribga African Film Festival in Morocco. Also, the movie was granted the award in the closing ceremony of the festival, which took place on September 16. Shaheen shared the Best Actress Award with Karim at the 13th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in Russia for their roles in the movie on September 11. “Youm Lel Setat” was the only Egyptian movie participating in the festival this year.]]>
11/20/2017 2:37:26 PM
<![CDATA[“The Nile Hilton Incident” to screen for the first time in Egypt ]]>
The film was supposed to premiere for the first time in Egypt during the recent 10th edition of the Panorama for European film (PEF) at Zawya Cinema but the screening was cancelled. Zawya Cinema released a statement mentioning that “the film screening was cancelled for circumstances beyond our control” earlier in November.

Released in 2017, "The Nile Hilton Incident" revolves around an Egyptian officer investigating the murder of a stripper who was killed by a businessman in one of Cairo's hotels. The detective exposes relevant connections between that businessman and high ranked officials.

The setting of the film occurs during the period of the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and features some of the reasons that led citizens to take to the streets in mass demonstrations, including corruption and poverty.

Co-produced by Atmo, a German, Danish, and Swedish production company, "The Nile Hilton Incident" is directed by the Egyptian-Swedish filmmaker, writer, and artist Tarik Saleh and stars Fares Fares, Mari Malek and Yaser Ali Maher among others.

The film participated in major international cinematic acts and won La Grand Prix at the 2017 Beaune International Thriller Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. ]]>
11/20/2017 1:51:30 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt celebrates 200 years since decoding Rosetta Stone]]>
Carried out under the theme of “Rashid, Egyptian-French Historical Relations Watcher”, the celebrations were held at Damanhour University in Beheira, according to a released statement by the Ministry of Antiquities.

The director of the Department of Coptic and Islamic Antiquities Mohamed Abdel Latif has explained during the celebration that the government is focusing on upgrading megaprojects such as developing the area where Rashid is located to a museum for Islamic heritage.

This comes in parallel to the ministry’s plans to develop the city into a touristic destination, according to Abdel Latif.

Emphasizing the Ministry of Antiquities’ vital role, Abdel Latif reviewed the ministry’s efforts in qualifying the city to become an international touristic site. Besides, to commemorate the decoding of the stone, descendants of discoverers and members of the French Campaign have attended the celebration, including that of Francios Champollion, the stone’s discoverer Pierre, and the leader of the French Campaign in Egypt General Menou.

Located currently at the British Museum in London since 1802, the stone was found in 1799 by an officer in the French military campaign in Egypt. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian demotic and ancient Greek inscriptions praising King Ptolemy V are carved onto the stone.

The French Egyptologist Champollion succeeded in cracking the Rosetta Stone’s code using his knowledge of ancient Greek. Egyptologists have later worked on studying the stone with the aim to expose in depth details of ancient Egyptian history.]]>
11/20/2017 1:27:44 PM
<![CDATA[6 Egyptian movies participate in Arab Cinema Week]]>
The Egyptian movies are "Sheikh Jackson," "A Man Wanted," "Photocopy" "Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim," "Mawlana" and "A Present from the Past."

"Sheikh Jackson" stars Ahmed al-Fishawy and revolves around an aspiring Imam’s reaction to the death of The King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The central character loves Jackson’s music, and imitates the pop star’s performances. His strong relationship with Salafism reflects the contradictions in his life. The film is directed by Amr Salama.

"Photocopy" narrates in a smooth manner the story of an old man, over 60 years old, who decided to open a shop for photocopying after retirement. He starts to re-discover the life that he is living, his love for his neighbor and the people around him.

The Egyptian journalist and "Photocopy’s" scriptwriter, Haitham Dabbour, previously stated in an interview with Egypt Today that he chose to present a love story between an old man and woman because these kinds of love stories “have not been well presented in the Egyptian cinema.”

“Photocopy” won El-Gouna Golden Star Award for Best Arabic Feature Narrative Film. The movie stars Mahmoud Hemeida, Sherine Reda, and is directed by Tamer Ashry.

"Mawlana" (The Preacher) is a movie adapted from a novel by renowned journalist Ibrahim Eissa. The story revolves around an influential religious preacher turned TV celebrity whose credibility is shaken when he initiates closer ties to politicians and security agencies.

The movie stars Amr Saad and Dorra Zarrouk. "Mawlana" is directed by Magdy Ahmed Aly.

"Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim" revolves around the main character, Ali, who loves a goat and talks to it. Many people criticize him for this behavior, until his mother forces him to go to a psychological and spiritual healer, where he meets Ibrahim.

Ibrahim suffers from depression and listens to sounds from another world, yet he is incapable of understanding what those messages mean.

Together, they embark on a journey of self-discovery and friendship across Egypt.

"A Man Wanted" is about a career-oriented woman in her late thirties who wants to have a child. She searches for a man to marry only to achieve this purpose. The movie stars Nelly Karim and Mohamed Mamdouh and is directed by Mohamed Ali.

"A Present from the Past" revolves around a filmmaking professor named Mokhtar who receives two plane tickets to Rome on his 75th birthday from his daughter Kawthar who is also a filmmaker. Mokhtar along with Kawthar set on a trip to Rome in search for his long lost love, Patrizia.]]>
11/20/2017 12:47:17 PM
<![CDATA[Bruno Mars wins American Music Awards on night of divas]]>
Mars, the retro star who found fresh success with the funky beats and R&B harmonies of his latest album "24K Magic," accepted Artist of the Year with a brief but enthusiastic speech recorded in a moving minivan, as Mars explained he was traveling.

Unveiled at a made-for-television gala in Los Angeles, the American Music Awards select winners based on fan voting, unlike the more prestigious Grammys which are decided by professionals.

The awards presented a lifetime achievement award to 73-year-old Ross, the towering voice of Motown, who ended the show with a medley of her hits starting with gay anthem "I'm Coming Out."

Ross -- whose daughter, "Black-ish" television series star Tracee Ellis Ross, was the awards' host -- was introduced by a video from Barack and Michelle Obama, with the former president revealing that the Motown great's music was still frequently on rotation at their post-White House home.

The awards also honored Houston to mark 25 years since her blockbuster film and soundtrack "The Bodyguard," which featured her classic cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You."

Houston, 48, was found dead in her hotel bathroom in February 2012 on the eve of the Grammy Awards. A coroner ruled that she died of accidental drowning, with cocaine and heart disease listed as contributing factors.

Christina Aguilera signed up for the daunting task of doing justice to Houston and reached the high notes with flair despite briefly veering off-key.

But the night's most memorable performance came from P!nk who dangled off the edge of a 54-story building.

P!nk, singing "Beautiful Trauma" on a headset, was attached by rope to a high floor of the L.A. Live hotel and entertainment complex as she slid acrobatically with dancers on her side and above.

- Pleas for tolerance -

The broadcast switched to Washington where Lady Gaga was putting on an intricately choreographed performance of "The Cure" with pyrotechnics raining from above. Her concert was later interrupted as she was told she won Favorite Female Artist.

A visibly moved Gaga thanked fans and voiced her familiar plea for tolerance, saying, "Remember that if you feel different or you feel not understood, don't you dare give up."

Tracee Ellis Ross had said the awards were showcasing "earth-shattering, groundbreaking women." But the focus came after criticism that the awards for the first time had no women in contention for Artist of the Year, despite the national spotlight on sexism in the entertainment industry.

At a time of intense tensions in the United States, the show began with a call against violence and hate but avoided overt mentions of President Donald Trump.

The awards opened with a tribute on politically safe ground -- honoring first responders to emergencies across the United States.

P!nk -- on the ground rather than above -- and Kelly Clarkson serenaded assembled first responders with a cover of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," a track off the rockers' influential "Automatic for the People" album which came out 25 years ago last month.

In one of the show's most poignant moments, the award for alternative rock act went to Linkin Park, whose frontman Chester Bennington killed himself in July after years of struggling with depression and substance abuse.

To a standing ovation, bandmate Mike Shinoda dedicated the prize to Bennington.

"All of you tonight, whether you're a fan or an artist, I want you to take a moment to appreciate what you've got and make Chester proud," he said.]]>
11/20/2017 12:17:44 PM
<![CDATA[Takh band to perform at El Sawy Cultural Wheel]]>
Takh consists of two talented young singers, Ezz Shahwan and Yousra El Genedy. Shahwan and El Genedy agreed to work together to convert their common passion for singing and music to a successful band.

The duo chose Takh as the name of their band because it is the onomatopoeic word reflecting the sound of objects plonking; conveying the effect they want to create in the music field through the mix of music, sounds, and lyrics.

This is the first concert for Takh band at El Sawy Cultural Wheel. ]]>
11/20/2017 11:10:40 AM
<![CDATA['Justice League' takes top spot, but still underwhelms box office]]>
With an all-star cast including Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman, "Justice League" -- based on the DC Comics superheroes team -- sees a mash-up of classic characters fend off the threat of supervillain Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds).

The big-budget Warner Bros. production -- which fared better internationally, taking $185 million -- was forecast to earn $110 million in North American cinemas, according to Variety.

Writing on Twitter, industry analyst Exhibitor Relations -- which released the estimates -- said "Justice League" "may be the first film to debut w/ $96M that feels like a major disappointment."

In at second -- earning $27.1 million -- was Lionsgate's newly-released "Wonder," according to the box office tracker.

Starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, "Wonder" follows the journey of August Pullman, a young boy with facial deformities, as he enters the fifth grade at a mainstream school for the first time.

After thundering to the top spot last week, "Thor: Ragnarok" slipped into third place in its third weekend in cinemas, taking $21.8 million.

Featuring the self-mocking humor of Chris Hemsworth as the powerful Norse god alongside Cate Blanchett as Hela, goddess of death, "Thor" has raked in an impressive $247.4 million since its release in North American cinemas.

Paramount's "Daddy's Home 2" halved its earnings from last weekend, dropping to fourth place with $14.8 million.

The festive comedy stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as Brad and Dusty, who join forces to give their kids the perfect holiday -- an effort challenged when their own fathers show up.

In at fifth was Fox's "Murder on the Orient Express," earning $13.8 million.

The fourth television or cinema adaptation of Agatha Christie's classic detective novel, the murder mystery was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as part of an A-list cast including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"The Star" ($10 million)

"A Bad Moms Christmas" ($6.9 million)

"Lady Bird" ($2.5 million)

"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" ($1.1 million)

"Jigsaw" ($1.1 million)]]>
11/20/2017 9:26:04 AM
<![CDATA[Indian producers delay Bollywood film after protests]]>
A caste-based group has been targeting "Padmavati", which was due to hit screens on December 1, over rumours that the movie will depict a romance between the queen and a Muslim ruler.

In a statement late Sunday Viacom18 Motion Pictures said they had "voluntarily deferred" the release date of the film, which has yet to be certified by India's censor board.

"We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film. We will announce the revised release date of the film in due course," it said.

The movie first ran into opposition in January when protesters belonging to the Rajput Karni Sena caste-based group attacked director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and vandalised the set during filming in Jaipur in Rajasthan.

The protesters are apparently unhappy about speculation that the film will include a romantic liaison between Rajput queen Padmavati, also known as Rani Padmini, and the 13th and 14th century Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji.

The Rajput caste were historically Hindu warriors who ruled over kingdoms in western India.

Rajput Karni Sena accuse the film's makers of distorting historical facts, but historians say the queen is a mythical character and there is no clear evidence that she even existed.

Protesters attacked another set near Mumbai in March, burning costumes and other props.

They have stepped up protests in recent weeks, including making a death threat against lead actress Deepika Padukone.

India's Hindi film industry churns out hundreds of movies every year but filmmakers often face intimidation from fringe groups as well as an over-zealous censor board, fuelling fears over creative freedom in the country.]]>
11/20/2017 9:23:43 AM
<![CDATA[Sharing Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin finds voice in symphony]]>
Birkin has revived live performances of Gainsbourg by fronting full orchestras. Now 70, Birkin takes pains to safeguard her voice, staying inside on the eve of concerts.

But if her voice sometimes fails her, that's fine. She finds beauty both in the words of Gainsbourg, a French literary master at once suave and salacious, and his music, which had already borrowed liberally from classical composers.

"The real star is the symphony orchestra and not me," the self-effacing celebrity told AFP in New York, where she was releasing a special edition of her orchestral album, "Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique."

"It's nicer if I can sing. But I realized then -- it's solid stuff. It's fine as it is," she said over a bottle of water above New York Harbor from the top of The Standard hotel.

Birkin will return to New York to bring Gainsbourg on February 1 to Carnegie Hall, accompanied by operatic pop singer Rufus Wainwright.

The hard-living, chain-smoking Gainsbourg died in 1991 at age 62 without ever playing New York, although he reached into the city's nascent hip-hop scene for his last album, "You're Under Arrest."

The orchestral versions came about after Birkin met arranger Nobuyuki Nakajima for benefit concerts following the 2011 tsunami in his native Japan, where she and Gainsbourg enjoy an avid fan base.

Birkin, who took up with Gainsbourg when she was a 20-year-old actress, is perhaps France's best-known Briton who has gone native. She has retained her English accent which charmed listeners on her 1969 duet with Gainsbourg, "Je t'aime... moi non plus," whose eroticism was so palpable it earned a rare rebuke from the Vatican.

"I don't feel anglophone at all. I've never sung in English," she said, adding: "I don't consider myself much of a singer, anyway."

- Hopeful for women -

After decades in the entertainment industry, Birkin is well aware of sexual harassment, a scourge that has quickly come into public focus after allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Birkin, who was married to James Bond film composer John Barry before her romance with Gainsbourg, said her relationship status left her comparatively safe.

"Of course there were a few directors who ask you for weekends in Rome and you didn't go and you didn't get the part. That was part of the game," she said.

"But nobody tried to make a pass at me that I took badly because I was married at 17 and I was with Serge by the time I was 20," she said.

She hoped times were changing.

"Probably in Latin countries like France it's slower, in that people do whistle and wink and it's been sort of normal. I don't mean harassment but just a general sexy behavior," she said.

"Perhaps we'll get like the Americans where no man will dare come up the lift for fear of having a lawsuit. I trust not.

"But when you see the misery some people have been going through, then you can't but think that it's good that it comes out in the open."

- 'Disappointed' in Suu Kyi -

A longtime human rights activist, Birkin had been a prominent campaigner for Aung San Suu Kyi, dedicating a song in 2008 to the Nobel laureate then under house arrest by Myanmar's junta.

Suu Kyi has since been freed and risen through elections to be Myanmar's leader. But she has come under fire for not stopping or speaking forcefully against a bloody military campaign targeting the Rohingya, a Muslim minority of whom more than 600,000 have fled to Bangladesh.

Birkin called her stance "disappointing," while acknowledging that Suu Kyi may face constraints.

The Rohingya tragedy showed that people everywhere "are neither good nor bad, but something in the middle."

"Whole nations you hoped, because of their past and the tortures they had been through, were going to conduct themselves superior or more noble than us. But in fact they are just as mean-hearted," she said.

Birkin recently turned one of her symphonic concerts in Paris into a benefit for aid group Doctors of the World.

"What will happen, I presume, is that she will do nothing," she said of Suu Kyi. "We have all got to do something."

11/20/2017 9:21:32 AM
<![CDATA[Cantona the artist ponders sex, life and death in new book]]>
The former Manchester United star muses on sex, death, ageing and madness in "My Notebook", a collection of 100 or so sketches and observations on the absurdities of life.

Rather than carry a smartphone, French-born Cantona -- the son of a nurse-turned-painter -- said he always carries a little sketchpad.

"While you pretend you are very busy with your text (messages) I have my little pen and notebook," he said in the preface to the book, which was published in French and English Thursday.

He depicts his post-football inner self as a forlorn and fumbling though recognisably Cantona-esque character with oversized feet, who never quite does what he should.

His alter ego, a kind of a Matisse lost-boy with a Picasso phallus obsession, finds himself beset by his own inadequacy in the face of womankind and an indifferent world.

Although the book is full of visual jokes and word play, the man fans still call "God" and "The King" for revolutionising English football, worries that his crown will tumble.

His fondness for philosophy -- both cod and real -- is also evident as he ponders death and religion, as well as his own foibles.

- 'Madness is the centre of my life' -

And lovers of his famously gnomic utterances will not be disappointed.

The man whose delphic reaction to his conviction for kung-fu kicking a fan in 1995 was, "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea", outdoes himself with a new piscine metaphor.

One sketch of a fish man nibbling huge toes is captioned, "The dead skin of giants and the submarine of the poor" -- which may be a comment on fame, or on trickle-down economics.

Cantona, who now works as an actor and producer, told reporters that he was not afraid of being ridiculed or of revealing too much of himself.

"I am not afraid of the unconscious, I am afraid of emptiness," the 51-year-old told the French daily Liberation.

"I wanted to draw like a child. I sometimes even closed my eyes (while I drew). Because I think we have learned too much, we want to master everything. I wanted to get back to my innocent, unconscious self. But I haven't quite been able to."

Cantona said that he was fascinated by madness, "it's the centre of my life... I am at one level afraid of going mad and at another of not being mad. Actually I walk that line, that's where I am happy."

The former Number 10, who helped turn United from perennial underachievers into Champions League winners, said he found it too "pretentious" to call himself an artist, or even an actor, although he starred in the acclaimed 2009 Ken Loach film "Looking for Eric" and is married to French star Rachida Brakni.

"It is hard to describe what I am these days. Sometimes when I am filling in official papers and they ask the profession I write 'living'. It's a full-time job," he said.]]>
11/20/2017 9:18:21 AM
<![CDATA[Profile: Ahmed Malek achieves breakthrough in acting]]>
Born in September 1995, Malek’s first audition came at the age of eight when his uncle took him to perform in a commercial.

In 2005, Malek had his first role in the TV series "Ayamna el helwa" (Our Good Days). A few years later, executive director Osama Farid asked Malek to perform the role of young Hassan al-Banaa, founder of Muslim Brotherhood, in the TV series "The Brotherhood”, considered to be the then-15-year-old‘s first breakthrough roll.

After the January 25th Revolution, he disappeared from acting for a short time, as he decided to focus on political and revolutionary activities. When director Gamal Abdel Hameed offered him the role of a young Egyptian revolutionary activist in the series “The Backstreets” – starring famous actors Gamal Soliman, Leila Elwi, Samy El-Adl and Gihan Fadel – he could not resist.

He paid attention of his audience, and his talents were finally recognized in 2012 after achieving great success in his role on the TV series “With Premeditation”.

In 2013, he played the role of a womanizing troubled teen in the series “Hayt’s Tale”, for which he won the DG Award for Best Young Actor.

Seeing Malek’s amazing performance, director Sherif Arafa asked him to audition a pivotal role in the second part of his movie “El Gezira”.

Malek’s latest movie, “Sheikh Jackson”, was chosen as the opening movie for the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival, which took place from September 22-29. The film also screened at the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off on October 4. Egypt selected Amr Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson” as its candidate for consideration at the upcoming Oscars, set to take place in February 2018.

“Sheikh Jackson” stars Ahmed al-Fishawy and revolves around the death of the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. The plotline focuses on an aspiring Imam who loves Jackson’s music and imitates the pop star’s performances. His strong relationship with Salafism reflects the contradictions in his life.

He was chosen by Shnit International Short Film Festival (SISFF) to be a jury member in November 2017, alongside famous script writer Tamer Habib and Egyptian director Mariam Abu Ouf.

Recently, he participated in the Helm Foundation’s campaign launched on social media, starring Egyptian actors Menna Shalaby and Malek, to make Cairo University accessible to people with disabilities.

The campaign video features Shalaby as a visually impaired woman and Malek in a wheelchair. Both have challenges getting around Cairo due to the lack of accessibility for people with disabilities. ]]>
11/19/2017 7:55:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt retrieves 14 artifacts from Cyprus]]>
The artifacts include a vase which dates back to the era of Ramses II.

Abdel Gawad confirmed that the ministry is using the country’s international agreements to retrieve smuggled artifacts such as these. The artifacts were smuggled illegally into Cyprus in 2016 and were reported to be missing by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Anani. ]]>
11/19/2017 6:38:18 PM
<![CDATA[Photo Story: Portraying social gatherings through contemporary art]]>

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One of the exhibited works show a lady enjoys her coffee [Photo Courtesy: Taken by Rana Atef]

Through his 21 works of art, Damarawy portrays different perspectives of daily social gatherings in streets, transportation and concerts.

Known for his human body and face formation, Damarawy beautifully created a fascinating image for high class venues. He insists on defining the common characteristics of the upper class of society, featuring dresses, drinks, music, pets and high heels.

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One of the exhibited works shows high class cafes [Photo Courtesy: Al Kahila Art Gallery]

Portraying the chaotic mood of streets, he located the motorbike in the heart of the people, focusing on how people look at each other and how they act.

One of the exhibited works shows dreaming of gathering [Photo Courtesy: Taken by Rana Atef]

Reflecting the middle class, he employed his white and gray colors to transform real common people and buildings into paintings. He depends on body language to mention humans’ attitudes in gatherings, like loud talk and gossip.

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One of the exhibited works shows dreaming of gathering [Photo Courtesy: Taken by Rana Atef]

Damarawy has set a creative figurative painting for cafés overlooking the Nile, emphasizing that it is the favorite gathering point for Egyptians

One of the exhibited works shows Nile overlooking gathering [Photo Courtesy: Al Kahila Art Gallery]

The artist customized one of his paintings to reflect a feminine gathering style in efforts to always carry definitive features.

One of the exhibited works shows females gossip [Photo Courtesy: Al Kahila Art Gallery]

11/19/2017 6:23:46 PM
<![CDATA[Brass Sound Band to perform at Cairo Opera House]]>
Formed in May 2016, Adham Ahmed, the manager of the band, told Egypt Today, “The band consists of 15 musicians who are taught at the Conservatoire Music Institute and Arab Music Institute.”

Ahmed added that the band is covering many famous songs, but in carnival style, such as “Happy” and “Sway”.

The band depends on various musical instruments, such as trumpet and saxophone, as well as percussion instruments such as snare drums and bass drums.

Introducing an enjoyable happy mood, Brass Sound Band has performed at different venues, including Cairo University, the American University in Cairo and the German University in Cairo. ]]>
11/19/2017 6:04:24 PM
<![CDATA[Karim Abdel Aziz to start shooting ‘Al Zebaq’ part 2]]>
“Al Zebaq” part one was screened last Ramadan. “The soap opera aims to increase Egyptian youth awareness as well as elevate their patriotic feeling,” announced renowned Egyptian actor Sherif Mounir previously during his interview on the “El Gawla el Fania” (The Artistic Tour) program that was screened July 16 on ON TV. Mounir co-stars with Abdel Aziz in the film.

“Al Zebaq” part two will focus on the intelligence side more than the social side. The social side was more prevalent in part one. “The script writer, while writing part one’s script, discovered that the series cannot be executed in one part, so he decided to focus more on the social side in part one, while stressing more on the intelligence side in part two,’’ Mounir explained.

The incidents that take place “Al Zebaq” series occurred in the period from 1998 to 2003. The soap opera portrays a true story taken from the files of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate.

“Al Zebaq” revolves around a young Egyptian man named Omar, performed by Abdel Aziz, who is working as a surveillance camera technician.

The Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate decided to levy Omar through its officer Khaled, performed by Mounir, planting him in Europe to discover Israeli Mossad intelligence elements there and in Egypt. ]]>
11/19/2017 5:57:25 PM
<![CDATA[Sawy joins the cast of 'Serry Lel Ghaya']]>
More than 20 mega stars will participate in the massive movie. This important film will star veteran Egyptian actor Mahmoud Hemeida in the role of the supreme guide of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

The popular Egyptian mega star Mohamed Ramadan will appear as a guest of honor in five or six scenes, portraying two characters: the first character is that of a soldier and the second is yet to be revealed. The movie depicts recent Egyptian history from the beginning of the uprise against Hosni Mubarak on January 25, 2011, until the ousting of Mohamed Morsi on June 30, 2013. The film will also show terrorist attacks and conflicts that occurred during that period.

The movie will feature Ahmed al-Sakka as President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Ahmed Rizk as former President Mohamed Morsi, Nabil al-Halafawy as former defense minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Ahmed Bedier as a terrorist leader. Also, Adel Emam will appear in one scene as himself for the first time in a movie, while attending a press conference for Sisi. This historical movie was written by renowned screenwriter Wahid Hamed and directed by Mohamed Sami. The film's release date has not yet been decided. ]]>
11/19/2017 4:24:06 PM
<![CDATA[Disney to launch the first Disney Festival in the Arab world]]>
The festival is scheduled to screen the as yet unreleased movie “Coco”, during the opening ceremony. “Coco” is a 3D computer-animated American movie in the musical-fantasy style of well known titles such as “Frozen”. The plot revolves around a 12-year-old boy who sets off on a number of events pertaining to a century old mystery leading to a family reunion.

The festival will also screen many Disney classics including both animation and live action in addition to “Coco” such as “Cinderella”, “Toy Story”, “Finding Dory”, “Bambi”, “Zootopia”, “Aladdin” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” amongst others.

Recently, Walt Disney Company bowed to Egyptian public pressure and announced last August the return of dubbing animation and cartoon films using the Egyptian colloquial Arabic dialect, instead of the formal Arabic dialect (Fos-ha).

The famous Egyptian famous comedian Mohamed Henedy previously praised Disney’s decision on his Twitter account saying, “Now we can start dubbing ‘Monsters, Inc.’ and ‘Inside Out’ also if we want.” ]]>
11/19/2017 4:22:00 PM
<![CDATA[Kotsiras, Greek singer re-crafts Alexandrian beauty ]]>
Beginning his career in 1990, the ambitious artist has been previously chosen to perform the official theme song of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. He has always had a love for Egypt, not only filming a video in Alexandria but also dedicated an entire song for it.

Yiannis Kotsiras [Photo Courtesy: Yiannis Kotsiras official website]

ET: How did you get into the music business?

YK: It was early 1990 and I was working at a car service station. A customer there called Christos Konstantinou heard me singing while I was fixing a tire and he asked me if I wanted to perform at a historic music place called Perivoli tou ouranou (Garden of Sky). I auditioned and they liked me. That is how I started—like a movie. My mother didn’t have any arguments as long as I was very careful, but my father didn’t like it.

He told me that singing was not a job and I would starve. Thankfully, he was a sailor so I was working behind his back. When he found out we had a very small argument and I told him that some day, he would pay to listen to me. And that is what has happened. The first time he came to listen to me I made him pay for everything that he ordered just to remind him of my promise. Of course the next day I bought him a very expensive suit.

ET: What challenges have you faced throughout your career?
YK: The biggest challenge was refusing promising propositions. I preferred to say no to a lot of money than sing at places and music I didn’t like. For me, music is not just a ‘job’, it is politics, a way of living. And in Greece you can choose between real music and a glossy lifestyle. I chose the music.

ET: What influences you when producing your music?

YK: My influences are many. I listen to national music because I admire its tunes and I get my inspiration from daily behaviors, politics, and world incidents. But my standard influences are from my loved ones. First of all, there is traditional Greek music called ‘Rembetiko’, and of course I have rock and ethnic music inside me as well, so my music is a mix of all these.

ET: Tell us about Alexandria, from your point of view.

YK: My mother was born in Alexandria, and to be honest when I look at my origins I feel closer to the Greek people who were born in Egypt than the [those born in the] mainland. There is a great difference in cultures. When I came to Alexandria I had a very strange feeling, like I had been there before. I knew where to go, what to eat and where ‘Qait Bay’ citadel was. It was very strange but wonderful experience. I love Egypt and its people. We have many Egyptians in Greece and they are very nice and polite. They respect Greece very much.

ET: What was it like working in Alexandria?

YK: In 1996 we were planning to film the song in Alexandria, but a few days before we travelled there was a terrorist attack at a hotel so we had to stop. When we were trying to think of other ideas for the video, the director asked me how I imagined Alexandria. I answered “like the naked body of the most beautiful girl on earth.” That was the click. He told me it would be very expensive but that we would make the video on a woman’s body with the symbolic message that Alexandria is the place where life begins. Of course, it was a little provoking at the time so many TV channels didn’t dare to play it. But the art people saw it as a piece of art and they loved it. The other one “Kapou tha vrethoume” (We Will Meet Somewhere) was just my desire to make a film in my mother’s homeland, so we made this trip.

Kotsiras at Qaitbay Fort - A Scene from “Kapou tha Vrethoume” [Photo Courtesy: Yiannis Kotsiras Vevo/Youtube]

ET: You say “Ya salam” [wow or peace, depending on context] a lot and use it in your Facebook posts, even though it is an Arabic word and you always post in Greek. Why?

YK: This is the main word of my first song and because I like the meaning. I am astonished by music, with what I am doing and especially including the word Salam, which means peace. And finally, as my song says, “Ya salam means Alexandria” for me.

ET: Tell us more about your current album Pseutis Keros

YK: In Greece we’re experiencing one of the most difficult periods of our history. The economic crisis is accompanied by cultural, refugee and social crises. So I decided to make an album about normal lives with the message that we can solve everything if we are all together. We must stop searching for enemies and create friends. We must stop searching for saviors and we must stop seeing other people from other countries or religions as our enemies. We are all made the same and everybody’s God is talking about peace and love.

ET: Can you share details about your upcoming European tour?

YK: It’s a project I started four years ago with the main title “Greece on the road” and the point is to communicate Greek music and culture to other countries. We started in 2014 with two concerts and now we are visiting five European countries (UK, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France) but also Israel, Australia, Russia and the US. We love to play Greek music outside Greece and we love to communicate the reality of what Greece is today.

ET: Are you considering touring Arab countries including Egypt?

YK: It is very difficult at the moment. We are trying to find people who want to bring Greek music to Egypt but we still can’t make a connection. We are looking for connections to Algeria and Egypt but we are just at the very beginning. I hope that we will find some professionals to do the job.

11/18/2017 4:44:51 PM
<![CDATA[Omar Khairat to perform in London]]>
This concert is designed to collect donations for charity and to help in raising awareness about street kids and orphans in Egypt.

Khairat is a composer and a pianist. He was born in Alexandria and raised in a family of musicians. He began his career in 1959 as a pianist.

Khairat was a member of the Egyptian band Les Petits Chats, which was founded in 1967.They used to sing Italian, French, and English songs. The band was immensely popular in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

Khairat is influenced by different genres of music such as Arabic, European classical, Egyptian, African, jazz, pop, and blues. He won the Best Musician award in 1989 by the Egyptian Society for Cinema.

Khairat is a composer that can creatively blend the style of international symphonies with Egyptian music masterfully. He has composed many successful music pieces, such as “Dameer Abla Hikmat” (Abla Hikmat’s Conscience), “Wagh Elkamar” (The Moon's Face), and “Leilet el-Kabd ala Fatma” (The Night Fatma was Arrested) among others.]]>
11/18/2017 4:42:40 PM
<![CDATA[‘Moftah Shohra’ play to stage AUC’s Al-Falaki Theater ]]>
Written and directed by Doaa Hamza, the play revolves around two background actors who are trapped in a dressing room for one night. Amidst being trapped, both characters begin to speak out about their dreams and assess their performance skills. Performed by Al La’aba Theater Troupe, the performance provides in depth focus on the unexposed suffering of background actors.

Founded in 2014, Al La’ba Theater Troupe is an independent theater troupe that has contributed to the theatrical scene through the monodrama performance “Sah El Noom” [Wake Up] that was staged at Rawabet Townhouse theater, Al-Falaki Theater and has also participated in the annual National Egyptian Theater Festival in 2014. ]]>
11/18/2017 4:40:13 PM
<![CDATA[New Sharjah exhibition provides intimate look at Emirati burqa]]>

Running from November 15, 2017 until June 8, 2018, the exhibition comprises a wide variety of works in multiple platforms, all related to themes about the burqa – from materials and construction to more personal aspects, such as its smell, individuality, and memories associated with it and its history related to the wider culture. The artist, Alshomely, has a bachelor’s of fine arts from the University of Sharjah and a master’s of fine arts from the University of the Arts London, along with a doctorate in fine arts, which she completed at London’s Kingston University.

Manal Ataya, general director of the Sharjah Museums Authority, said in a statement, “We are confident that visitors will not regard the burqa in the same way again; whether they develop a better understanding of its history and the materials used in its design or in the reaffirmation of its important place in Emirati society.”

Once an everyday article of clothing for women in the Emirates, recent cultural changes have seen its status shift from common attire to a heritage status symbol, worn during important occasions and serving as a symbol of the UAE’s cultural heritage.

Alshomely mentioned her childhood fascination with her grandmother’s burqa, and much of the pieces are thus related to her own personal experiences with the cloth, including photographs of her youth.

In her own words regarding how she views the burqa in a released statement, the artist stated, “I perceive the burqa to be an intimate object. As a material object, an item of dress, an accessory or a marker of status, the burqa can be seen as a thing in the world that exists outside of the individual subject. Yet, as this artwork shows, the burqa has been part of Emirati women’s social and cultural identity, and it is also deeply personal to each individual woman.”

The exhibition aims at challenging visitors’ preconceptions about the burqa and providing them a change to view the clothing with a new mindset.
11/18/2017 4:28:13 PM
<![CDATA[Renowned film director Ali Badrakhan concludes 10th PEF]]>
The screening and seminar comes as part of the ‘Cinematic Signs’ category that was first added in the seventh edition where three film directors choose one of their specific works that has influenced their career to screen and discuss, according to a released statement.

The prestigious film director will be discussing “Morning Girl” as one of the films from his personal choice of work that influenced his filmmaking career. Badrakhan is among two other film directors participating in the same category including Tamer El Said and Kamla Abu Zekr.

The festival, running between November 8 and November 18, is an annual event established by Youssef Shaheen’s International Egyptian Film Company and is organized by Cinema Zawya and Zamalek cinema.

This edition featured the screening of over 50 European films ranging from different genres including feature, documentary, and short films that have been recently produced. The festival’s activities have expanded for the first time; screening movies in Alexandria, Ismailia, Portsaid, Damietta, Mansoura, Minya, Qena, Zagazig, and Assiut, for the first time.

Panorama for European Film is a collaboration between the European Union, the British Council, French Institution, Goethe Institute, Italian Institute, French Lycee School alongside the Irish, Spanish, Finish, Sweden, Netherlands, and Portuguese embassies in Egypt.]]>
11/18/2017 4:25:15 PM
<![CDATA[Birthday of acclaimed feminist writer Margaret Atwood ]]>
Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1939, her parents were a forest entomologist and a nutritionist, which helped nurture Atwood’s interest in the natural world and think about the lives of the plants and animals around her. As she grew up in Quebec and the forests of Toronto where her father studied insects, Atwood began pursuing an interest in writing and soon became a passionate poet.

After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1961, Atwood pursued her masters at Radcliffe and also published her first poetry collections, such as "Double Persephone" (1961) and "The Circle Game" (1964), which dealt with themes of humanity and nature.

Of course, Atwood’s biggest themes revolved around what it meant to be a woman in a world that so preferred men; her first novel, "The Edible Woman" (1969), was a witty piece of social satire centered on a young woman who finds she cannot eat anything.

Atwood would continue to publish more poetry collections and novels through the following decade, such as 1979’s "Life Before Man," yet it would be the release of her 1986 dystopia novel "The Handmaid’s Tale" that would see Atwood turned into one of the 20th century’s most influential feminist authors.

Set in the far future, the "Handmaid’s Tale" follows mankind after society collapses due to an ecological disaster, with a Christian theocracy named Gilead that has overtaken what was once America. Here, much of the population is infertile, and women able to give birth are prized as cattle and little more. One woman, belonging to the class that can still give birth, struggles to escape this oppression and carve her own life.

The novel provided Atwood with critical acclaim and popular attention, and has been adapted numerous times into various platforms; a film in 1990 by director Volker Schlöndorff, an opera, and more recently a television series created by Bruce Miller, which has also achieved critical acclaim.

More recently, Atwood’s body of work include "The Blind Assassin" (2000), which won the Booker Prize Award, and the "MaddAddam" trilogy, which featured a satirical and environmentalist focus comprising the works "Oryx and Crake" (2003), "The Year of the Flood" (2009) and "MaddAddam" (2013). She has even branched out into graphic novels, releasing her bizarre superhero comic "Angel Catbird" in 2016, about a scientist who transforms into a superhero that is half-cat, half-bird, and all-confused.

11/18/2017 4:23:56 PM
<![CDATA[Novel-based play ‘Ard Zeyokola’ to stage at Hosapeer Theater ]]>
Performed by Teatro theatrical troupe, the play is directed by Abdallah Elshaeer and is based on a contemporary Egyptian novel called “Ard Zeyokola”, written by contemporary Egyptian novelist Amr Abd Elhamid.

The play revolves around a young man, Khaled, who travels to strange, unknown lands called “Ard Zeyokola”. People residing in those lands aren’t familiar with money, but they are dealing with “intelligence units”.

Established in 1995, the troupe has performed more than 30 theatrical performances, such as “Odeeb” [Oedipus], “Al Mokhateton” [The Planners] and “Kadeyet Zel El Hemar”[ The Case of the Donkey’s Shadow] , and more than 30 plays at Cairo University, Helwan University and El Sawy Culture Wheel. ]]>
11/18/2017 3:44:57 PM
<![CDATA[Today in History – 'Steamboat Willie' premieres]]>
In 1928, Disney was in a jam. His characters just did not stand out amongst competitors, and his company was on the verge of bankruptcy. The rights to Oswald the Rabbit, Disney’s former star, had been taken over by Disney’s distributors. In an effort to think of a successor, Walt came up with the idea of a playful little mouse, and contracted his partner Ub Iwerks to design him.

Mickey Mouse was born.

Faced with finding an inventive new spin to make Disney stand out, Walt then recalled a film he had seen a year earlier, 1927’s "The Jazz Singer," one of the first movies to be filmed with sound. The nationwide success of the film at a time when silent movies were king inspired Disney to begin working on a cartoon that utilized sound technology.

A budget of $4,986 was spent on production, though detractors suggested that a sound cartoon would not be popular. Test screenings proved them wrong however; when the film was first shown to the wives and children of Disney’s workers, they were overjoyed. Once it was commercially released, the short became a wild success, helping to save Disney from bankruptcy, revolutionizing animation and transforming Disney’s small company into the unstoppable media empire it is today.

It is all thanks to a whistling cartoon mouse.

11/18/2017 3:41:55 PM
<![CDATA[Austrian crime show 'SOKO Donau' screens at ACF ]]>
Running since 2005, "Soko Donau," or "Vienna Crime Squad" follows a special task force of crime fighters in Danube, Vienna who go wherever they can to stop criminals, through land and sea. The cases they deal with are frequently bizarre, involving stolen horses, murdered refugees, missing organs, smuggling rings, wild girl gangs and more.

The refugees have dubbed one episode so far of the show, which involves a murdered artist found wrapped up in a rug.

The Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo supported the project in order to help in teaching Austrian and to promote cross-cultural relations.

Trailer the making of Soko Danub from Manuel Molzer on Vimeo.

11/18/2017 3:20:17 PM
<![CDATA[Austrian crime show 'SOKO Donau' screens at ACF ]]>
Running since 2005, "Soko Donau," or "Vienna Crime Squad" follows a special task force of crime fighters in Danube, Vienna who go wherever they can to stop criminals, through land and sea. The cases they deal with are frequently bizarre, involving stolen horses, murdered refugees, missing organs, smuggling rings, wild girl gangs and more.

The refugees have dubbed one episode so far of the show, which involves a murdered artist found wrapped up in a rug.

The Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo supported the project in order to help in teaching Austrian and to promote cross-cultural relations.

Trailer the making of Soko Danub from Manuel Molzer on Vimeo.

11/18/2017 3:20:16 PM
<![CDATA['One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest' to screen at ADEF DECA]]>Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson will be screening at ADEF DECA on Sunday, November 19 as part of its "Cinema Psychoanalysis" theme for the month.

Winning five Academy Awards, this critically acclaimed classic was directed by Milos Forman and adapted from the 1962 novel by Ken Kesey. Jack Nicholson stars as R.P.

McMurphy, a criminal who pleads insanity as means of getting out of a harsh punishment, and is sent to a mental institution instead of serving hard labor.

While there, he fits in well with the patients and attempts to liven up the place, but eventually finds that the mental ward is ruled by the cruel nurse Ratched; McMurphy helps the patients fight back against Ratched's tyranny. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" was chosen by the American Film Institute as one of its Top 100 best films of all time.

ADEF DECA’s "Cinema Psychoanalysis" theme is a special program for November that features films that explore the relationship between Cinema and Psychoanalysis, screening films that show a direct exploration of human psychology which allow room for the viewers to interpret and create meaning behind the events that occur.]]>
11/18/2017 11:50:14 AM
<![CDATA[Novel on legacy of Algerian war wins France's richest prize]]> 18 November 2017: A powerful account of what happened to an Algerian "harki" family who sided with the French during the country's war of independence won France's most lucrative book prize Thursday.

"The Art of Losing" by 31-year-old Alice Zeniter had already won three major awards, and had been shortlisted for the prestigious Goncourt and Femina prizes for its portrait of a family caught on the wrong side of history.

Zeniter -- herself the granddaughter of a "harki" -- beat Veronique Olmi's "Bakhita" to the Students' Goncourt prize, which almost guarantees its winner a boost in sales of half a million copies in France alone.

Both Olmi's real-life story of a Sudanese slave girl who became a Catholic saint and "The Art of Losing" have been publishing sensations of the year in France.

Critics praised Zeniter's novel for the delicacy and grace with which it broaches the rarely told story of a group that is seen as the biggest losers in the bloody nine-year war, which still dogs relations between Algeria and France.

While as many as a quarter of a million Algerians worked or fought for the French during the war which ended in 1962, only 42,000 harkis were given refuge in France.

"Algeria called them rats, traitors, dogs, unclean apostates and bandits," Zeniter wrote.

"France sewed their mouths with the barbed wire of the camps in which it would rather not have welcomed them," she added, describing their miserable fate as a choice between exile and the threat of death in their homeland.

The story turns on a young Parisian artist who has to go to Algeria for work. Her father, who left the country as a child, refuses to talk about his birthplace, and all she knows of her grandfather is that as a colonial soldier he helped liberate France from the Nazis.

Zeniter, whose father was born in the Kabyle region of Algeria, and whose grandfather was considered a harki for supporting the French, said that while working on her novel, she had come upon many such "secret pockets where we put all those whose trajectories embarrass us".]]>
11/18/2017 11:21:45 AM
<![CDATA[Coldplay tops $500 million on third richest tour ever]]>18 November 2017: Coldplay generated more than $500 million on the rockers' just completed global tour, the band's promoters said Thursday, making it the third highest-grossing in history.

The English band played the 114th and final show of its "A Head Full of Dreams" tour Wednesday night in Buenos Aires, completing a haul of $523 million in ticket sales, Live Nation announced.

Only two other acts have ever amassed more: Irish rockers U2, who grossed $784 million on their elaborate, in-the-round "360" tour from 2009 to 2011, and The Rolling Stones, who grossed slightly above Coldplay with their "A Bigger Bang" shows a decade ago.

Coldplay went hi-tech for the tour, with fans given interactive wristbands that change color to the music and eye-popping displays with lasers and confetti.

The rockers led by Chris Martin, who broke through in the early 2000s with a mixture of dark ballads and rock anthems in the fashion of U2, earlier hinted that "A Head Full of Dreams" would be their last full-length album, although they released a new EP in July.

The tour started in March 2016, also in Buenos Aires, and reached nearly 5.4 million fans, according to Live Nation.

The band sold out multiple dates at stadiums in London, Paris, Los Angeles, Chicago and New Jersey and set a new attendance record of 67,451 at Mexico City's Foro Sol.

Coldplay pushes into fourth place on the highest-grossing list Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd member whose marathon 2010-13 "The Wall Live" tour incorporated elaborate effects as he pressed an anti-war theme.]]>
11/18/2017 11:18:42 AM
<![CDATA[ 'Star Wars' composer writes Bernstein work for Boston]]>18 November 2017: John Williams, the prolific film composer who has scored "Star Wars" and other blockbusters, will premiere a new work dedicated to Leonard Bernstein, the Boston Symphony Orchestra said Wednesday.

The orchestra announced its 2018 season at Tanglewood, its summer home nestled in the wooded Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, which will be dedicated to the centennial of the birth of Bernstein, arguably the most prominent conductor ever produced by the United States.

Tanglewood will on August 19 hold a memorial concert for Bernstein that will feature an original work by Williams for orchestra and cello, which will be played by Yo-Yo Ma.

Andris Nelsons, a fast-rising star in classical music who is the Boston Symphony Orchestra's music director, will conduct the work.

Williams -- the former conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra who remains artist-in-residence of Tanglewood, will conduct other nights during the season, including an evening of his film music.

A separate concert on August 25 in celebration of Bernstein will feature prominent singers including Audra McDonald and Susan Graham as well as Ma and members of orchestras with which Bernstein was associated.

Bernstein, who was born in Massachusetts, was music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1958 to 1969 during which time he became unusually prominent for a conductor with intensely expressive performances and regular television appearances.

Bernstein, who died in 1990, remains best known as a composer for the Broadway musical "West Side Story" but also wrote three symphonies.

The New York Philharmonic on Tuesday wrapped up its own centennial festival on Bernstein that featured prominent artists including violinist Joshua Bell and actor Jeremy Irons.]]>
11/18/2017 11:16:14 AM
<![CDATA[Online exhibit shows hidden depths of Picasso's 'Guernica']]> 18 November 2017: Spray-painted in murals, wielded on anti-war banners, and even once hung as a tapestry at the United Nations, Pablo Picasso's "Guernica" might be the world's most famous political artwork.

Now organisers of a new initiative are inviting art lovers to revisit the iconic black-and-white painting, using the latest imaging technology and releasing a trove of previously unseen documents to chart its turbulent history.

"Guernica is a source of never-ending artistic material and it's a privilege to be with as an art historian," says Rosario Peiro, head of collections at Madrid's Reina Sofia modern art museum.

She is part of the team behind "Rethinking Guernica", an interactive exhibition launched this week about the work.

"Putting all of this together allows you to rethink the history of the painting," Peiro told AFP.

"Guernica", conceived in the depths of Spain's devastating civil war, shows the bombing of a Basque town on April 26, 1937 by German and Italian air forces under the orders of future Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

Hundreds died in an aerial attack on civilians that shocked the world and set a precedent repeated often by German and allied forces in World War II.

Picasso, then living in France, was commissioned by the struggling Spanish Republican government to produce a work depicting the bombing for the 1937 World Fair in Paris.

- Storied history -

That commission and hundreds of other documents concerning "Guernica" are now available online for the first time.

They tell the story of a hugely well-travelled work, with stops in Scandinavia, Britain and the United States, where it spent decades on loan at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

There are papers relating to its trip to Venezuela in 1948 that was cut short due to a coup d'etat, and a frantic telegram sent by MoMA collections director Alfred H. Barr Jr informing the artist that his works were safe after a fire tore through the museum in 1958.

"Clearly it is a political painting because it was requested by the government for a propaganda purpose," says Peiro.

"The truth is during all these years of travel and being in different places, the work was depoliticised."

Researchers took thousands of images using visible and ultraviolent light as well as infrared reflectography and high-definition x-rays to create a "Gigapixel" rendering that allows users to browse a 436-gigabyte composite of the work.

Details of its restoration, individual paint strokes and even rogue hairs from Picasso's brushes can be seen still stuck to the original canvas. Residue from a 1974 act of vandalism is visible in the form of barely perceptible reddish discolouration across central areas.

"For me what is interesting to see is the geography of the painting, its surface, as if it's a kind of history map," says Peiro.

- New perspectives -

The Reina Sofia currently displays dozens of black-and-white war images alongside "Guernica", many captured by legendary Catalan conflict photographer Agusti Centelles.

Some critics credit the photos for Picasso's decision to eschew his usual vivid colours in the piece.

As Catalonia's independence crisis exposes Spain to its deepest political turbulence since returning to democracy in 1978, Peiro however insists the current installation isn't about politics.

"We do show a lot of Barcelona photographs but that's because the best Spanish photojournalist of the time was Catalan," she said.

Peiro hopes the new project will provide new perspectives on one of the 20th-century's defining images.

"'Guernica' is the most important work, physically and symbolically, for the museum so we have to keep on working on it," she says.

"It's the least we can do."]]>
11/18/2017 11:14:01 AM
<![CDATA[ 'Turab al-Mass' movie cast to start shooting in December]]>
Egyptian stars Menna Shalaby, Maged al-Kidwany and Asser Yassin joined the cast of the movie. Yassin explained previously that working with a director like Marwan Hamed and a scriptwriter like Ahmed Mourad in a movie based on a novel is a difficult challenge that requires significant effort. He expressed his enthusiasm about partaking in such an important movie that features a notable cast.

"Turab al-Mass" is a movie based on a novel bearing the same name, written by Ahmed Mourad. "Turab al-Mass" revolves around Taha, who works for a pharmaceutical company and lives an extremely boring life with his disabled father. Taha’s life is turned upside down after a mysterious murder reveals many secrets to him; dragging Taha into the world of crime and corruption.

The movie features a notable cast beside Shalaby, Yassin and Kidwany including Ezzat al-Alayly, Mohamed Mamdouh, Khaled al-Sawy, Sawsan Badr and Mahmoud Hemeida. "Turab al-Mass" is directed by Marwan Hamed.]]>
11/18/2017 10:53:18 AM
<![CDATA[Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 comes to Alexandria, Cairo Opera Houses]]>
Composed between May and August 1888, Russian composer Tchaikovsky wanted to follow up the failure of his Symphony No.4, composed a decade earlier, with one that would garner audiences’ positive reaction. Alas, the Symphony No.5 failed to garner the reaction he had hoped for, leaving Tchaikovsky heartbroken and dispirited.

Yet after his death the symphony started seeing critical acclaim. Critics praised it for its ingenious usage of a ‘fake theme’, and progress from a somber, weak beginning to a joyfully, triumphant ending. The symphony goes through four movements, starting with the Andante - Allegro con Anima, a slow dark introduction that ushers in the second phase, the Andante cantabile, a subdued string chords that lead to an upbeat horn theme. Eventually, the Andante cantabile gives way to the Valse: Allegro moderato, which is hurried and quick, leading out to the grand finale, the triumphant Andante maestoso-Allegro vivace!

Conductor Hisham Gabr will be leading Tchaikovsky’s symphony, and soloist Hassan Sharara will guide the violins. The performance is part of Ahmed El Saedi's “Festive Overture” programme.

11/17/2017 7:08:39 PM
<![CDATA[‘Photocopy’ to screen at IACM]]>
"Photocopy" will also be shown as the closing film of Arabian Cinema Week in New York City on November 23 at 6 p.m. Arabian Cinema Week is organized by Moviepigs, an online platform tailor-made to screen Middle Eastern films.

The film narrates in a smooth manner the story of an elderly man, who in his retirement decides to open a photocopying shop. He starts to re-discover life, his love for his wife and the people around him.

Egyptian journalist and "Photocopy" scriptwriter, Haitham Dabbour, previously stated in an interview with Egypt Today that he chose to present a love story between an elderly couple because these types of love stories “have not been well presented in the Egyptian cinema.”

“Photocopy” won El-Gouna Golden Star Award for Best Arabic Feature Narrative Film. The movie stars Mahmoud Hemeida, Sherine Reda, Farah Youssef, Aly Tayeb and Ahmed Dash, and is directed by Tamer Ashry. "Photocopy" will screen for the first time in Egyptian cinemas at the end of December.
11/17/2017 6:57:19 PM
<![CDATA[A look back at Scorsese’s masterpiece-studded career on his 75th ]]>
Scorsese was born in New York even though his family hailed from Italy, a heritage which Scorsese made sure to incorporate in his films. His parents both worked in cinema, planting the seeds for their son’s eventual passion for filmmaking.

Another factor that led Scorsese to direct was his sickly constitution as a child, which led him to spend most of his time indoors watching movies and drawing his own storyboards as early as eight. After an unsuccessful attempt at entering the Roman Catholic priesthood in the early 1960s, Scorsese decided that cinema was the path for him.

A 10-minute short film he directed helped Scorsese win a $500 scholarship to the New York University, where he would graduate in 1966. A year later, he came out with his first film in theatres, titled “Who’s That Knocking at My Door”. Right from the start, Scorsese’s plots were unflinching; the storyline of his film dealt with a devoutly Catholic Italian-American man who marries a woman he later learns was once raped, a fact that he cannot deal with. The film was well-received amongst critics, paving his way to become the legendary director that he is today.

In 1973, Scorsese would release “Mean Streets”, which would receive immense critical praise and cement the upcoming director as a truly revolutionary new talent.

“Mean Streets” (1973)

The film that kickstarted Scorsese’s career, “Mean Streets” was also the beginning of Scorsese’s alliance with Robert De Niro, who would star in some of the director’s greatest films. The film follows Charlie (Harvey Keital) as he aims to rise from being a small-time crook into the ranks of the mafia. Soon, facing a dilemma between the world of crime and those he loves.

“Taxi Driver” (1976)

While his previous films were critically received, it took until “Taxi Driver” for the public to learn about Scorsese and his immense gift for movies, which also served to be their introduction to De Niro’s talents. Here De Niro plays a Vietnam veteran turned taxi driver, who embarks on a brutal, violent vigilante quest to help rescue a young prostitute, played by Jodie Foster. This film was nominated for four Oscar awards, and is still talked about to this day, well over 40 years on.

“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1978)

This film served as a more feminine detour from Scorsese’s usual, but features his excellent directorial touch. Ellen Burstyn plays Alice Hyatt, a young woman who recently loses her husband in a traffic accident. She takes to the road with her young son in an effort to move back to her home in California. Jodie Foster and Harvey Keital also star once again under Scorsese’s directorship.

“Raging Bull” (1980)

With De Niro in the lead once more, Scorsese this time casts him in this biopic as boxer Jake LaMotta, a brutal man with a violent temper that helps him out in the ring but only serves to destroy his life out of it. ”Raging Bull” won two Oscar awards, with De Niro attaining Best Actor in a Leading Role and Scorsese's long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker winning the Best Film Editing award.

“The King of Comedy”(1982)

Robert De Niro suggested that Scorsese try his hand at something different; comedy. In this dark satire film, De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, an aspiring comedic who harbors an obsession with his idol Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). After being rejected the first time, Pupkin is driven to stalking and eventually kidnapping him; finally getting the gig he wanted.

“The Last Temptation of Christ”(1988)

Scorsese taps into his spiritual side for this epic recounting of the life of Jesus Christ, played by William DaFoe. The film follows Jesus Christ as he faces the trials and tribulations in his life that eventually lead to his final punishment on the cross, where he bears the sins of all mankind. Scorsese received an Oscar nomination for Best Director.

“Gangs of New York” (2002)

Turning back the clock on the city he loves so much, Scorsese takes a look at the brutal and violent history of New York in 1863, where gang warfare erupts across the city as they aim to take control. Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Cameron Diaz and Liam Neeson, the film marked the beginning of a rich and successful partnership with

Leonardo DiCaprio.

11/17/2017 6:47:57 PM
<![CDATA[LAFF receives applications for participating films]]>

Application is open till December 20, on condition that all films that wish to apply are Egyptian and directed by African directors, except for the Human Rights category, which is open to receive films from any country.

The President of the Luxor African Film Festival, Sayed Fouad, revealed that the seventh edition of the film festival will be dedicated to the late veteran cinema critic Samir Farid. Farid was considered to be one of the African continent’s most prominent cinema critics.

The poster of the seventh edition of the festival will bear the face of the late African icon Nelson Mandela.

Fouad admitted that the choice of Mandela came because his life's works are a symbol of struggle and contention for one’s homeland and the people who inhabit the African continent and the whole world. The seventh edition of the festival coming next year coincides with what would have been Mandela's centennial birthday; he was born in July 1918 and died in December 2013.

The poster takes the shape of Africa continent, which is the festival's top priority. The festival will feature a number of films on the life and struggle of Mandela. The festival poster was designed by Ahmed Seyam, being used previously at the third edition of the festival, where it was admired by festival guests at that time.

The LAFF was founded and evaluated by the Youth Artists Foundation under the auspices and support of the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, Luxor governorate and the Film Syndicate. ]]>
11/17/2017 6:06:41 PM
<![CDATA[‘El-Khaleya’ achieves the highest revenues ]]>
“El-Khaleya” is very near to exceed “Horob Edtrary” movie revenues. “Horob Edtrary” staring the famous Egyptian actor Ahmed el-Sakka broke the Egyptian box office’s records and made total revenues of L.E. 53 million, which is the highest box office revenue in the history of the Egyptian cinema.

The movie highlights the continuous efforts exerted by security forces to combat terrorism, as well as the obstacles and the sufferings they face as a result of such tough work. The movie focuses on a special operations officer played by Egyptian megastar Ahmed Ezz. He works to stop more than one terrorist operation and arrests various terrorist cells.

“El-Khaleya” stars besides Ezz, Samer el-Masrie, Mohamed Mamdouh and Amina Khalil. The movie script is written by Salah el-Geheny, while Tarek el-Erian wrote the story and directed the movie. The film includes a duet song between famous singers Assala and Mahmoud Elessily. “El-Khaleya” is considered a high-budget action movie.

Amr Salah, an officer from the special operations sector in the Ministry of Interior was killed on October 20, during confrontations between police forces and terrorists in an oasis in the Western Desert. He also participated in “El-Khaleya,” training Ezz and fellow actors on police exercises shown in the movie.

Salah also appeared in a few scenes in the film as an actor. He appeared in one scene changing clothes in the locker-room , another in a raid, the scene with the armored vehicle, as well as most of the scenes of Ezz in the camp.]]>
11/17/2017 2:29:45 PM
<![CDATA[Cactus Flower is the first Egyptian film to screen at DIFF]]>

Cactus Flower is the feature length debut of female director Hala el-Koussy, the film gets its name from the resilience of the Cactus plant, which is able to still bloom with beautiful flowers during spring in the harsh desert. This theme relates to the film’s three protagonists, strangers who are united by a single disaster which leaves them homeless in Cairo. The film stars Salma Sam, Menha el-Batrawy, Arfa Abdelrasoul, Farah Youssef and Mostafa Darwish.

Cactus Flowers had its premiere at the 46th Rotterdam International Film Festival in January. Koussy, born in 1974, originally studied Business and graduated from the American University in Cairo, traveling to London in 2001 to earn her master’s degree for Image and Communication.

She had won the Hubert Bals Fund Project Development Fund in 2010 from the Rotterdamn Film Festival, and also the Abraaj Capital Prize from Dubai.]]>
11/17/2017 2:17:43 PM
<![CDATA['Belinda' director Marie Dumora to give Documentary Class at PEFF]]>Belinda,’ Marie Dumora, will be giving out a documentary master-class on Saturday, November 18, the final day of the 10th

Panorama of the European Film Festival


During this class, Dumora will introduce students to the concept of “Ariadne Thread,” which is the common thread that links all of the documentary’s protagonists to a specific area. Dumora will focus on two main points during her class; first, the protagonist, and how a director can best focus on filming their daily life, where to start and end, and the best ways that a filmmaker can keep their distance while also remaining close enough to film.

The class’s second point will deal with geography, such as the creation of an appropriate mood and atmosphere, what tools can be used to best express the relationship between person and place, and how to introduce the areas.

Dumora is a French director, who has thus far filmed all her documentaries in the same region of Eastern France. In this way, the characters of her various films are all linked together by the same region, which allows for Dumora to represent the same place in a new way every time while linking back to her older works. She was won awards including the Intangible Heritage Award at the Cinéma du Réel festival.
11/17/2017 2:06:32 PM
<![CDATA[Happy Birthday Danny DeVito!]]>
Born in New Jersey, DeVito had been ashamed of his small size, which made him a target for bullies. Given his appearance, he did not really think acting would be a viable career for him, and so went to work at a hairdresser his sister owned. DeVito would not have had any idea that would mark the start of his future career in Hollywood.

While looking to pursue cosmetics as his career, he enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York to learn more about makeup. Instead, he found himself taking acting classes and found that he truly enjoyed it. He graduated from the Academy in 1966 and began acting in theatre. He met fellow actor Michael Douglas when he was still an unknown at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, and the two became fast friends.

It was Douglas who suggested that DeVito audition for the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood,’ which he flew to Los Angeles for, but wound up not getting the role. DeVito then went on to work as a car parker, but kept the passion for acting alive in his heart. Danny went through small roles various films such as first movie, 1970’s Dreams of Glass. It was thanks to Douglas that DeVito would get his big break in 1974 for the film adaptation of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,’ which he had starred in the play version a few years back.

Winning five Academy Awards, the film proved to be such a critical success that DeVito was now on his way to stardom. Here’s a look at some of the roles he’s been in throughout the ages, evidence of his timeless talent and sheer diversity;

Taxi (1978-1983)

In this sitcom TV show DeVito plays Louie De Palma, the owner of a Taxi Cab company who rules with an iron fist, while the weirdos who drive with him bond together and go through life how they can. For this role Danny earned his first Emmy Award nomination.
Throw Momma From the Train (1987)

While DeVito had previously directed the 1984 TV movie ‘The Ratings Game,’ this film marked his first feature film. In this black comedy DeVito is Larry Donner, a successful author and writing professor who finds his ex-wife has stolen one of his books and gotten rich under her name. Furious, he is contacted by one of his students, Owen, who hands him an odd deal; if Donner murders Owen’s tyrant of a mother, he’ll take care of Donner’s former wife. Though seems like a simple whack-job quickly spirals into madness. Actress Anne Ramsey earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Twins (1988)

Directed by Ivan Reitman, DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger join forces as the most unlikely possible duo; Twin brothers. Separated at birth, Schwarzenegger plays the innocent and perfect Julius Benedict, who searches for his long-lost twin brother. That turns out to be Vincent Benedict, played by DeVito, who is the polar opposite of Julius in every way; a short, unattractive crook in trouble with loansharks.

The War of the Roses (1989)

Another black comedy film directed by DeVito, where he also stars divorce lawyer Gavin D'Amato, who opens up the film in his office to a client, detailing the story of what happened between his friend, Oliver Rose (Douglas) and wife Barbara Rose (Kathleen Turner). Starting off madly in love, the pair seemed like the perfect couple until long after settling down with kids. The cracks in their relationship finally appear, and Barbara begins demanding a divorce, though things get ugly as they fight for custody of their mansion.

Hoffa (1992)

Featuring Jack Nicolson in the lead, this film is amongst the more serious directed by DeVito. Here Nicolson is Jimmy Hoffa, an American Union leader who organizes a workers strike in the 70s and fights for the rights of workers all around the country. His friend, Bobby Ciaro (DeVito) watches from the sidelines as Hoffa spirals into an unlawful path, which eventually leads to his mysterious disappearance in 1975.

Batman Returns (1992)

In this oddball Batman film adaptation by Tim Burton, DeVito plays the main villain, the hideously deformed the Penguin, who aims to seize control of Gotham City alongside evil businessman Max Shreck, played by Christopher Walken. Batman (Michael Keaton) finds his efforts to thwart them further complicated by the appearance of the mysterious Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Matilda (1996)

DeVito directs something more for the family in this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved novel. Here, DeVito plays both the narrator and the cruel, abusive father of Matilda, Mr. Wormwood, who looks down on his daughter and discourages her from going to school. Thankfully, Matilda’s bright mind refuses to be silenced, and the emergence of her psychic powers helps her turn her life around.

Big Fish (2003)

DeVito returns to Tim Burton with this quirky adventure about a young man who searches for the truth as to wheter or not the tall tales his father told him were any true, meeting a wide range of fantastical people and places along the way. Amongst them is DeVito’s character, Amos Calloway, the ringmaster of a Circus who hides a strange secret. The film features an ensemble cast with names such as Ewan McGregor, Steve Buscemi, Helena Bonham Carter and more, and was nominated for an Oscar thanks to its original score by Danny Elfman.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-Ongoing)

This ridiculous comedy series proves DeVito still has it in him even after decades in the business, where he plays Frank Reynolds, a scheming, morally bankrupt not-so-good father figure to the rest of the gang, who own an Irish bar in Philadelphia and finds themselves involved in all sorts of hilarious/hideous antics. This series was nominated for 3 Primetime Emmy Awards.]]>
11/17/2017 1:57:32 PM
<![CDATA[George Clooney makes TV return with 'Catch-22]]>
Clooney will direct and star in the six-episode series, based on U.S. author Joseph Heller’s darkly comedic 1961 novel “Catch-22,” for Viacom Inc’s Paramount Television and Anonymous Content, shooting in early 2018, the studio said.

The show has not yet been acquired by a network for distribution but is likely to draw eager bidders given Clooney’s involvement.

“Catch-22” follows a U.S. soldier named Yossarian during World War Two, who is infuriated that his own army keeps raising the number of missions that a soldier must complete to be released from duty. Yossarian’s only way to avoid the missions is to declare insanity, but the only way to prove insanity is a willingness to embark on dangerous missions, thus creating the novel’s absurd ‘catch-22.’

Clooney, 56, will play Yossarian’s commander, Colonel Cathcart. No other cast has yet been announced.

The actor’s move to television comes on the heels of Oscar-winning stars such as Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas, who have all taken on small screen projects in recent years.

More than 400 scripted TV shows are currently produced every year in the United States across traditional broadcast and cable networks and services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and newcomer Apple, contributing to what many have said is ‘a new golden age’ of television.‎

Clooney broke out as an actor on television series such as “The Facts of Life,” “Roseanne” and as part of the original cast of medical drama “ER” in 1994, playing Dr. Doug Ross. He left “ER” in 1999 and since then has carved a successful career with films such as the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise, “Up in the Air” and “Gravity.”

He most recently directed and co-wrote Paramount Pictures’ dark comedy-thriller “Suburbicon.”

11/17/2017 1:40:02 PM
<![CDATA[London theater says 20 men made allegations against Kevin Spacey]]>
The theater was reporting on the findings of an investigation it launched on Oct. 31.

Richard Miskella, a lawyer from the firm Lewis Silkin who conducted the investigation on behalf of the Old Vic, said that it had encouraged 14 of the men to talk to the police because of the nature of the allegations.

He did not say whether any of them had done so.

Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos alleged two weeks ago that Spacey had behaved inappropriately toward him when both were working at the Old Vic. It was not clear whether Cavazos was among the 20 men identified in the Lewis Silkin investigation.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm any of the allegations.

Spacey has made no public comment about the allegation from Cavazos or about any alleged misconduct related to the Old Vic, where he was artistic director from 2004 to 2015.

His Los Angeles-based lawyer could not be reached by telephone and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

The Old Vic said it had asked Spacey to participate in its investigation but had received no response from him. It said it was not able to say whether the allegations were true or not.

In the most recent public statement from Spacey’s representatives on Nov. 2, they said that he was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”, without giving further details.

Miskella said the alleged incidents relating to the Old Vic ranged from behavior that made people feel uncomfortable to sexually inappropriate behavior. He said the allegations had come from 16 former members of staff and four others.

Miskella gave no names or details about the allegations because those coming forward had done so with the promise of confidentiality.

More than 50 women have said that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over the past three decades and the Hollywood producer has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Police in New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and London have said they are investigating allegations of sexual assault or rape by Weinstein. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Reuters has not been able to independently verify allegations made against Spacey or Weinstein.]]>
11/17/2017 1:35:36 PM
<![CDATA[FCC approves TV technology that gives better pictures but less privacy]]>
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to allow broadcasters to voluntarily use the new technology, dubbed ATSC 3.0, which would allow for more precise geolocating of television signals, ultra-high definition picture quality and more interactive programming, like new educational content for children and multiple angles of live sporting events.

The system uses precision broadcasting and targets emergency or weather alerts on a street-by-street basis. The system could allow broadcasters to wake up a receiver to broadcast emergency alerts. The alerts could include maps, storm tracks and evacuation routes.

The new standard would also let broadcasters activate a TV set that is turned off to send emergency alerts.

Current televisions cannot carry the new signal and the FCC on Thursday said it was only requiring broadcasting both signals for five years after deploying the next-generation technology.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc last month called the new standard “the Holy Grail” for the advertiser because it tells them who is watching and where.

But Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan said the new technology “contemplates targeted advertisements that would be ‘relevant to you and what you actually might want to see.’ This raises questions about how advertisers and broadcasters will gather the demographic information from consumers which are necessary to do targeted advertisements.” [nL2N1N11R0]

Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the new technology would force consumers to buy new televisions. “The FCC calls this approach market driven. That’s right — because we will all be forced into the market for new television sets or devices.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai defended the proposal, calling concerns about buying new devices “hypothetical.” He added five years is “a long time. We’ll have to see how the standard develops.”

One issue is whether broadcasters will be able to pass on the costs of advanced broadcast signals through higher retransmissions fees and demand providers carry the signals.

The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents Tegna Inc, Comcast Corp, CBS Corp, Walt Disney Co, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and others, petitioned the FCC in April 2016 to approve the new standard. “This is game-changing technology for broadcasting and our viewers,” the group said Thursday.

Many companies have raised concerns about costs, including AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc. Cable, satellite and other pay TV providers “would incur significant costs to receive, transmit, and deliver ATSC 3.0 signals to subscribers, including for network and subscriber equipment,” Verizon said.

Many nations are considering the new standard. South Korea adopted the ATSC 3.0 standard in 2016.]]>
11/17/2017 1:33:00 PM
<![CDATA[Factbox: U.S. TV viewers continue cutting the cord in the third quarter]]>
Charter Communications Inc’s profit dropped nearly 75 percent as it reported losing 104,000 video subscribers during the quarter. Analysts on average had expected the company to lose 49,000 customers.

Comcast Corp, the No. 1 cable provider in the United States, said it lost 125,000 video customers, attributing the losses to the recent hurricanes and more competition.

The following lists the cable providers and the number of pay-TV subscriber losses in the third quarter.

Company Ticker Change in cable subscribers

Altice USA Inc ATUS.N -33,000

AT&T Inc T.N -89,000

Charter CHTR.O -104,000

Communications Inc

Comcast Corp CMCSA.O -125,000

Dish Network Corp DISH.O -129,000

Verizon VZ.N -18,000

Communications Inc.]]>
11/17/2017 1:31:24 PM
<![CDATA[Films about migration, terrorism win German Bambi awards]]>
“Courage not only belongs to the people who accept the refugees, but also the 65 million people who have lost their homes, who keep some hope in their minds,” said Weiwei, a refugee himself who has lived in Berlin since 2015.

“We must trust in courage ... we must trust in humanity,” said Weiwei, who was honored for his film “Human Flow.”

The Bambi awards have been awarded annually since 1948 to those with vision and creativity. The 2017 ceremony reflected the many crises erupting around the world.

Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin won a Bambi for his Oscar-nominated film “In the Fade,” which stars German-born Diane Kruger as a woman whose husband and young son are killed in a far-right bomb attack.

Akin, the son of Turkish immigrants, made the film as a response to growing right-wing violence in Germany.

The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party won seats in the lower house of parliament for the first time in the Sept. 24 election, after campaigning against Germany’s decision in 2015 to allow in over a million mainly Muslim migrants.

“Racism is crap - here and everywhere in the world,” Akin said.

Alicia von Rittberg was honored as female actor of the year for her portrayal of a headstrong nurse in “Charite”, a television series set at Berlin’s famed Charite hospital near the end of the 19th century, who fights to become a doctor.

Former German President Joachim Gauck, who helped lead East German protests before the fall of the Berlin Wall, won a Bambi award for a lifetime of service.

Gauck saluted the 30 million people in Germany, over a third of the population, who volunteer their time to work with refugees and on many other programs.

”We have lots of unsolved problems, but we have become a role model for many, he said.

Others recognized during the star-studded evening included German supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who said she was “living proof that if you dare to dream ... great things can happen,” and German singer and television host Helene Fischer.]]>
11/17/2017 12:59:29 PM
<![CDATA[‘Hawas’ will perform at El Genaina Theater on August 30]]>Founded in 2014, ‘Hawas’ revamps music by mixing different genera exploring a new dimension of the music world. Through strong lyrics, ‘Hawas’ examines various aspects of human emotion while combining them with progressive melody.

The band released two EPs in 2015 called ‘Hawas’ and ‘Like Winter.’ Hawas has previously performed as part of Carthage Music Festival 2017, D-CAF festival 2017, and Goethe Film Week, 2016.

Hawas was originally founded by five members, but has expanded to include Mahmoud Khateeb, Marwan Fawzi, Amir Rasmy, Hisham Anas, Al-Moataz Bellah Moussa, Mahmoud Waly, Ahmed Tito and Bouda Abu El Yazeed

The ticket to their live show is LE 35 ($1.97).
11/17/2017 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[James Franco wows with love letter to an awful movie]]>
Writer-director Tommy Wiseau's production is still shown to delighted audiences around the world, fans reveling in the unmitigated awfulness of its acting and its bewildering, convoluted script.

To this day, Wiseau remains an enigma but Hollywood star James Franco is attempting to shine a light on the filmmaker with "The Disaster Artist," a comedy about the making of a movie many regard as the worst ever made.

"This was unlike any Hollywood story I'd ever heard or read about," said Franco, who was compelled to make "The Disaster Artist" after reading about its nightmarish production in a behind-the-scenes memoir of the same name.

"I read the book and just thought this will be so unusual and weird, but at its core it will be this great story about dreamers trying to make it, and about friendship."

Franco, 39, takes on the role of Wiseau but "The Disaster Artist" plays out mostly through the eyes of Wiseau's friend and co-producer Greg Sestero -- played by Franco's brother Dave.

The pair meet at acting school in San Francisco and then move into Wiseau's apartment in Hollywood, where they spend a year unsuccessfully trying to break into the business before deciding to make their own movie.

- Big name cameos -

Quite where Wiseau got the cash even to keep two apartments, let alone fund a motion picture entirely on his own, remains one of the many puzzles surrounding the production of "The Room."

Another mystery to this day is his age and nationality; he claims when he meets Sestero to be 19 and from New Orleans but looks comfortably two decades older and has a distinctly eastern European accent.

With no idea what he is doing, he is seen lavishing a reported $6 million on his cast, crew and soundstage, as well as equipment he doesn't need.

He turns up late for work, slows production by forgetting his lines and petulantly mistreats his actors when it all starts to go haywire.

Franco, an erratic Hollywood actor and director whose up-and-down career could easily have gone the way of Wiseau's but for his considerable talent, has received almost universal acclaim for his impeccable comedic timing.

As well as casting his brother, he calls on longtime friends and collaborators Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, his sister-in-law Alison Brie as well as a conveyor belt of cameos from huge names such as Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith and Bryan Cranston.

Franco -- who stayed in character as Wiseau, complete with prosthetics, when he was behind the camera -- has directed himself before, most recently on HBO drama series "The Deuce."

- 'A piece of art' -

"I actually prefer directing other actors. I would prefer not to act in my own movies," he told AFP at a gala screening of "The Disaster Artist" for the American Film Institute's AFI Fest on Sunday.

"I love the collaborative process and I love working with actors who bring more to the table than I could think of."

It is not always clear whether the audience meant to be laughing with Wiseau or at him, but both he and Sestero have been supportive of Franco's project, and were at Sunday's screening.

"If you analyze James... he did a real story, not just a parody, which I like. That seems to me like a respectful way to do it," Wiseau said.

"The Room" played in Santa Monica for two weeks -- so as to qualify for the Oscars -- making just a few hundred dollars, but it has since acquired a new life as a cult movie, easily recouping its budget at midnight screenings.

"It lives in a space of its own because it is a piece of art at the end of the day,'" said Ari Graynor, who plays one of the stars of "The Room."

"It may not be a great piece of art but it is a real piece of art."

"The Disaster Artist" hits US theaters on December 8.]]>
11/17/2017 11:29:26 AM
<![CDATA[Osiris String Orchestra for amateurs recruits new talents ]]>
New recruits will participate in a three-month workshop where they’ll develop their classical music production and will be able to commence their first concert as an orchestra.

Brainchild of classic string ensemble Awtar Quartet, Osiris Strong Orchestra was first established in 2016 as a bilateral initiative between Awtar Quartet and independent arts center, Osiris.

The joint project aims to develop the classical music scene and provide amateur classical musicians with an opportunity to become professional and part of an orchestra.

Comprised of 11 members, the Osiris String Orchestra conducted two performances in 2017 at AUC Tahrir Campus and El Gusor Culture Center at the All Saints Cathedral. Previous Osiris Orchestra workshops took place at Osiris, which is owned by Omar El-Moutaz Bel'lah, a partner in this project.

Awtar Quartet has previously performed in different venues, including schools and hospitals.

Established in 2012,the classical ensemble is comprised of Khaled Salah on second violin, Yasser Ghonem on first violin, Mohamed Abdel-fattah on cello and Essam Abdel Hamid on viola. ]]>
11/16/2017 6:52:12 PM
<![CDATA[5 minutes with expert painter, Bab 18 director Dina Swiffy ]]>
Swiffy is not only a skilled painter, but also a director of cultural venue Bab 18. Swiffy spoke with Egypt Today about her works and provided her cultural insights.

1- Tell us about your artistic career?
I started my artistic career when I joined an events company in 2016 and I started my work as a manager at Bab 18 artspace.


2- Being a manager of cultural Bab 18, how do you assess the cultural and artistic scene in Egypt ?

The cultural and artistic scene in Egypt is booming in a way, but it is still very poor. The percent of those interested in art in Egypt does not exceed 22%.


3- Tell us what Bab 18 has in store for 2018.
Actually we have been planning to take things one step further. By the beginning of the next year, we will start to make our brand in the local store and accordingly, we will put our first step in the exportation level to foreign countries. Here at Bab 18, we have already inspired and educated up to 3,000 people since our inauguration, to date.

Moreover, for 2018 we are targeting to reach 5,000 people with the help of our professional, talented instructors and artists. On the other hand, we will put all our effort and interest to a next level in term of affecting the social life and its complication through our ideas and products. Our motive is just simple like that: imagination and simplicity is the key of success.

4- What inspires you to produce your art?
The flowers inspired me as did the old and vintage architecture, the Islamic art, and the Coptic icons. Also, music affects my painting and drawing.

5- Tell us about some of the techniques you use in your art works?
I love water color painting, so I think—what if I reflect the effect of watercolor on plates. I always use the watercolor technique in my art works with different materials, and I found amazing feedback as well as popularity. I use also the vintage technique, where I use the harmony of colors on buildings. I am interested in the abstract school so I always see the things in different way full of colors.

6- Tell us about a special project you worked on.

My special project was with foundation that helps women and kids to learn arts and handicrafts to eventually money. I would teach kids and teenagers how to use the colors on plates and how to draw in simple, easy way to produce a beautiful plate for decoration. Actually, that’s my only success: that I collaborated in a great project like that in our society.

11/16/2017 6:50:31 PM
<![CDATA[Explore: Origins of Egyptian Folk Music]]>
Egyptians, of course, have always loved music. It was a sign of civilization, a gift from the Gods. Paintings of music players adorn the walls of ancient tombs; amongst the earliest instruments found is the Simsimiyya, a five-stringed lyre thought to be the instrument of lovers.

Much like most folk traditions of the ancient world, Ancient Egyptians likely passed on their music and techniques down orally, which means it has since been lost to the sands of time. Other instruments included drums, rattles, bells, cymbals, and trumpets, amongst others. Egypt’s immensely long history has ensured that an endless list of cultures, from neighboring tribes to the Greeks, contributed their part in shaping and influencing its sound.

The modern Egyptian folk tradition originated in the turn of the 20th century, when musicians became interested in preserving the music of the people around them. In particular, rural Egyptians or the ‘Fellahin’ and Nubian; Ethiopian and Bedouin tribes shared in their folk music.

An interesting example of Egypt’s many folk music traditions is the mysterious ‘Zar’. Both mystic and musical, Zar is believed to have originated from the ancient Ethiopian tribes, who passed on the tradition to the Egyptians. Considered to be Egypt’s oldest folk tradition, there is much disagreement as to its origins, with some scholars suggesting it emerged with the influx of Sudanese immigrants, and so the truth is shrouded in mystery.

The purposes of Zar go beyond the creation of pleasing sounds; it is a form of exorcism, believed to cast away evil spirits. Egyptian Zar in particular involves the usage of female singers in the forefront, with men playing drums.

Unfortunately, Zar has been struggling in more modern times. Religious backlash and fears that the music might be ‘black magic’ have always plagued Zar’s reputation, and lack of public demand threatens that the tradition could fade away. Thankfully, there are still those who hold on to preserving much of Egypt’s folk traditions.

Last week, the Wanas Festival concluded its third edition, which ran from November 9 until November 11. The festival brought together numerous local bands in one place, with an aim to help bring back these precious traditions and introduce them to a new generation of Egyptians. Educating and encouraging an interest in the beauty of Egypt’s rich musical heritage is the festival's reason to be.

Ancient Egyptian art depicting musicians, courtesy of Wikimedia

The festival was the effort of the El-Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folklore Music, which started its first edition back in 2014. As Abdel Hamid Awwas states in the center’s official site, folk music is the glue that holds communities together and its importance cannot be understated. Founded all the way back in 2000 by Zakaria Ibrahim, the El-Mastaba Center aims to help struggling folk musicians who cannot compete with modern bands. The antidote to this dilemma is to help revive folk traditions by reminding people of its unique value and priceless history.

Still, the issue goes even deeper, trying into the heart of classists' attitudes among richer Egyptians who view folk performers as poor and uneducated. The tourist industry, only just recovering, does little to help encourage folk traditions further and in some cases the artists are devalued as just another product to consume.

The heart of Egypt’s folk music is that it is by the people, about the people, and for the people. To forget this is to forget what it is that truly defines a culture; those who live in it.

11/16/2017 6:29:06 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Animation wins American award ]]>
The film revolves around Khaled, who investigates the murder case of a child who once sold sweet potatoes on a street cart in Tahrir Square. Khaled sees many visions and nightmares of the murder, only to find himself taking a different unexpected path in this investigation.

Released in 2016, the film is written and directed by the ambitious and talented animated film director Ahmed Roshdy.

Most recently, the film was supposed to premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) before its screening ban, according to the DIFF organizing committee on the festival’s official Facebook page.

Roshdy previously directed his first animated film ‘Tarrot,’ which premiered at Festival de Cannes and was chosen as one of the winners of the ‘48 Hour Film Project’ among 4,500 films, according to state-owned Al Ahram. ]]>
11/16/2017 6:22:03 PM
<![CDATA[Remembering the King of Hollywood, Clark Gable]]>

Born in 1901, the king’s birthplace was Ohio. His father was a wealthy oil businessman, and Gable never knew his mother as she died in his youth. Later in life when he was 16, Gable left high school in order to work at a tire factory. He did not even amuse the idea of being an actor until the fateful day he watched the play "The Bird of Paradise."
Gable loved it so much that it lit the passionate desire to act inside him.

It was not an easy start however. Gable was not considered conventionally attractive by Hollywood standards, and the traveling theatre company he had been touring with as a start had gone bankrupt. It was a meeting with acting coach Josephine Dillon, head of the next theatre company he joined, which began to see things turn around for him. Dillon helped get Gable into shape, fixing his teeth and hair. Despite being over a decade older than him, the two eventually married, and Gable was soon in Hollywood.

Gable’s start involved working as an extra in various movies; he soon caught the eye of MGM studios, who offered him a contract. He starred alongside acclaimed actress Joan Crawford in 1931’s "Dance, Fools, Dance," which won him critical praise, reassuring MGM that they had made a good decision on him. He would be cast in various villain roles for the rest of the decade, though eventually Gable desired something more.
Following a gum infection that landed him in hospital, Gable pushed back development for his latest film, 1933’s "Dancing Lady." When Gable recovered, MGM did not have any roles, so they had no choice but to loan him over to the low-budget studio Columbia Pictures. He was sent to act on Frank Capra’s 1934 romantic comedy "It Happened One Night." No one could have anticipated the massive success the film would rake in, especially for Gable, who earned his first Academy Award for Best Leading Actor.

Gable was now one of the brightest new names in Hollywood, with studios tripping over themselves to hire him. He had finally gotten his wish to star in wider roles, and starred in various successful films, but things were only just beginning to ramp up for the shooting star. By 1939, following a production history as grand and epic as the film itself, "Gone with the Wind" was released to critical acclaim, becoming the most celebrated movie of all time and turning Gable into a household name.
"The King of Hollywood" had been crowned.

Behind the scenes, the drama in Gable’s life was just as juicy as in the movies. He was a well-known womanizer, marrying over five times and constantly sleeping with as many women as he could. Thanks to MGM’s team of media fixers, Gable’s more unsavory aspects such as his alcoholism never made it to the public eye, ensuring his reputation would be untarnished.

One of Gable's biggest scandals involved the birth of his child with actress Loretta Young, whom he had slept with while still married back in November 6, 1935. Young feared the news that she had had an illegitimate child would ruin her career, and so pretended to adopt her own baby, who she called Judy Lewis, until revealing the truth decades later in 1966. The public would only learn of this after Young’s death in her memoir “Forever Young,” published in 2000.

As for Gable, "Gone with the Wind" would prove to be the absolute peak of his career, with his success only going downhill from there. The death of his third wife Carole Lombard in a plane crash devastated the actor, and he went on to enlist for WWII, perhaps not expecting to come back from the war. When he did, he eased back into acting but could never replicate the fame he saw in the Golden era.

His final role was alongside Marilyn Monroe in 1961’s "The Misfits," though he never got to enjoy the praise the film garnered as he died shortly after the film finished production. Gable also did not see the birth of his only other child, John Clark Gable.

11/16/2017 6:17:56 PM
<![CDATA[Legendary Greek composer Yanni to perform in Saudi Arabia]]>
Yanni will introduce his most celebrated compositions including “Nostalgia,” “The Rain Must Fall,” “World Dance,” among others in a two-hour performance where he will be accompanied by 15 musicians.

The concert is a part of the “Winter Entertainment Program” which hosts impressive and enjoyable events, according to Saudi General Entertainment Authority and Entertainment Calendar (Roznamah) official Twitter accounts.

Yanni has previously led performances in Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt and Kuwait.
He is considered the first musician to have performed in various historical sites listed on the UNESCO world heritage list, such as the Giza pyramids in Egypt, Taj Mahal in India, Acropolis in Greece, and Carthage in Tunisia, among others.

Fragmented from a promotional material - Photo Courtesy: Roznamah official Twitter Account

Listed as one of the top contemporary music composers, Yanni is known for his catchy soft music which harmonizes jazz, oriental, and classic melodies. Performing instrumental music with a dynamic sense of epic drama, Yanni managed to capture the hearts of different generations and races. His albums sold more than 7 million copies all over the world.

11/16/2017 4:52:03 PM
<![CDATA[A temple for Isis dating back to Ancient Egypt era unearthed ]]>
The foundations of the temple carried many inscriptions and portraits for Isis and Horus and the remains of many of the temple’s walls.

The discovery was coincidentally made while construction works for police officers’ housing project were being carried out.

Regarding the discovery, many experts believe that it may lead to an ancient Egyptian site in Tell Atrib site.

Recently, the Ministry of Antiquities has announced archaeological discoveries in several governorates such as Fayoum, Luxor and Saqqara.
11/16/2017 3:34:40 PM
<![CDATA[Spanish thriller ‘The Bar’ to screen at the PEFF]]>10th Edition of the Panorama of the European Film Festival on Saturday, November 18.

In director Álex de la Iglesia’s film, patrons of a bar in Madrid find themselves in more trouble than they could have imagined when an unseen shooter kills two people. Finding themselves trapped, the residents of the bar struggle for answers and begin turning at each other’s throats; fear and paranoia spreads amongst them like a contagious plague which all leads to a wild finale down in rancid sewers.

“The Bar” premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 15, 2017, and won the Silver Méliès Award at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival.

The Panorama of the European Film Festival runs from November 8 until November 18.

11/16/2017 2:10:18 PM
<![CDATA[Indonesia unveils plan to roll out 1,000 eco-mosques by 2020]]>
Launched this week by Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, the initiative will help the mosques to source renewable energy, manage their water and food needs sustainably, reduce and recycle waste and provide environmental education.

The project will see the top Muslim clerical body work with the private sector, the government's health and planning ministries, universities, and other religious groups in a bid to boost environmental awareness in communities across the country.

"Most Muslims in Indonesia listen more to religious leaders than the government," Hayu Prabowo, head of environment and natural resources at the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"If an Islamic leader says something they will follow but if the government says something, they may not."

Indonesia, with 250 million people, has a mixed environmental record.

The archipelago is the world's top thermal coal exporter and palm oil producer, which has led to the clearing and development of swathes of forest land and intense international pressure to limit deforestation.

Many of Indonesia's rural and poorest provinces suffer regular droughts due to climate change, while children's education is often hampered by the lack of regular power supply.

Hening Parlan, coordinator for environment and disaster management at Aisyiyah, the women's wing of Indonesia's second-largest Islamic organisation Muhammadiyah, said the idea of eco-mosques stemmed from asking how to make mosques the centre for environment and education within a community.

"For many Indonesians, their understanding of the environment only happens when they see the impact of climate change (rather than through education) ... if they suffer from floods or landslides for example," Parlan said.

She said the initiative would help mosques establish better water supplies and storage facilities, offer fundraising advice and provide funding to mosques to help them become environmentally friendly.

Solar power and biogas will also be promoted over fossil fuels and imams will teach better environmental awareness.

The eco-mosque initiative is not the first time MUI has taken the lead on the environment - it has also issued edicts, or fatwas, on forest fires and sustainable mining.

There are more than 800,000 mosques in Indonesia but officials hope to create more eco-mosques after the initial 1,000 are established and also include other places of worship.

An eco-mosque roll-out of this scale is rare. In Dubai a mosque built in 2014 was the first to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's guidelines, while Britain, the United States, Morocco and Malaysia all have mosques aiming to be more green.

"We need concrete action to help mosques and their communities overcome the oncoming water and energy crisis by building resilience," said Prabowo.]]>
11/16/2017 2:05:39 PM
<![CDATA[Bulgarian documentary ‘The Good Postman’ to screen at PEFF]]>
Taking place in a tiny village on the border between Turkey and Bulgaria, filmmaker Tonislav Hristov brings the perspectives of those in the village on the refugee crisis, where the citizens of the small community find themselves divided during the election of the next mayor. In a time of heavy political tension and rising racial strife in America, “The Good Postman” reveals the same prejudices and fears at work in Europe as well.

The film’s title comes from its central character, humble postman Ivan, who welcomes Syrians into the gradually shrinking community as a way of bringing life back to it. He decides to run for mayor, but encounters both support and opposition from places he would not have expected.

Since its wide release on March 24, 2017, “The Good Postman” has won several awards, including the Washington DC Filmfest and Trieste Film Festival's 'Best Documentary' awards.

The Panorama of the European Film Festival

started on November 8 and runs until November 18.

11/16/2017 2:02:33 PM
<![CDATA[Memories in milk bottles: Polish exhibition 'shouts out' annihilation story of Warsaw Ghetto]]>
The “What We Could Not Shout Out To The World” exhibition will for the first time display original documents prepared and hidden by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and a few dozen helpers who risked their lives in the Ghetto to save whatever was possible for posterity.

Nazi occupiers in 1940 corralled some 400,000 Jews into a small section of Warsaw most of whom were then sent to camps to be killed or died from the conditions in the Ghetto itself.

The Ghetto was destroyed in 1943 when the Nazis, attempting more deportations, were met with fierce opposition and a month long uprising.

The exhibition marks the completion of many years of work to organize and translate the archives, and often decipher the documents that were partly damaged.

Ringelblum and all but three of his aides perished in the Holocaust. But deep under the rubble of the burnt-down Ghetto they left a one-of-a-kind, meticulous chronicle of extermination.

“We want to help shout out all that they said, find a language that will make this archive well-known and accessible,” said Pawel Spiewak, head of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw where the exhibition is held.

The Ringelblum archive, consisting of more than 35,000 pages, survived the war and destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in 10 metal cases and two metal milk bottles that were recovered in 1946 and 1950, respectively.

In 1999, the Ringelblum archives were assigned “Memory of the World” status by UNESCO, along with such Polish documents as the original manuscripts of composer Frederic Chopin and the treatises of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

“We want to show that this archive deserves this title,” Spiewak said. “It has to be shown and that people have to see it.”

The archives include documents in Polish, German and Yiddish, Nazi proclamations and Jewish appeals, ghetto ration cards, tram tickets, private letters and photographs depicting life in the ghetto.]]>
11/16/2017 10:34:40 AM
<![CDATA[Da Vinci portrait of Christ sells for record $450.3 million in New York]]>
The painting, only recently rediscovered, was the last da Vinci left in private hands and fetched more than four times Christie‘s’ pre-sale estimate of about $100 million.

It beat a record set in May 2015 by Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes D‘Alger,” which sold for $179.4 million, and constituted more than half the sale’s total of $785.9 million, which came in well above the roughly $450 million pre-sale estimate.

“Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World) was purchased by an unidentified buyer bidding via telephone after a protracted contest of nearly 20 minutes at the New York auction house.

With at least six bidders and increments coming in at more than 15 million, sustained whoops and cheers broke out in the packed salesroom as the hammer came down.

“It was a moment when all the stars were aligned, and I think Leonardo would be very pleased,” Jussi Pylkkänen, global president of Christie‘s, told Reuters after the sale.

“It’s a painting beyond anything I’ve ever handled,” said Pylkkänen, the auctioneer, adding, “I should hang up my gavel.”

The restored portrait, an ethereal depiction of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500, is one of fewer than 20 paintings by the Renaissance artist known to still exist.

First recorded in the private collection of King Charles I, the work was auctioned in 1763 before vanishing until 1900, by which time Christ’s face and hair had been painted over - once a “quite common” practice, according to Alan Wintermute, Christie’s senior specialist for Old Master paintings.

Sold at Sotheby’s to an American collector in 1958 for only 45 pounds, it again sold in 2005 as an overpainted copy of the masterwork.

The new owner started the restoration process, and after some six years of research it was authenticated as da Vinci’s more than 500-year-old masterpiece, which culminated in a high-profile exhibition at London’s National Gallery in 2011.

Christie’s did not identify the seller, other than to say it was a European private collector who acquired the work after its rediscovery in 2005 and lengthy restoration.

Media identified him as Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid $127.5 million in 2013 in a private sale.

Auction highlights included Andy Warhol’s “Sixty Last Suppers,” a monumental work that fetched $60.9 million, exceeding the estimate.

Two Cy Twombly paintings also fared well, selling for $46.4 million and $27.3 million, both surpassing estimates.]]>
11/16/2017 10:33:06 AM
<![CDATA[James Franco wows with love letter to an awful movie]]>
Writer-director Tommy Wiseau's production is still shown to delighted audiences around the world, fans reveling in the unmitigated awfulness of its acting and its bewildering, convoluted script.

To this day, Wiseau remains an enigma but Hollywood star James Franco is attempting to shine a light on the filmmaker with "The Disaster Artist," a comedy about the making of a movie many regard as the worst ever made.

"This was unlike any Hollywood story I'd ever heard or read about," said Franco, who was compelled to make "The Disaster Artist" after reading about its nightmarish production in a behind-the-scenes memoir of the same name.

"I read the book and just thought this will be so unusual and weird, but at its core it will be this great story about dreamers trying to make it, and about friendship."

Franco, 39, takes on the role of Wiseau but "The Disaster Artist" plays out mostly through the eyes of Wiseau's friend and co-producer Greg Sestero -- played by Franco's brother Dave.

The pair meet at acting school in San Francisco and then move into Wiseau's apartment in Hollywood, where they spend a year unsuccessfully trying to break into the business before deciding to make their own movie.

- Big name cameos -

Quite where Wiseau got the cash even to keep two apartments, let alone fund a motion picture entirely on his own, remains one of the many puzzles surrounding the production of "The Room."

Another mystery to this day is his age and nationality; he claims when he meets Sestero to be 19 and from New Orleans but looks comfortably two decades older and has a distinctly eastern European accent.

With no idea what he is doing, he is seen lavishing a reported $6 million on his cast, crew and soundstage, as well as equipment he doesn't need.

He turns up late for work, slows production by forgetting his lines and petulantly mistreats his actors when it all starts to go haywire.

Franco, an erratic Hollywood actor and director whose up-and-down career could easily have gone the way of Wiseau's but for his considerable talent, has received almost universal acclaim for his impeccable comedic timing.

As well as casting his brother, he calls on longtime friends and collaborators Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, his sister-in-law Alison Brie as well as a conveyor belt of cameos from huge names such as Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith and Bryan Cranston.

Franco -- who stayed in character as Wiseau, complete with prosthetics, when he was behind the camera -- has directed himself before, most recently on HBO drama series "The Deuce."

- 'A piece of art' -

"I actually prefer directing other actors. I would prefer not to act in my own movies," he told AFP at a gala screening of "The Disaster Artist" for the American Film Institute's AFI Fest on Sunday.

"I love the collaborative process and I love working with actors who bring more to the table than I could think of."

It is not always clear whether the audience meant to be laughing with Wiseau or at him, but both he and Sestero have been supportive of Franco's project, and were at Sunday's screening.

"If you analyze James... he did a real story, not just a parody, which I like. That seems to me like a respectful way to do it," Wiseau said.

"The Room" played in Santa Monica for two weeks -- so as to qualify for the Oscars -- making just a few hundred dollars, but it has since acquired a new life as a cult movie, easily recouping its budget at midnight screenings.

"It lives in a space of its own because it is a piece of art at the end of the day,'" said Ari Graynor, who plays one of the stars of "The Room."

"It may not be a great piece of art but it is a real piece of art."

"The Disaster Artist" hits US theaters on December 8.]]>
11/16/2017 10:30:39 AM
<![CDATA[Artist royalties jump to record but group cites obstacles]]>
Writers of music, television, film and other content took in 9.2 million euros ($10.9 million) last year, a jump of six percent from a year earlier, said the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, a Paris-based body known by its French acronym CISAC.

Fueling the growth was music, with digital royalties soaring 52 percent thanks to the rapid rise in paid subscriptions to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal.

But within music, royalties from streaming still accounted for a fraction of the proceeds from music's use in television and film as well as music in live performances.

The creators' group placed the blame squarely at YouTube, the omnipresent video-sharing site owned by Google, which it accused of not paying back sufficient royalties.

Electronic music legend Jean-Michel Jarre, who is the president of CISAC, said in a statement that platforms such as YouTube "are paying mere crumbs to authors."

"Collections are nowhere near the level they should be. Large industries that use creative content are driving down the value of our works," Jarre said.

The music industry has long feuded with YouTube, which argues that it fairly compensates artists in accordance with the law. The United States in particular legally absolves internet companies of much obligation for the content posted by users.

CISAC represents songwriters, screenwriters and others who generally copyright their work with publishers, who distribute back royalties for usage. Performers have a different system of compensation.]]>
11/16/2017 10:28:06 AM
<![CDATA[Nepal's musicians retune to tradition]]>
The Himalayan country has a rich folk tradition, but its unusual traditional instruments -- which include a leaf from a native tree that is played like a harmonica -- were dying out as younger generations moved towards Western music styles.

That was until bands such as Night, which formed in 2006 as a metal group, decided to create a modern take on its indigenous music.

"We grew up listening to sounds of guitars and drums and so we started to play the same. But then we started experimenting with folk instruments," said Night's Jason Kunwar.

Now the 33-year-old singer's musical repertoire includes the more esoteric Sarangi, a three-stringed instrument made of wood and dried sheep skin whose sounds are said to closely resemble the human voice, as well as the deeper-sounding Piwancha.

The band's latest album evolved from months spent researching instruments and singing styles in remote western Nepal.

"It is fascinating to discover and learn new instruments. We are fortunate that there are still people who can teach us," said Kunwar.

"The longer we wait, the more likely we are to lose such valuable knowledge."

The songs tackle some of the most pressing social issues facing the country, including the huge number of Nepalis forced to migrate for work, often not seeing their families for long periods.

The combination has proved popular -- it was standing room only at the band's recent gig in Kathmandu.

- 'Turning point' -

Ram Prasad Kandel, founder of a folk instrument museum in Kathmandu, believes the country is witnessing a "turning point" in attitudes towards its music traditions.

"There is such diversity in the sound and make of the instruments, and their playing methods. It is a gift from our ancestors," he told AFP.

"It is our identity and the young generation has to continue it."

Popular rock and pop bands Nepathya and 1974 AD were among the first to produce fusion hits with folk elements.

Then Kutumba, an instrumental ensemble formed in 2004, brought the sounds of rural folk instruments to a more hip urban demographic.

They have taken their performances around the world, and are particularly popular with Nepal's sizeable international diaspora.

"They are very excited when we play. Perhaps the music helps them connect to their roots," said band member Kiran Nepali.

Nepal -- a country of 29 million people -- is home to around 125 ethnic groups, each with its own music traditions and well as different ways of making instruments.

The songs tell the stories of the country's culture and history -- about sowing seeds and harvesting crops, of husbands and sons migrating for work, of the wounds from the country's brutal ten-year civil war.

Nepal's movie industry is also experiencing a revival, with directors moving away from the Bollywood song-and-dance format with storylines about the often harsh reality of life in impoverished Nepal.

This has opened up a new market for musicians who produce background scores and soundtracks that weave in a traditional touch.

Kalo Pothi, a 2016 film about the Maoist insurgency that scooped a series of awards at international film festivals, told the story of two boys in a village in western Nepal against a beautiful soundtrack inspired by the sounds of the region.

Pushpa Palanchoki, 24, performs with emerging bands Ma and MiKu, which are also jumping on the trend, fusing contemporary lyrics with traditional sounds.

"Why should we do what everyone is doing when we can create unique music with what is our own," she said.]]>
11/16/2017 10:26:20 AM
<![CDATA[60 golden pieces of Tutankhamun at Egyptian Museum for 1st time]]>
The celebrations, planned to continue till December 31, are organized by the Antiquities Ministry in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Antiquities Minister Khaled el Annani said the ceremony reflects mutual cooperation between Egypt and Germany in the archaeological field.

The golden items have been stored at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo since the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922, he added.

German Ambassador to Egypt Julius Georg Luy as well as the chairman of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo attended the opening ceremony.]]>
11/16/2017 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pakistan unveils 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha]]>
A reflection of the diverse history and culture of the South Asian country, the ancient Buddhist site in Bhamala province was first discovered in 1929. Eighty-eight years on, excavations resumed and the 14-metre-(48-foot)-high Kanjur stone Buddha image was unearthed, and opposition leader Imran Kahn presided over Wednesday's presentation.

"This is from the 3rd century AD, making it the world's oldest sleeping Buddha remains," Abdul Samad, director of Bhamla's archaeology and museums department, told Reuters.

"We have discovered over 500 Buddha objects and this 48-foot-long sleeping Buddha remains," he added.

Khan said: "It's a question of preserving these heritage sites which are an asset for our country."

The region was once the centre of Buddhist civilisation that took root under the Mauryan king Ashoka 2,300 years ago.

The presentation of the Buddha image coincided with a lockdown of major highways around the nation's capital to contain a rightist protest against a perceived slight to Islam by members of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Minority communities in Pakistan are often targeted by right-wing groups and successive governments have in the past been reluctant to embrace the country's non-Muslim heritage.

But recent attempts to improve Pakistan's image have included overtures to minority communities by the PML-N.

In January, then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the restoration of Hindu temples at Katas Raj in Punjab province.

Considered a conservative figure, Khan has stressed dialogue with Islamist hardliners including the Taliban but on Wednesday said the preservation of sites like Bhamala could promote religious tourism.

"It's a world heritage site (and) because of it people can come for religious tourism and see these places," he said.

Khan dismissed the protesters in Islamabad, seeking to project a more tolerant image of Pakistan. "It's a very small part of what is happening in Pakistan. The majority of the population wants to see such (Buddhist) sites restored."

Khan's opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is hoping to make big gains at the 2018 elections as the PML-N has been increasingly embroiled in corruption investigations.

Sharif resigned as prime minister in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him for not declaring a source of income and faces trial before an anti-corruption court.]]>
11/16/2017 12:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s great sopranos lead orchestral art ]]>
Adapting unique themes titled “Night of Musical,” and “Orchestra in Art,” The orchestra will perform leading musicals such as “The Phantom of The Opera”, “West Side Story”, “Cats”, and “Les Miserables.”

Abassi previously conducted various orchestras such as Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Sinfonieorchester Basel, and Nuriev Festival with the Bashkir Opera Orchestra.

His compositions are being performed by many orchestras in France, USA, Germany, Switzerland, and Egypt among others.

Selected to participate in Young Musicians’ project by BBC Music from 2016 to 2018, Said was the only Arabic soprano chosen.

Fatma Said is one of the promising young female sopranos in the project, who first pursued her career at Cairo Opera House.

In 2013, she won a scholarship to attend the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan and became the first Arabic soprano to stage it. She represented Egypt at Human Rights Day at the United Nations in Geneva and has organized an educational season encouraging young Egyptians to pursue singing opera.

Honored by the National Council for Women, Said became the first soprano to be awarded the state’s Creativity Award during the first National Youth Conference held in Egypt. ]]>
11/15/2017 8:24:35 PM
<![CDATA[A close up at Marvel’s Netflix series ‘Luke Cage’]]>
Marvel’s Netflix series ‘Luke Cage’, which premiered on the online streaming service on September 30, 2016, adapts a little-known comic book hero into an urban icon, with a strong portrayal by actor Mike Colter, who previously portrayed the character in the Marvel series ‘Jessica Jones’. Since its premiere the show has attracted an estimated 3.52 million viewers, according to SymphonyAM.

To understand the character and his importance, one needs to dive back into the 1970s, at the height of America’s Blaxploitation movement. This label referred to films that featured an African-American actor in the lead role as an action hero, with themes of anti-establishment that brought both praise and criticism from the African-American community, with some feeling this outrageous genre glorified violence and racist stereotypes, while others felt it gave them heroes on the screen who could be honest about the harshness of urban life.

[Vintage poster of Luke Cage via Andres Juarez's Flickr]

Enter Marvel. At around this time, Marvel was the dominant force in comics, and had been eyeing more diverse audiences for some time. With Blaxploitation at its highest, Marvel sought to capitalize by creating a hero of its own that would appeal to African-American comic book fans or introduce more diverse audiences into comics. Luke Cage would thus mark comic book history for being the first African-American character to lead his own book; 1972’s ‘Luke Cage, Hero For Hire’.

While his creators were not African-American, Cage still proved to be popular among them; in part because he was a character that wasn’t defined by the fact that he was black, at least not in his name, and also for his outrageous personality. The victim of a government that granted him superpowers, Cage uses his powers to fight corruption and crime like most heroes, but with a focus on the issues plaguing African-Americans. At heart, Cage is an average Joe, a working-class man in Harlem, New York who struggles with the issues of how his race was treated and seeks to do better for his community.

Another element of Cage’s lasting appeal is his loner nature, rarely interacting with the other heroes of the Marvel universe so that he can do his own thing, tackling problems both urban and out there, mostly relating to issues of race and corruption. His colorful outfit gradually changed to something more realistic, though elements of his old look still make their way into the new series.

The show’s creator, music journalist turned writer Cheo Hodari Coker does the character justice by his intimate knowledge of Marvel’s comics, while also bringing to the table a more gritty, realistic and urban spin, incorporating his experience on the Showtime crime show 'Ray Donovan'.

While most Marvel properties don’t shy in introducing colorful action and fantastic powers as soon as they’re able, Netflix’s Luke Cage incarnation uses full advantage of the binge-watch medium to provide a slow look both into the man himself and Harlem around him. Before we get to see his powers, we get to know who Luke Cage is. The series opens with Cage laying low in a barbershop, keeping his powers a secret.

His efforts to do good when he can soon draw the attention of the corrupt kingpins ruling the crime world, and Cage is thus forced to take matter into his own hands as he deals out the law his own super-powered way. Dubbed a ‘hip-hop western’ by Coker, this series swaps salons with night clubs and deserts with the concrete jungle of New York, with Cage as the lone hero whose moral code is every bit strong as his superhuman skin.

Luke Cage will be returning for a second season within 2018, and the character has already expanded out of his own show to star in Marvel’s mini-series ‘The Defenders’, which finally sees the loner Cage working alongside heroes Jessica Jones and the Iron Fist to defend the NYC streets.

11/15/2017 7:16:00 PM
<![CDATA[7 Facts about the ‘Marilyn Monroe’ of Egyptian cinema, Hend Rostom]]>
Originally Turkish

Hend Rostom’s father comes from a Turkish family and worked as a police officer in Alexandria before divorcing her Egyptian mother who moved to Cairo afterwards with her daughter.

Hend Rostom is a stage name

A screen legend and one of the greatest icons in the golden age cinema, Rostom was originally named Nariman Hussein Murad and has moved out from Alexandria to Cairo following her family’s separation in 1946.

rostom 2 file photo
Hend Rostom (Photo: archive)

Coincidentally became an actress

Surprisingly she never intended to pursue an acting career! One day Rostom’s friend took her to one of the well-know production companies in Cairo to casually participate in acting auditions. She later appeared as a background/ alternative actress for the first time in 1949 during the two-minute song ‘Etmakhtry ya Khel’ (Dance Khel) by Laila Murad in film ‘Ghazl El Banat’ where she was riding a horse behind Murad as she sang.

Began as a silent and alternative actor

Rostom has participated as a silent actor in eight films including ‘El Setat Mabyerfosh Yekdebo’ (Women Can’t Lie), ‘Azhar w Ashwak’ (Roses and Thorns), ‘El Ab’ (The Father), ‘El Roh w El Gasad’ (The Body and Soul), among others.

Pioneer in acting all roles!

The acting pioneer has performed in over 86 Egyptian films including her top roles in ‘Hob fi Zalam’ (Love in Darkness) in 1953, ‘E’terfat Zoga’ (Confessions of a Wife) in 1954, ‘Banat El Leil’ (Night Girls), and ‘El Gasad’ (The Body), among many others. She mastered several roles of drama, romance, comedy in ‘Hob fi hob’ (Love in Love), and seduction.

In many films she played the tough role of an evil scornful woman and in others she played roles of the complete opposite where she emerged as an elite or a sophisticated feminine diva featuring eloquent manners.

Never knew how to dance

Despite her vividly displayed beauty on screen the ambitious late actress didn’t know how to dance. She was however specially taught by contemporary dancing legend Ali Reda who accompanied her in all her films for an entire year, according to state-owned Al Ahram. Famous Syrian actor and singer Farid El Atrash has also taught her dancing in ‘Enta Habeeby’ (You’re my Lover) where he used to dance backstage behind the camera while Rostom mimics his moves.

rostom 3 file photo Ibn hamido
Hend Rostom (Photo: archive)

Refused a role written by late literary legend Ehsan Abdel El Kodous

Rostom refused to play part in the prominent classic film ‘Aby Fawk El Shagara’ (My Father is above the Tree) that was originally based on a novel by Ehsan Abdel Kodous. Abdel Kodous has first approached Rostom to play the role of the Abdelhalim Hafez’s lover with complete confidence that she would agree to take the role, but he was left surprised knowing she declined the role after reading the script.

She explained to Abdel Kodous that the story contains several intimate scenes featuring many hugs and kisses that she will not be able to perform at that time. She added that the role came against her faithfulness to her husband and her wishes of setting a good example for her young daughter. The role was later played by classical actress Nadia Lutfi and the film was released in 1969.

Retired in her golden age

Rostom retired in 1979 at the age of only 50 years old after finishing her last film which was a hit in cinema ‘Hayaty Azab’ (My Life is Torture). Her retirement came as a persistent firm in which she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to her family and raising her only daughter Passant.

rostom 4 file photo with daughter
Hend Rostom with her daughter Passant (Photo: archive)
11/15/2017 6:55:04 PM
<![CDATA[How statues combined art and religion throughout history]]>
‘Christ the Redeemer’ in Brazil

With arms wide open, ‘Christ the Redeemer’ stands in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, where it was constructed between 1922 and 1932 by French sculptor Paul Landowski and designed by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. Made from soapstone, the statue stands 30 meters tall and weighs 1,000 tons, symbolizing Christianity in Brazil. It was listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

Christ the Redeemers Statue - Photo Courtesy: Archive

‘David Statue’ – Italy

Sculpted by the legendary artist Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504, the ‘David Statue’ was created from marble and dedicated to the biblical hero David standing.
Located at Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze [Gallery of the Academy of Florence], the statue defines the features of Renaissance France and Italy.

David Statue - Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

‘Virgin Mary Statue’ – France

In 2011, the statue of Jesus’ mother Virgin Mary stood in a public park overlooking Lake Geneva in eastern France. However, in 2016, the court ordered removal of the statue as an implication of France’s policy forbidding the exhibition of any religious signs publically.

Virgin Mary Statue - Photo Courtesy: Archive

‘Moses Statue’ – Italy

Another artistic work by Michelangelo ‘Moses Statue’ was constructed between 1513 and 1515 and is currently housed at San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome.
Michelangelo depended on the passages of Exodus in an old translation of the bible.

Moses Statue - Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia ]]>
11/15/2017 6:34:25 PM
<![CDATA[Award-Winning Spanish film “Thesis” to screen at Cinema Daal]]>
Influenced by Hollywood techniques and the American film industry, “Thesis” is considered a turning point in Spanish cinema, according to IMDB.

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, the film revolves around a Spanish film student who discovers a video featuring the murder and torture of a young girl who happens to be a former student at the same school.

Written by Amenabar and Mateo Gil, the film is starring Ana Torrent, Fele Martinez, and Edwardo Noriega.

“Thesis” has won many awards, including Best New Actor, Best New Director, and Best Film at the Goya Awards, the Audience Award at Valdivia International Film Festival, among others. ]]>
11/15/2017 6:09:51 PM
<![CDATA[Photo Story: Recreating famous ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’]]>
charlie 4
Caption: Scene from the Arabic version of the musical ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ (Photo courtesy of AUC Falaki Theater and Gallery official page)

Directed and written by Samar Galal, and choreographed by Anna Maria Suykerbuyk. The musical performance was performed in October by Atelier El Masrah Theatre Team who is students at the Faculty of Fine Arts.

charlie 2
Caption: Scene from the Arabic version of the musical ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ (Photo courtesy of AUC Falaki Theater and Gallery official page)

It is based on a novel originally written by Roald Dahl, which was released in 1964.
It was adapted into two films: “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” in 1971, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 2005.

charlie 3
Caption: Scene from the Arabic version of the musical ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ (Photo courtesy of AUC Falaki Theater and Gallery official page)

‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ depicts a young kind-hearted boy who won a golden ticket to the magical magnificent world of the chocolate industry where he takes a unique adventure with the factory’s owner Willy Wonka who is in search for an honest youngster who will proceed with his legacy.

charlie 5
Caption: Scene from the Arabic version of the musical ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ (Photo courtesy of AUC Falaki Theater and Gallery official page)

11/15/2017 4:51:36 PM
<![CDATA[Alexandrian hybrid beauty re-crafted through photography ]]>
Established and managed by Waguih al-Laqany, the exhibition is a joint project between Digital & Visual Arts initiative and Art Everywhere organization.

Nine young deaf photographers have captured the beauty of Alexandria from their own personal perspective to introduce it at the exhibition, according to the event official Facebook page.

Celebrating Alexandrian heritage days, “A Look at the City” reviews different cultural symbols in Alexandria such as the Greek and Roman architecture.

A workshop has been organized prior to the exhibition in efforts to teach participants the art of photography using mobile phones. Several seminars were also held to discuss the relationship between people and the city.
11/15/2017 4:21:54 PM
<![CDATA[Ambitious film director Diab to premier his first feature film in UAE]]>
Released in 2017, the film revolves around an Egyptian couple who seize the American Embassy in Egypt after being denied visas to enter the United States following several failed attempts.

Launched as the first world premiere , the feature film stars Egyptian actors and actresses Rasha Gawdat, Maged El Kedwany, Mai Kassab, Abdel Rahma Abou Zahra, Bayoumi Fouad, Horeya Farghali, and Sayed Rageb.

The celebrated TV and film writer Diab has previously dazzled the world with his film ‘Clash’ in 2016 that was chosen as an opening film at Cannes International Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard category, according to a released statement by DIFF.

‘Clash’ revolves around human stories of a number of different Egyptians who were arrested without being charged during the disputes in 2013 that prevailed between supporters and opposition of former Egyptian presidents and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi following his ouster from presidency.

Most of the film’s setting takes place inside a police truck that carried those arrested Egyptians including pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi demonstrators and journalists who later became friends and remorseful to each other due to the dire circumstances they lived for a full day.

11/15/2017 3:55:04 PM
<![CDATA[11 more films added to the DIFF Cinema of the World program]]>Cinema of the World program.

Running from December 6 until December 13, the DIFF features a diverse range of films from directors across the world, bringing cinema from all across the globe to one location, where diverse audiences share and enjoy. Here’s a look at the latest batch of films added to the festival;

“Mary Shelly” - Haifaa al-Mansour (April 25, 2018)
From acclaimed Saudi director Haifaa al-Mansour, comes a biopic about the life of British author Mary Shelley (Elle Fanning), who is credited for founding science-fiction as we know it. Mansour’s movie in particular focuses on a young Shelley’s romantic affair with the author Percy Shelley, which eventually led to her writing one of the English language’s most important novels; “Frankenstein.”

“Azar” - Mohammad Hamzei (November 10, 2017)
Iranian director Mohammad Hamzei debuts with an Iranian feminist drama about a non-conventional wife in Iran, Azar (Niki Karimi) who races motorcycles and helps run her husband’s pizza restaurant. Unfortunately, when her husband is imprisoned, Azar faces the full brunt of Iran’s sexism as she tries her best to see his release.

“Shock & Awe” – Rob Reiner (September 30, 2017)
This biographic drama takes audiences back to the start of the Iraq war in 2003. With the disaster of September 11 still fresh in global consciousness, President George Bush only further fanned the flames with his declaration that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass direction.

Starring Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones and Milla Jovovich, the film follows a group of journalists who find doubt in the president’s claim and aim to fight for the truth in a world gripped by paranoia.

"The Seen and the Unseen" - Kamila Andini (September 11, 2017)

Indonesian director Andini brings her second feature film to the lineup, a story about the special bond twins share and an exploration of Balinese culture. In "The Seen and the Unseen," a 10-year-old girl, Tantri, tries to come to terms with her twin brother's incoming death by retreating into a fantastical world in her mind, where she gets to meet up with her brother in their shared dream.

Among other films being shown are “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” a biopic starring Shia LeBouf titled “Borg vs. McEnroe” and French drama “Custody” by Xavier Legrand.]]>
11/15/2017 3:13:10 PM
<![CDATA[‘Breaking the Waves’ shows at Panorama of the European Film]]>Panorama of the European Film Festival.

This spiritual film is directed by Lars von Trier, and features Emily Watson in the lead as Bess McNeill. A young woman living in a sleepy Scottish village in the 1970s, Bess is naïve to the ways of the world and deeply in love with her husband, Jan Nyman (Stellan Skarsgård). Jan works at an oil-factory, and his absences lead Bess to pray to God that he can return and stay for good.

She gets her wish in the cruelest manner; Jan’s neck is broken in an accident, and he is paralyzed from the waist-down. He will never be able to walk again. Bess is left heartbroken and guilty over her prayer, yet Jan gives her permission to find another man to fall in love with. Unfortunately, Bess takes his plea the wrong way, and enters a path that sees her shunned by the church and going where even the town’s prostitutes wouldn’t dare.

“Breaking the Waves” proved to be a hit in American cinemas, grossing over $3 million at the Box office. For her role in the film, Watson was nominated for the ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ Academy Award. The film also won the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.

The 10th edition of the Panorama of the European Film Festival runs from November 8 until November 18.

11/15/2017 1:19:58 PM
<![CDATA[Dutch drama 'Waldstille' to show at PEFF]]>
From director Martijn Maria Smits, "Waldstille" explores the aftermath of a tragic crime and the harsh realization that life is no longer and never will be the same for all those affected.
Ben is a man who has served time in prison after causing a traffic accident that killed his girlfriend. Now, years later, he returns to his hometown, aiming to take custody of his young daughter. Ben will have to contend with his parents-in-law however, with old wounds coming to the surface as they refuse to hand her to him.

"Waldstille" won the Golden Calf Award at the Nederland’s Film Festival. The 10th edition of the Panorama of the European film festival runs from November 8 until November 18.

11/15/2017 11:19:02 AM
<![CDATA[$81.3 million Van Gogh kicks off NY art auction season]]>
"Laboureur dans un champ," painted by the tortured Dutch genius from the window of a French asylum where he had committed himself sold to a buyer on the telephone after a frenzied four-minute bidding war having been valued at $50 million.

Van Gogh began the painting of a ploughman tilling the soil in late August 1889 and completed it on September 2, the first time he picked up his brushes for a month and a half after an epileptic fit. He died the following year.

Christie's said it sold for $81.3 million, including the buyer's premium, well over its pre-sale estimate of $50 million.

It was just a hair's breath from the auction record for a Van Gogh, set in 1990 at $82.5 million in New York for "Portrait of Dr Gachet," although that price would be much higher if adjusted for today's inflation.

The other chief highlight was "Contraste de formes," a 1913 Fernand Leger abstract that scored $70 million, setting a new world auction record for the artist, the auction house said.

Rene Magritte's "L'empire des lumieres" -- a nocturnal bourgeois street scene -- sold for $20.56 million, which Christie's said set a world auction record for the Belgian surrealist.

Painted in 1949, it was the first of 17 versions of the picture that Magritte produced in oil paint over the next 15 years.

Christie's said its flagship evening sale of impressionist and modern art netted a total of $479 million.

Pablo Picasso holds the world record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction. "The Women of Algiers (Version O)" got $179.4 million at Christie's in New York in 2015.

The star lot in New York's November art auctions is "Salvator Mundi," a painting of Jesus Christ by the Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci circa 1500. It goes under the hammer Wednesday evening.]]>
11/15/2017 8:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sherine Abdel Wahab banned from singing over insulting Egypt]]>
The syndicate also banned her from performing until further investigations are done.

The decision was provoked after the singer threw an off-hand joke while performing in one of her recent concerts where fans asked her to perform “Mashrabsh Min Nilha” or “haven’t you swigged Egypt’s Nile water yet?” and then Abdelwahab replied that she would go through schistosomiasis if she would drink it, a phrase deemed by some social media users as an inappropriate.

“We will keep drinking Nile’s water and will stop listening to Sherine’s song,” is a hashtag that has been trending in Egypt in the past few hours and was launched immediately in response to the aforementioned incident.

For its part, the Health Ministry released a statement contending that it has long fought schistosomiasis and reduced its prevalence to 0.2%.

Abdelwahab, 37, is consistently hailed as one of the talented and successful singers of her era, dubbed as “the queen of emotions” for her popular romantic tunes.
11/14/2017 7:33:18 PM
<![CDATA[Namnam receives Czech Amb., Misr Public Library's director]]>
The meeting also tackled enhancing cooperation between Egyptian public libraries and the National Library of the Czech Republic.

El Namnam welcomed the ambassador and her accompanying delegation saying that the mutual relations are deep-rooted and it is time for cultural cooperation with Czech.

He added Egypt is ready for all forms of cultural cooperation with Czech, asking for cooperation between the Egyptian and Czech National Libraries.

The minister pointed out that the Egyptian National Library includes collection of periodicals and important documents about the Ottoman Empire, some of them contain information about Eastern Europe countries, including the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Kuchynova valued the minister's reception, saying that the cooperation between both libraries is an important step.]]>
11/14/2017 6:57:19 PM
<![CDATA[Wooden coffin with mummy dating Greco-Roman Period unearthed ]]>
The Russian mission from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences led by Professor of History of Science Galina Belova made the discovery during their ongoing excavations at the region, which commenced seven years ago.

The historical Deir al-Banat region consists of two parts: the first one is the remaining of the building of church and monastery, while the second part is the tomb region dating back to the Greco-Roman Period and the early Coptic era where many mummies are discovered.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri said that the mission found inside the coffin a mummy in good condition wrapped in linen cloth with a blue and gold mask placed over the head. The mask, he added, is decorated with drawings of heavenly god Khaiber while the picture of the goddess Isis is drawn on the coffin at the chest.

At the same time, head of the Islamic and Coptic monuments sector Mohammed Abdel-Latif said that the mission has restored the coffin and mummy. The coffin was poorly preserved because the lid was broken and the base had numerous cracks without any inscriptions. Many studies were done on the coffin.

In the last period, many discoveries were unearthed in Egypt as the latest one was the discovery of an 18th dynasty (1549/1550 BC to 1292 BC) tomb in Luxor. The tomb, unearthed in Luxor, Upper Egypt, belonged to Amun-Re’s goldsmith, Amenemhat (Kampp 390), Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anani announced in a press conference last month.

About 70 foreign missions are working on the different archaeological sites in Luxor within the upcoming weeks, according to Waziri. He adds that the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities is seeking to improve all archaeological sites ahead of the tourist season by developing and renovating temples, royal tombs and archaeological sites. Hawass had previously announced that what Egypt discovered thus far represents about 30 percent of its total antiquities; the remaining 70 percent is still buried in the sand.

Tomb_12351 The coffin was poorly preserved because the lid was broken and the base had numerous cracks without any inscriptions – Courtesy of the Mission’s official Facebook page

11/14/2017 6:32:02 PM
<![CDATA[Soprano Zeina Barhoum joins World Science Forum]]>
Running until November 11, the World Science Forum leads on the global dialogue for science and its social & economic relevance. With an aim to help spread real positive change in society, the World Science Forum seeks to be a platform that can allow both the science community and policy makers to come together and discuss. The current theme for this year is "Science for Peace."

The current edition will be held at the King Hussein bin Talal Convention Centre at the Dead Sea. Over 3,000 scientists, leaders and politicians from 120 countries attended the opening ceremony, where Barhoum performed.

A classically trained soprano, Barhoum was at the forefront of this year’s Amman Opera Festival, which proved to be an unprecedented success and will be returning for a second round next year in fall.

11/14/2017 4:47:25 PM
<![CDATA[Amman Opera Festival prepares for second round in 2018]]>
The Amman Opera’s La Traviata performances, which were held at the Roman Amphitheater on July 22, proved to be an unprecedented success. The second round of the opera festival will feature even more performances, events and concerts.

Founded by soprano Zeina Barhoum, the festival is supported by Princess Muna al-Hussein, who will continue to fund the festival for its upcoming second edition. Barhoum founded the festival in order to encourage the appreciation and encouragement of opera culture within the Middle East, with hopes that Jordan could one day see its own opera house within Amman. It is the first festival in the Arab world dedicated to opera, and marks a new era in the Arab artistic development.

"La Traviata," which featured Barhoum as lead singer, was based on the opera by Italian libretto Giuseppe Verdi. The story revolves around the lives of French Bohemians in the late 19th century. Over 150 musicians, singers and performers from various nationalities participated in the festival.

11/14/2017 3:21:46 PM
<![CDATA['Super Size Me' by director Morgan Spurlock joins DIFF]]>

Hailing from New York, Spurlock’s documentaries combine humor with hard facts to drudge up truths about the reality behind the food industry, including the way meat is made and the health effects of fast food. His 2004 documentary "Super Size Me" was famous for how Spurlock personally partook in only eating fast food for a period of time and documented his declining health. The film earned him an Academy Award Nomination.

Spurlock will be joined by his writers and producers Jeremy Chilnick and producer Matthew Galkin, who are part of his production company Warrior Poets. Spurlock will also host the DIFF’s "In Conversation" documentary event on Monday, December 11, at the Dubai Film Market’s festival HQ forum.

The 14th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival runs from December 6 until December 13.
11/14/2017 2:08:30 PM
<![CDATA[Abdel Aziz continues spreading delectation after his death]]>
Abdel Aziz was born in Wardeyan neighborhood in Alexandria on June 4, 1946, to a middle class family. He graduated from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at Alexandria University in the 1960s. Abdel Aziz first practiced acting on the university's theater.

He started his professional acting career in the 1970s’ with “Al-Dawama” (The Whirlpool) soap opera alongside the famous actors Nelly and Mahmoud Yassin; this series drew much attention to Abdel Aziz's talent. In 1974, he participated in the Egyptian classic film “Al-Hafeed” (The Grandson) which was his first movie.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Abdel Aziz's popularity dramatically increased as he starred in over 25 movies. He was famous to be equally deft at both comedy and drama performances, and his success reached its peak when he performed in a group of the most significant movies in the 1980s. In 1982, he participated in the magnificent movie “El-Aar” (Shame) playing the role of the addiction specialist who is torn between his work and the fact that his father was a drug dealer.

One of Abdel Aziz's unforgettable cinematic marks is his role in “El-Keif” (Addiction) in 1985. In this movie, Abdel Aziz performed the role of a singer who has a cacophonic voice yet his substandard songs still achieve booming success. Salah, Abdel Aziz's character, succeeded with the help of his brother, a chemist, to invent a substance that is similar to drugs, proving that people get addicted to the idea of being drugged rather than to the drug itself.

Abdel Aziz asserted his fame in all Arab countries after his role in “Raafat el-Hagan," one of the most popular series in Egyptian television history. It is based on the true story of the famous Egyptian spy Refaat el-Gammal who was planted by the Egyptian Intelligence in Israel, where he lived for over 20 years before and after the October war.

Through his performance in this series, Abdel Aziz captured millions of TV viewers’ attention and hearts in Egypt and the Arab World. “Rafaat el-Hagan” shed more light on Abdel Aziz's Kazanova attitude, something that he continued to be known for throughout his career.

Among Abdel Aziz's other magical performances are his rules in “Kit Kat” in (1991), providing a dazzling performance of the sarcastic blind man with the great sense of humor despite his disability, and “Al-Saher” (The Magician, 2001).

Throughout his decades-long career, Abdel-Aziz starred in over 100 movies and numerous television series. Abdel Aziz dazzled his audience in 2015 with his successful series “Gabal el-Halal” (Halal Mountain) portraying the role of Abou Heiba, the powerful yet kind and fair drug dealer, showing the incredible contradictions that exist deep inside human beings.

In the beginning of his career, Abdel Aziz was that handsome guy suitable for romance films' posters only, but later he was lucky enough to work with some of Egypt’s most prominent directors, who came from different schools of art ranging from the realist, to the nationalist, to the feminist, to those who experimented with fantasy to tackle society’s macro problems Like Raafat el-Mihey.

The list also includes directors such as Mohamed Khan, Radwan el-Kashef, Samir Seif, Mohamed Kamel el-Qaliouby, Mohamed Haseeb, and Omar Abdel Aziz. These veteran directors managed to discover new areas in Abdel Aziz's performance; thus were able to shine his talent.

Abdel-Aziz was married to the famous Egyptian presenter Poussy Chalabi. He has two sons from his first marriage: Mohamed, a film producer and director, and Karim an actor.
The heartthrob Abdel-Aziz died on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at the age of 70.

Abdel Aziz will continue to spread happiness and inspire generations even after his death through his work which will remain immortal forever, engraved in the minds and hearts of his lovers.

11/14/2017 12:52:35 PM
<![CDATA[French documentary ‘Belinda’ is part of the PEFF]]>
It follows a girl named Belinda who is part of a widespread minority called the Yenish. Following two decades in her life, director Marie Dumora takes care to carefully document Belinda’s journey from her start in a foster home, her teenage dreams of becoming a mechanic, to her wedding to a man in prison. Through it all, Dumora offers no comment on the events; Belinda’s life speaks for itself, as do the people and the environment surrounding her.

“Belinda” will be publically released in French cinemas in January, 2018.

The Panorama of the European Film Festival

runs from November 8 until November 18.

11/14/2017 12:18:48 PM
<![CDATA[Romanian biographical film 'Scarred Hearts' to screen at PEFF]]>
The film is based off Romanian author Max Blecher's life and writings and is set in the 1930s, during the rise of Hitler. The film follows Emanuel (Lucian Rus), a young idealistic author whose young life is tragically cut short after he is confined in a hospital due to being afflicted with bone tuberculosis, which is slowly killing him.

As his body fails him, his mind struggles to make the best of his dark situation, and he does find hope through a former patient who comes to visit, and with whom Emanuel falls in love.

Since the film’s release on November 18, 2016, it has won over nine awards, including the Tobias Spencer Award - Special Mention at the Haifa International Film Festival, and the Don Quixote and Special Jury Prize awards at the Locarno International Film Festival.

The 10th edition of the Panorama of the European film

festival runs from November 8 until November 18.

11/14/2017 11:25:36 AM
<![CDATA[11 films to debut 'Arabian Nights' at 14th DIFF]]>
“Arabian Nights is one of the most highly anticipated categories each December, as it celebrates the cultural diversity within the Arab region through the exceptional medium of film. This year’s lineup tackles pressing issues facing the world today and aims to overcome these boundaries, bringing communities together through compelling storytelling,” said Delphine Garde-Mroueh, Arabian Nights Programmer in a press statement by DIFF.

Featuring regional and international filmmakers who shed light on Arab culture, the festival’s ‘Arabian Nights’ will Egyptian film ‘Introduced Labor’ by film writer Khaled Diab will also participate in the segment showcasing the story of an Egyptian couple who take control of the American Embassy in Egypt after being denied entry to the United States. Diab has previously released ‘Clash’ that was the opening film at Cannes International Film Festival.

Another Egyptian film world premiere ‘Kiss Me Not’ by Egyptian-American writer and director Ahmed Amer will be closing the Arabian Nights lineup. The mockumentary revolves around director Tamer who struggles to deal with an actress, who quits a kissing scene and the film industry after she decides to wear a Hijab, and his producer as he films his first feature. The film stars Yasmine Rais, the award winning director Khairy Beshara, Sawsan Badr, with an honorary to the late renowned director Mohammed Khan and Mohamed Mahan. Amer has previously released the worldwide recognized hit film ‘Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim’.

Algerian filmmaker Karim Moussaoui debuts the segment with his film ‘Until the Birds Return’ that was nominated for a Cannes award. The film depicts the process of tough choices made by Mourad, Aisha and Dahman who are on a quest for new life beginnings. ‘Beauty and the Dogs’ by Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania will feature her film as well that revolves around a Tunisian woman who struggles for her dignity and rights.

tunisian girl
Film 'Until the Birds Return

Presenting the supported feature in the segment, French-Lebanese director Nadim Tabet will introduce ‘One of These Days’ which experiences identity and existentialist crisis through young adults who question the notions of love and sex. The film has previously participated in DIFF 2016.

Other films include ‘Orchestra Class’ by film actor and director Rachid Hami that revolves around the power of music in influencing lives. Award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha will also participate in the segment with her film ‘Naila and the Uprising’ that tells a story of family, love, and freedom in the late 1980’s peaceful mobilization in Palestinian history.

Film Naila and the uprising

Feature film ‘Catch the Wind’ by French film director Gaël Morel will be taking place in the segment as well. Previously participated at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film revolves around 45-years old Edith who is a textile factory worker who experiences a turning point in her life following the strict austerity measures applied by her company.

‘Arabian Nights’ will also feature ‘Never Leave Me’ by Bosnian filmmaker Aida Begić about three boys who become friends at a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey after being separated from their families. ’69 Minutes of 86 Days’ is the first feature film participating in this segment; directed by Norwegian filmmaker Egil Håskjold who films three-year old Lean who embarks a journey in Europe to reunited with her grandfather after fleeing from war-zones.

little girl
First feature film ’69 Minutes of 86 Days’

Engaging documentary by Stefanie Brockhaus and Andreas Wolff ‘The Poetess’ stands out in the segment as it features the journey of an ambitious Saudi writer Hissa Hilal who participates in Abu Dhabi’s multi-million dollar TV show ‘Million’s Poet’.

“Since its inception, Arabian Nights has served as a platform for Arab and international filmmakers to cross borders and tell stories that address very real themes in the Arab world with compassion and creativity. We know this year’s slate will bring incredible and unique perspectives to the fore, and I know DIFF audiences will be as engrossed as I will,” DIFF’s Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali, commented on this year’s program lineup in the press release.

11/14/2017 10:24:57 AM
<![CDATA[Cast of 'Wanis's Diary' rejoice after 23 years in seminar about show]]>
This comes as part of the ongoing Arts and Culture Season held each year as the university. The seminar will be led by the actual cast of ‘Awlad Wanis’ including Fady Khafaga, Sameh Safwat, Hoda Hani, and Reem Ahmed.

Stars of the famous TV series that featured renowned actor Mohamed Sobhy as the protagonist, will be discussing their experience in being part of the show that was produced throughout eight seasons. They’ll also discuss future works and upcoming projects.

The Egyptian series was first released in 1994 revolving around a family man who seeks to raise his three children to be well-mannered and educated members of society only to discover that citizens of Egyptian society feature several defects and flaws that are in need of reform.

Growing widely popular across Egyptian citizens and influenced growing generations in the past two decades, the show was also recreated into a theatrical performance starring the same cast including the late Soaad Nasr who played Wanis’s wife.

The sixth season of the show has been massively changed due to the death of Nasr who also played the role of the children’s mother. The last season of the show ‘Wanis and his Grandchildren’ was dedicated to experiencing the new changes in society following the 25th of January revolution.
11/14/2017 9:26:21 AM
<![CDATA[Nigeria's Wizkid crowned best African artist at AFRIMA]]>
The 27-year-old Afrobeats star -- real name Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun -- beat his compatriot Davido and Fally Ipupa from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the top award.

He also won the best song category for "Come Closer" and the prize for best West African artist.

AFRIMA 2017, now in its fourth year, is considered the equivalent of the US Grammys and was held on Sunday evening at a luxury hotel in Nigeria's economic and entertainment hub.

The African Union-backed awards are designed to celebrate the continent's booming music industry and were this year broadcast live to 84 countries on 109 different channels.]]>
11/14/2017 8:37:29 AM
<![CDATA[Eagles of Death Metal in surprise show to mark Bataclan attack]]>
Singer Jesse Hughes and guitarist Dave Catching were surprise guests at an event in the east of the French capital organised by survivors of the attack, in which 90 people died after jihadist gunmen burst into the concert hall and opened fire.

The pair sang two songs before handing white roses to the crowd gathered outside the town hall of the 11th district, a short walk from the concert hall where French President Emmanuel Macron had led a ceremony to remember the victims.

A highly emotional Hughes threw kisses to the crowd before launching into "Save a Prayer", the last song the band finished before the shooting started.

"It is difficult to not to remember the people who were taken from us like our friend Nick Alexander (the band's merchandise manager) and so many others," Hughes later told reporters.

"We watched people give their lives for their friends and we were able to bear witness to that, and now we have a burden of responsibility to make certain that everyone knows that kind of love exists in this world," he added.

- We can't 'let bad guys win' -

"There's nothing in the world that would have kept me from here, nothing, not a thing," Hughes said, visibly moved.

"This is a testament to the resolve of a community that is determined not to let the bad guys win, under any circumstances," he added.

Hughes said he would never be put off returning to France, and had brought his mother him this time to prove it. "There's no reason to fear anything. Look at all this, surrounded by love. We got to sing two songs terribly and people still liked us. I don't think that it gets any better than that."

However, the flamboyant singer was turned away from the Bataclan when it reopened last year for suggesting that the security guards were in on the attack.

Although he subsequently apologised for his comments, the venue's co-director Jules Frutos said staff had saved lives during the bloodbath. "There are things you can't forgive," he told AFP.

Eagles of Death Metal initially enjoyed wide sympathy in the wake of the attacks.

But Hughes' provocative remarks led to two leading French festivals cancelling appearances by the band in the summer of 2016.

Hughes, a rare right-wing rocker and supporter of US President Donald Trump, also said without evidence that Muslims had celebrated outside the hall during the siege.]]>
11/14/2017 8:35:09 AM
<![CDATA[Amazon to launch 'Lord of the Rings' TV show]]>
Set in Middle Earth, the adaptation will explore new storylines preceding Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring," the internet streamer said, adding that the deal included a potential additional spin-off series.

"'The Lord of the Rings' is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen," said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series at Amazon Studios.

The Tolkien Estate had also approached Netflix and HBO, according to Hollywood entertainment website Deadline, which reported the deal came with an eye-watering upfront rights payment of around $200 million.

The production budget will likely add another $100-$150 million a season -- but Amazon is seen as having deep pockets, as chairman Jeff Bezos has challenged his creative teams to come up with a prestigious fantasy series to rival "Game Of Thrones."

"The Lord of the Rings" was named Amazon customers' favorite book of the millennium in 1999 and Britain's best-loved novel of all time in the BBC's The Big Read survey in 2003.

With an A-list cast that included Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler and Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy earned almost $3 billion worldwide, scooping 17 Oscars in total.

He followed up with a prequel trilogy based on Tolkien's "The Hobbit," which made almost the same at the box office.

Amazon said the series would be available via the Prime Video app or online in more than 200 countries and territories, but it did not announce a release date.

"We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for 'The Lord of the Rings,'" said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins.

"Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien's original writings."]]>
11/14/2017 8:31:50 AM
<![CDATA[‘Beautiful handicrafts of Tohoku, Japan; inaugurated in Cairo]]>
The gallery will last to November 28 and includes Japanese art works, heritage and craftsmanship.

“Beautiful Handicrafts of Tohoku, Japan” is a travelling exhibition planned to mark the anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. It recognizes the traditional handicrafts of the region steadfastly recovering from the calamity.

In the exhibition, 70 works that best exemplify the craftsmen’s high level of skill in basket weaving, lacquerware, pottery, embroidery and wood crafts are presented, allowing visitors to enjoy the diverse and exquisite world of Tohoku traditions.

It also features the late folk craft movement artists who were not necessarily from the Tohoku region but whose works were significantly influenced by the traditional Tohoku handicrafts.
11/13/2017 7:36:46 PM
<![CDATA[10 times Salah Zulfakar pioneered best scenes in Egyptian cinema]]>
A former police officer, the ambitious actor also worked as a producer and pioneered the Arab’s world greatest artists. Zulfakar resonated from an artistic family where his brothers Ezz El Din Zulfakar worked in film directing and Mahmoud Zulfakar worked as an actor.

He contributed to several films, TV series such as ‘Shalash’s Family’ and ‘ El Osta El Modeer’, and theatrical performances such as ‘Robibekya’. Zulfakar was married to veteran singing and cinema legend Shadia. The couple displayed a harmonious romantic bond on screen too, where they were well known for the characters of Ahmed and Mona in ‘Aghla mn Hayaty’ (More Precious than My Life) (1967) in which Zulfakar proposed to Shadia in reality following film release.

Zulfakar has passed away in 1993 on the set of his last film ‘El-Erhaby’ (The Terrorist) that starred Adel Emam.

‘Afreet Meraty’ (My Wife’s Ghost)

Produced in 1968, the movie is the last film starring Shadia and Zulfakar as a couple and revolves around a wife ‘Aida’ who feels lonely due to the lack of attention from her husband who is always busy at work. Aida decides to keep herself busy by watching films all day until she develops a habit of unintentionally playing the roles of the characters she watched in those films throughout her real life.

‘Meraty Modeer A’am’ (My wife is a General Manager)

One of the strongest films to tackle gender issues, ‘My wife is a General Manager’ portrays women rights in acquiring leading positions in parallel to leading a major role as a wife in a household. Starring Shadia and Zulfakar, Shadia plays the role of a manager who leads a team of architects that includes Zulfakar, her husband. The film was an effective platform that discussed how men feel when their wives outstands them in careers.

‘Aghla mn Hayaty’ (More Precious than my Life)

The drama/ romantic film revolves around Ahmed and Mona who live a memorable love story as young people and decide to get married only to find out that Mona’s father doesn’t approve this marriage and as a result several dramatic events unfold in each of their lives. Despite the different paths they both take, Ahmed and Mona remain faithful to each other and in love even when distant.

‘El Aydy El Na’ema’ (Soft Hands)

Starring Ahmed Mazhar as a protagonist, the film revolves around Mazhar an elite prince who struggles with paying debts later in his life and is forced to adapt to a new lifestyle where he works hard to make a living. Despite the film focusing on Mazhar, Zulfakar is significantly remembered for his role as a poor Arabic teacher who gradually introduces Mazhar to reality and responsibility.

‘Rod Qalby’ (Back Again)

Zulfakar strikes again despite his short role in the film where he plays the brother of the protagonist Ali (Shoukry Sarhan). Ali, a soldier who falls in love with one of the Pasha’s daughter but is not able to marry her due to their different social classes however they’re rejoiced once again after many years.

‘El Ragel El Thany’ (The Second Man)

Societal/ drama film, The Second Man stars Lebanese actress and singer Sabah and Zulfukar who plays part in resolving a murder. Sabah, who plays Lamiaa, resorts to police for help where she meets Zulfukar who plays a police officer named Assem.

‘A’let Shalash’ (Shalesh’s Family)

A replica of Egyptian society in 1990’s TV series ‘Shalesh’s Family’ is a promising comedy where Zulfukar shines in the role of professor Shalesh who deals with daily various situations with his neighbors and family.

‘El Naser Salah El Din’ (Salah El Din the Victorious)

Leading a minor role, Zulfukar also pioneered in ‘Salah El Din the Victorious’ that tackled the third crusade in which pilgrims in Mecca were attacked by an outbreak of armies.

‘El Rebat El Mokadas’ (The Sacred Bond)

Released in 1960, the film is based on Tawfik El Hakim’s novel which revolves around a woman (Sabah) who is dragged into a different path where she desires attention from men other than her husband (Zulfukar), leading her to an affair.

‘Maw’ed Fe El Borg’ (An Appointment at the Tower)

The monologue of El Fakharany’s series summarizes the Man-Devil conflict in slight words; for instance, Wanoos addresses God saying: “You forgave him! After what he did, I only did one sin, one sin only, while he made many, I won’t leave his children, I will follow them, every man and every woman.”

The abovementioned scene significantly portrays the reaction of Wanoos who is “Lucifer” after the death of Yaccut “Faustus” who symbolizes man.

Expressing his anger, Wanoos was displayed in a special setting led by certain black and gray lightings and colors. Moreover dark colors have been used before in various forms of art to depict certain moods including Gothic art and others.
El Fakharany’s vocal pitches and performance greatly expresses the devil’s jealousy, and rage.

Mythically, the image of Lucifer is portrayed in Egyptian cinema as a handsome gentleman. This figure is portrayed by renowned golden age actor Youssef Wahby who played the role of the devil in the movie “Safeer Gahnam” [Hell’s Ambassador].

Finally, the musical background of the scene was highly significant; it carries epic orchestral sounds bringing to mind images of ancient Roman battles. ]]>
11/12/2017 6:05:59 PM
<![CDATA[Shadia’s health condition improves]]>
“She recognized me for the first time—the first words she said were that she wants to leave the hospital and return back home,” Shaker stated on his Facebook account.
In the post, Shaker explained that Shadia has begun to slightly use her hand and communicate with her family. “Thank God, your prayers helped her a lot,” added Shaker.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Egypt’s first lady Entesar al-Sisi visited Shadia on Friday in the hospital as soon as they arrived from Sharm El-Sheikh’ following the closing ceremony of the World Youth Forum, which was held in the resort town from November 4 to 10.

“We truly appreciate the president’s visit, it is a magnificent gesture from him,” recounted Shadia’s nephew Khaled Shaker on Friday.

Shaker added that Sisi asked the doctors about the iconic artist’s health developments and listened extensively to their explanations pertaining to Shadia’s health status. The president promised that he would pay her another visit soon.

Shadia is currently in a stable condition in the ICU unit, receiving treatment from a professional medical crew at El-Galaa Hospital, according to a statement released late on Tuesday.

Shadia was transferred from El-Assema hospital to El-Galaa military hospital, where she is receiving treatment at the intensive care unit due to the minor brain stroke she suffered.

Facebook users shared an old photo of the great artist taken from an old magazine. "My greatest secret wish that no one ever knew about, was to have a dozen children by the time I turned 50,” Shadia told the interviewer. Shadia never had children.


Egyptian audiences grew concerned with the health condition of their cinematic icon as the board of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) dedicated its upcoming 39th edition in her honor.

She was dubbed "Dalouet el-Cinema"(The Cinema’s Sweetheart) by her loyal fans from all around the Arab world. Shadia gave Egyptian art 114 songs spanning her career of over 37 years. She was enchanting, with her melodious charming voice and light-hearted demeanor.

Shadia’s birth name is Fatema Shaker. The 86-year-old played various roles and nailed movie genres that range from political to emotional and comic roles. She began her acting career in 1947 at the age of 16, usually cast in roles portraying a lively young girl. She started her singing career in 1953.

One of her most iconic roles was Soheir, an actress who falls in love with the less prominent Ibrahim in the classic romance movie “Maaboudet el-Gamahir” (The People's Idol). In addition to her diverse roles, she will always remain a prolific vocalist whose music remains as favorites on many playlists. In fact, 25 years after retiring and completely disappearing from the limelight, her song “Ya Habebty ya Masr” (Egypt is my Beloved) became the voice of the January 25 Revolution.

After her last role in “La Taslani Man Ana” (Don’t Ask Me Who I Am), she officially announced her retirement in the late 1980s. Even at the age of 86, Shadia is still in the hearts, screens and playlists of Egyptians. Egypt Today wishes a speedy recovery for Egypt’s sweetheart iconic star.]]>
11/12/2017 6:03:04 PM
<![CDATA[“Faraset El Naby” exhibition to revive long known Egyptian myth ]]>
Egyptians believed that the praying mantis is a creature that is seen as always praying, or imitating chanters’ spiritual movements.

Reviving Egyptian ‘Khayamiya tradition’, Salem blends Egyptian myths from Egyptian collective memory with contemporary arts through an exhibition that is accompanied with live Egyptian folk songs by Eyas Habib and Eman Salah.

Sabah Salem is an Egyptian contemporary Khayamiya artist. She participated in various exhibitions since 2007.

Acquiring outstanding decorative features, Khayamiya tradition was common in Egyptian heritage; it was related to tent makers and Ka’aba cloth (Kiswa).

Reflecting elegant Egyptian symbols, Khayamiya designs mainly include ancient Egyptian symbols such as the lotus, or Quran texts in Islamic calligraphy.

It simply features colorful hand-stitched cotton appliqués carrying heavy cotton back; it is designed to add more colors to plain tents cloth.

It also used to enhance the tent’s strength. It is employed to protect tent residents from hot temperatures and rain.

Khayamiya Battern [Photo Courtesy: Pinterest]
11/12/2017 5:59:58 PM
<![CDATA[Retro Band to perform on Monday]]>
Retro is an underground band that presents modern Egyptian songs in addition to heritage songs. The event will host a signing ceremony for a collection of poems by the famous Egyptian poet Ahmed Hadad, entitled “Betlo’a el-Rouh” (With the Last Breath).

The band consists of vocalists Ahmed Hadad, Dalia el Genuidy, violinist Amr Darwish, bassist Hossam Abd Elrahman, percussionist Shebl, and pianist Ahmed Wagdy.


Reservations are required for attendance and can be made via phone.

Translating day-to-day Egyptian Arabic is a nearly impossible task, as the spirit of the language is a mix of inherited wisdom originating from social surroundings and modernity. Haddad deals with issues that face young people in today’s society in his poems.

“There are many people in my position whether from my family or not, decedents of artistic families, who were not interested in pursuing a career in arts at all. Therefore, saying that I inherited the talent is not accurate; poetry is my passion and I started writing poetry at the age of 15,” Hadad stated in the poems collection. ]]>
11/12/2017 5:39:11 PM
<![CDATA[Award-winning cinematographer Abdelsalam Moussa to lead workshop]]>
The “Cinematography from Script to Screen” workshop is a part of Photopia’s monthly workshops; Moussa’s workshop will include the aesthetics of lenses, the color palette of film, and the tools and aesthetics used in movement.

Participants will also learn techniques such as the aesthetics of lenses, the color palette of film, and the tools and aesthetics of movement.

Born in a family of filmmakers, Moussa shot his main stream feature film at the age of 24. He also worked as a camera assistant with the legendary Egyptian cinematographer Tarek el Telmesany.

Starting his career in “Moga Hara” [Heat Wave] series, he carried out magnificent contributions in many series such as “Afrah El Qobba,” [Qobba’s Wedding] and “Wahet El Ghoroub” [Sunset Oasis].

The renowned cinematographer has won several prestigious awards, including the Egyptian Film Society’s award for Best Cinematography in 2013, Catholic Center Jury award for Cinematography in 2013, and Jury Award Culture Wheel Festival in 2008.
11/12/2017 5:04:49 PM
<![CDATA[Amr Saad launches competition to support tourism]]>
Saad posted on his official Facebook account a photo in the Giza Pyramids with the following comment: "'Egypt is the origin of civilization,' I decided to dedicate an award for the best photo that truly expresses this meaning. I will post on my official Instagram account the best photos taken by my fans and your votes will decide the winning photo; the award will be a surprise."

Saad announced previously that his latest successful film "Mawlana" (The Preacher) was chosen to compete in the Golden Globe awards. The Golden Globe awards ceremony will take place in January 2018 in Los Angeles.

“‘Mawlana’ is the first Egyptian movie to be nominated for a Golden Globe award, which is considered a great honor to me and to the Egyptian cinema," Saad said.
“Mawlana” previously won the Circle Award at the Washington, D.C. Film Festival.

In addition, the film won the Best Film award at the Luxor African Film Festival, and Saad won Best Actor award in the same festival. Saad also won Best Actor award at Tetouan Film Festival.

"Mawlana," adapted from a novel by renowned journalist Ibrahim Eissa, revolves around an influential religious preacher who turns into a TV celebrity. The preacher’s credibility is shaken once he becomes too close to politicians and security agencies.

The movie gained praise from both audience and critics despite the controversy surrounding it. The movie Stars Amr Saad, Dorra Zarrouk and Ahmed Magdy. It was written by Ibrahim Eissa, directed by Magdy Ahmed Aly and produced by telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris. ]]>
11/12/2017 3:23:44 PM
<![CDATA[Hollywood awards French filmmaking legend Agnes Varda with honorary Oscar]]>
The honour was handed out to Varda, and four other directors including Donald Sutherland, at the annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday.

“I got many awards,” she said. “Here in the Mecca of cinema, Hollywood, I’ve received the best one,” Varda said in her acceptance speech.

The awards were first held in 2009, jettisoning the lifetime achievement winners from the primetime Oscars broadcast. In recent years, the film academy has often used the awards - which are selected by the academy's 54-member board - to reward a diverse group of filmmakers who have escaped the notice of the Oscars. Varda never received an Academy Award nomination, nor did her fellow honoree Charles Burnett, the groundbreaking independent filmmaker of "The Killer of Sheep."

Varda's achievements are well-known to cinephiles, however. Her 1956 film, "La Pointe Courte," is credited as the first film of the New Wave. Her real-time 1962 masterpiece, "Cleo from 5 to 7," is considered one of the era's high points.

Originally a photographer, her films, from the fierce feminist 1985 landmark "Vagabond" to her tender 2009 memory sketch "Beaches of Agnes," have charted a more eccentric and often whimsical path than many of her New Wave contemporaries. She's small in stature but her dual-toned bowl-cut hairstyle is, like her movies, immediately identifiable as her own.

"Life comes through the frame and through the stock. It's like a filter," Varda said in an interview earlier this year. "We filter life to make it accessible to us. We want to learn and then give to other people images, song and emotion and discovery. We are artisans. I feel I am an artist but I am a movie maker. I make a film with my hands. I love the editing, I love the mixing. It's a tool to make other people exist. It's giving understanding between people."

Wanted to do ‘radical cinema’

Varda has long been an inspirational, pioneering figure for women directors. When she began making movies, she estimates, there were three women filmmakers in France.

"When I started, my point was not to be a woman. I wanted to do radical cinema," said Varda. "Now, France is a country where 25 percent of the filmmakers are women. We have an incredible amount of women film directors and DPs. More than here, I have to say. Because we have pushed the idea that they can do it, that there's no reason they can't do it. All the jobs of filmmaking can be made by women. And they are smart. And they are strong."

And still Varda is among them. Her latest, recently released film, "Faces Places," co-directed with the 34-year-old street artist JR, is among the year's most lauded releases. In it, the unlikely duo travel the French countryside meeting regular people, hearing their stories and then pasting grand photographic portraits of them across huge real-world tableaus.

"We tried to lighten. The world is such a mess, such a chaos. We decided we should not tell more about the chaos," said Varda. "Maybe we are light. Maybe we like to smile. Maybe we love people so much that we want you to love them also."

Honoured for a body of work

Veteran Hollywood actor Donald Sutherland said his award “is very important to me, to my family”.

“I wish I could say thank you to the characters I’ve played, thank them for informing my life.”

African-American director Burnett, whose films include “To Sleep With Anger” and “The Glass Shield” was also awarded. In his acceptance speech, he talked of the challenges he faced in telling stories about his community.

“It was incumbent on us to tell our story, our humanity in our way ... using film as a means for social change,” he said.

Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Inarritu, was awarded for his virtual reality film “Carne y Arena” which puts the viewer in the shoes of migrants as they try to cross the US border.

He dedicated his honorary Oscar to immigrants “whose reality has been ignored and held hostage by ideologies and definitions, denying them the possibility of being understood and loved.”

Owen Roizman, who has made films like “Tootsie” and “Straight Time”, was also awarded. Roizman, who garnered a total of five Oscar nominations for his cinematography but had never won, thanked all the collaborators he had worked with. “This night means so much to me,” he said.]]>
11/12/2017 3:11:19 PM
<![CDATA[Namnam inaugurates Al-Azhar University Book Fair]]>
The book fair includes the latest books and publications of the Egyptian General Book Authority in all fields, in addition to the books of the Family Library. The fair contains a section for discounted books, as well.

This comes in light of the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to make reading accessible to everyone. Namnam and his Tunisian counterpart Mohamed Zein al-Abdeen inaugurated the Luxor Book Fair on October 24, and the fair hosted the events of the Tunisian culture week.

“The Egyptian-Tunisian relationship is a deep and old one, there was always a strong relationship between Al-Azhar University and Al-Zaytoonah University as they are considered the oldest Arab universities,” Namnam announced previously.

The book fair included Tunisian publications, as well as the latest publications from the Book Authority, in addition to the Family Library books and children's books. All were sold at discounts amounting to 50 percent.

Luxor was chosen to be the Capital of the Arab Culture for 2017.
11/12/2017 2:13:03 PM
<![CDATA[‘Photocopy’ to screen in Arabian Cinema Week]]>
The screening of “Photocopy” will be followed by a seminar to discuss the movie. The seminar will be attended by the movie’s star, Sherine Reda.

The film narrates in a smooth manner the story of an old man, over 60 years old, who decided to open a shop for photocopying after retirement. He starts to re-discover the life that he is living, his love for his wife and the people around him.

The Egyptian journalist and "Photocopy’s" scriptwriter, Haitham Dabbour, previously stated in an interview with Egypt Today that he chose to present a love story between an old man and woman because these kinds of love stories “have not been well presented in the Egyptian cinema.”

“Photocopy” won El-Gouna Golden Star Award for Best Arabic Feature Narrative Film. The movie stars Mahmoud Hemeida, Sherine Reda, Farah Youssef, Aly Tayeb and Ahmed Dash, and is directed by Tamer Ashry.

"Photocopy" will screen for the first time in Egyptian cinemas at the end of December.
11/12/2017 2:11:15 PM
<![CDATA[Mozambique war-time Western wins at Tunisia film festival]]>
"The Train of Salt and Sugar" by Licinio Azevedo, a Brazilian who lives in the African country, received the Tanit d'Or as the festival wrapped up on Saturday.

Like a Western, the film follows the perilous journey of a train that sets off across rebel-held areas to exchange salt for sugar in 1989 during Mozambique's civil war.

The Tanit d'Argent went to South Africa's John Trengove for his first feature "The Wound", which has sparked controversy at home over its portrayal of homosexual love and an ancestral initiation rite.

Veteran Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaidi received the Tanit de Bronze for "Volubilis", a social critique of extreme liberalism.

Among the documentaries, the jury awarded Palestinian director Raed Andoni's "Ghost Hunting", which recreates a notorious Israeli interrogation centre and has former prisoners re-enact experiences in a bid to free them of their demons.

Hafeidh said she was "surprised there were so few complaints" after her documentary's screening in its home country on Friday.
11/12/2017 1:26:34 PM
<![CDATA[Exhibit at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate evokes Syrian war]]>
The exhibit drew protests by far-right activists when it was shown in the east German city of Dresden last February. Demonstrators said it belittled the memory of the city’s own devastating bombing during World War Two.

Halbouni said the exhibit, which evoked a scene from 2015 when Syrian rebels sought to protect Aleppo from government snipers, was meant to send a message of unity.

It was installed a day after the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

“The Brandenburg Gate is a symbol of destruction and of the end of war. It was also a symbol of division, but then came to represent unity,” Halbouni told Reuters TV.

Thousands of jubilant Germans climbed on top of the Berlin Wall near the 18th-century gate after the wall fell in November 1989, reclaiming what was a no-man’s land during the years of division between the former Communist east and West Germany.
Entitled “Monument,” the red and white buses stand just one block from the Holocaust memorial, a somber reminder of the millions killed during the Nazi regime of World War Two.

“This is an installation against war and against all that is going wrong in this world,” the artist said.

It is part of the Berliner Herbstsalon, or “Autumn Salon,” which includes 100 cultural events organized by the Maxim Gorki Theatre across the German capital.

Passersby stopped to eye the 12-metre-high buses.

“It’s a little bizarre, but ... that’s art,” said Dieter Krapp, a tourist from the Eifel region in western Germany.

Florian Breitenwieser, a Berliner, said the exhibit was a reminder of the peace and well-being Germany now enjoys.

Aleppo was taken over by the Syrian army in December 2016 after years of fighting with rebels and a siege that forced the rebels to retreat.]]>
11/12/2017 10:59:10 AM
<![CDATA[MTV Europe Music Awards returns to London with glitzy show]]>
British singer Rita Ora will host the ceremony at Wembley Arena, which for the first time will see categories stripped of gender after MTV announced it wants to "break barriers".

Taylor Swift could be the big winner of the night, with the US pop sensation nominated in six categories just two days after her sixth album "Reputation" was released.

Although up for awards including best artist, video, and look, it's uncertain whether she will attend the ceremony which is filled with live performances.

Top-selling rapper Eminem will unveil his single "Walk on Water" ahead of the release of his latest album "Revival", which comes out on Friday.

Eminem, who is nominated in the best hip-hop category, last month savaged US President Donald Trump in a video aired at an awards ceremony in Miami.

Other nominees set to perform at Wembley include Cuban-American artist Camila Cabello, Canadian singer Shawn Mendez, and the French DJ David Guetta.

The majority of the winners will be picked by music fans in an online vote, where there are 12 categories listed in addition to 32 separate prizes for different countries and regions.

The best worldwide act and best video will be chosen by the MTV team.

Irish band U2 will collect MTV's "Global Icon" gong, previously awarded to Queen, Whitney Houston and Eminem.

"U2's impact on music, pop culture and social issues around the world has been tremendous," said Bruce Gillmer, producer of the awards ceremony.

"For over four decades and counting, they've entertained, influenced, and inspired fans around the globe," he added.

U2 performed in London's Trafalgar Square the night before the MTV awards, along with DJ Guetta, to a crowd of 7,000 who won free tickets in a ballot.

Created in 1994, the MTV Europe Music Awards returns to London for the first time since 1996.

The cable channel also runs the Video Music Awards which are renowned for top performances and the occasional controversy, including pop diva Lady Gaga wearing a dress made of meat to the ceremony in 2010.

The previous Video Music Awards saw hip hop artist Kanye West leap on stage to interrupt an acceptance speech by Swift and argue that Beyonce was better.]]>
11/12/2017 10:57:15 AM
<![CDATA[ Mustafa Al Akkad, a divine reformer of religion in cinema]]>
A Syrian-American film director and producer born in 1929, Al Akkad directed two of the top Arabic films: “Al Resalah” (The Message) and “Asad El Sahraa’” (Lion of the Desert).

Aiming to falsify stereotypes about Islam, Akkad wrote, directed and produced “Al Resalah” (The Message) in 1976.

The film revolves around the story of Islam targeted for a western audience, starring legendary international actor Anthony Quinn.

Showing the certain Islamic personnel on screen have provoked many religious and Islamic institutions, therefore Akkad tried to tame those fierce attacks by using shadows to express the Prophet Mohamed’s presence in the film.

After the great success of the film, Akkad re-shot an Arabic version starring Abdullah Ghaith that was nominated for “Best Original Score” in the 50th Academy Awards.

“Al Resalah” poster - Wikipedia

He also produced “Asad El Sahraa’” (Lion of the Desert) in 1981, revolving around the Libyan leader Omar Al Mokhtar who was well known for fighting and resisting the Italian occupation of Libya.

Akkad wished to produce more films about Islamic history, such as about Salah El Deen El Ayoubi; however he died in a 2005 terrorist attack in Jordon.

“Asad El Sahraa’” - Wikipedia ]]>
11/11/2017 11:18:37 PM
<![CDATA[Recreating the art of silent films through music recital]]>
Nagla aims to recreate old visual art with new elements of sound; he has cooperated with many artists, such as Yasser Rostom who held an art gallery accompanied with special composed music, and sculptor Samya Monsef who displayed her statues previously at Palace of Arts.
This influential experience was hosted in different cultural occasions, such as Damanhour Opera House and Cairo Opera House.

Having impressive composing talents, he remixed many folk songs and hits, such as “Ya Masr O’my” (Egypt, Rise), and he reintroduced a number of Salah Gahen’s poems. He also composed an original soundtrack for “The Child”.

Nagla will also play a live piano recital during the screening of

two silent short films

“At Land” (1946) and “A Trip to the Moon” at Magnolia Leaves of Art this month.

11/11/2017 11:09:23 PM
<![CDATA[Remembering renowned scenarist Saad El Dien Wahba ]]>
Born in 1925, Wahba started his career as a journalist and directed many institutions, such as Al Gomhoriya Institution. He also held many prestigious positions, such as the head of various syndicates and a chief of the Egypt Writers Union.

Being a prominent author, he directed the Cairo International Film Festival in 1985.
He wrote many iconic plays, such as “Al Mahrousa”, “Koubry Al Namous” (Namous Bridge).

His career path was also directed to creating strong scripts for leading Egyptian films, such as “Meraty Moder Aam” (My Wife is a General Manager), “Al Harram” (The Forbidden), “Ard El Nefaq” (The Land of Hypocrisy), and “Oreed Halan” (I Want a Solution).

Legendary Egyptian actress Samiha Ayoub, also known as “Sayadet Al Masrah Al Aaraby” (The Lady of Arabic Theater), married Wahba who passed away in 1997 with iconic works left to be remembered. ]]>
11/11/2017 10:51:20 PM
<![CDATA[A meticulous screen talent, DiCaprio turns 45]]>
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1975, DiCaprio’s father was a comic book artist while his mother was a secretary. The couple divorced shortly after Leonardo was born, and he was their only child. It was his parents who urged his creativity, and he saw his start in acting by the fun he had in imitating people. Still, it was a struggle for an unknown to find his way into movies, but his perseverance would eventually pay off.

He got his start in television, appearing as a guest in various series, such as


, “The New Lassie” and “Parenthood”. His foray into film came in the 1990s, where he starred in movies such as “Growing Pains” and the horror film “Critters 3”

Though humble starts, they were the stepping stones for what would truly be a titanic career. Here’s but a small sample of the many great films he’s starred in:

“This Boy’s Life” – 1993
Starring alongside the legendary Robert DeNiro, this was the film that first brought DiCaprio critical acclaim. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones and based on the real life memoir of literature professor Tobias Wolff, the film told the story of the abusive relationship between a young boy, Toby (DiCaprio), and his stepfather, Dwight (DeNiro). After Toby’s mother flees their cruel father, she falls in love with a seemingly polite and reliable mechanic, Dwight. He quickly shows his true colors after they marry, however, and Toby does what he can to stand his ground against him and one day leave.

“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” – 1993
This quirky and poignant drama by director Lasse Hallström paired Johnny Depp and DiCaprio together as brothers. Depp played the titular role, a young man who had to look after his younger, mentally disabled brother, Arnie (DiCaprio), and his morbidly obese mother. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, Gilbert’s job at the convenience store has not been doing so well, and things get even more complicated when he begins to have feelings for the new girl in town, Becky, who begins to help him see the wider picture outside of his bleak little town.
DiCaprio would receive his first Oscar nomination for his role as Arnie, beginning his long quest to finally claim the award.

“Titanic” – 1997
DiCaprio cannot be mentioned without also bringing up the film that propelled him into superstardom. James Cameron’s historical romance drama, based on the real-life sinking of the Titanic ship, helped turned both DiCaprio and fellow on-screen lover

Kate Winslet

into household names and icons of tragic love, also being one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

“Catch Me If You Can” - 2002
In this movie based on true events, DiCaprio takes up a more unlawful role as globe-trotting con artist Frank Abagnale Jr, who managed to forge millions of dollars in checks before he even turned 19, escaping the authorities by posing as an air pilot and doctor. Hot on his trail is FBI agent Carl Hanratty, played by Tom Hanks, who’s just as relentless in his pursuit as Frank is in his cunning.

“The Aviator” - 2004
The first of what would be a successful relationship between acclaimed director Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, “The Aviator” is a biopic on the life of billionaire pilot Howard Hughes, following his life from the early 1920s through the 1940s, where he soared to new heights and eventually fell to his lowest, as his obsessive mental illness got the better of him. While DiCaprio would be nominated for yet another Oscar award, his co-star Cate Blanchett would be awarded one instead of him. Once again, the award slipped through his fingers.

“The Departed” – 2006
DiCaprio and Scorsese would soon collaborate once again for this film, which sees DiCaprio as Billy, an undercover cop investigating a prison in South Boston, posing as a fellow criminal in order to gain access to their secrets. Meanwhile, on the reverse end is Colin Sullivan, played by Matt Damon, a cop from the same academy as Billy who serves as an informant to the Irish mobsters. His fate and Billy’s are soon intertwined, and the two must race to expose each other before their lives are forfeit.

“Inception” – 2010
Director Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” has boggled the minds of moviegoers since its release, thanks to its blurring of dream and reality. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a skilled thief who has a unique edge in that he knows how to steal valuable secrets from the confines of a person’s mind, though his heists have cost him everything, including his family. Cobb is given a chance to use his abilities for good by one of the men he’s stolen from if he can be asked to plant something in his subconscious. Yet in the world of the subconscious, Cobb discovers an insidious enemy.

“The Great Gatsby” – 2013
Based on the classic novel by author

F. Scott Fitzgerald

, director Baz Luhrmann casts DiCaprio in the role of rich playboy Jay Gatsby, who invites his neighbor, writer Nick Carraway, played by DiCaprio’s real life friend, famous actor Tobey Maguire, to get a taste of the high life. Soon enough, Nick starts to notice that there’s trouble in paradise.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” – 2013
Returning to Scorsese once again, DiCaprio starred alongside Jonah Hill and

Matthew McConaughey

, portraying the real life story of Jordan Belfort, a successful stock-broker whose path to the top was built on corruption, lies and drug abuse, which eventually all comes toppling down for him. Once again, DiCaprio was only nominated for the Oscar award, but it wouldn’t be along until he would finally see it in his grasp…

“The Revenant” – 2015

…Thanks to director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘The Revenant’, DiCaprio’s stunning portrayal of Hugh Glass, a frontiersman in the 1820s who is mauled by a bear and left to die in the harsh American wilderness finally saw him win his first Oscar award.
11/11/2017 9:15:36 PM
<![CDATA[Screening of Metropolitan Opera’s ‘The Exterminating Angel’ at AUC]]>

It was in this opera that the Metropolitan Opera recently saw its highest note sung. Helmed by composer Thomas Adès and directed by Tom Cairns, “The Exterminating Angel” is an adaptation of the 1962 surreal Mexican classic from director Luis Buñuel.

The story follows a group of guests invited to a lavish dinner party in Mexico City like none other. However, they quickly find out that they are mysteriously unable to leave, compelled to remain in the room. Soon, all social order breaks down as everyone succumbs to their most wild instincts.

The Metropolitan Opera’s adaptation will run from October 21 until November 21.
11/11/2017 7:39:22 PM
<![CDATA[CIFF organizes film screening program for prisoners]]>
This edition of the festival chose certain movies to include in the program; among these films is “Ketaba ala Thalg” (Writing on Snow). The film is an attempt to deal with the ideological, political and geographic divisions in Palestine and the Arab world by portraying people who believe they know the truth and reject the idea of coexistence despite the differences.

These characters believe that coexistence would neutralize all segments of society with their different ideologies into one segment with one ideology – that ideology being the one most suitable for achieving their desired gains.

“Ketaba ala Thalg” was directed by Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi and stars actors from different Arab countries, such as famous Egyptian actor Amr Waked, veteran Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud, Palestinian actor Areen Omari, Palestinian actor Ramzi Maqdisi, Lebanese actor Yomna Marwan, and others.

The festival kicked off on November 4 and will run until November 12. This year's edition is headed by cinema producer Naguib Ayad. Renowned Egyptian director Kamla Abu Zekri was chosen by the festival management to be a jury member in the long feature movies competition.

The 28th edition of CIFF will focus on several factors, the most important of which is the development and promotion of Arab and African films through the promotion of competitions. This year’s edition will also focus on the restoration of the official competition for documentaries, doubling the financial awards and highlighting innovative cinematic experiences.

The festival will focus intensely on Asian and Latin American cinema, which are considered among the most influential cinemas in the world. The festival chose “Ketaba ala Thalg” (Writing on Snow) to be the opening film of the 28th edition.

Three Egyptian movies will participate in the 28th edition of the festival, including “Sheikh Jackson”, “Akhdar Yabes” (Withered Green), and “Balad Meen” (Whose Country?).

“Sheikh Jackson” revolves around the death of the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. The plotline focuses on an aspiring imam who loves Jackson’s music and imitates the pop star’s performances. His strong relationship with Salafism reflects the contradictions in his life.

“Akhdar Yabes” tells the story of a woman who asks her family to attend her sister’s engagement. The protagonist is very traditional and strict. Finally, she receives news that leads her to rethink her life and beliefs.

The Egyptian documentary titled “El-Naht fel Zaman” (Sculpturing Over the Ages) was chosen to participate in the official documentary competition at the Carthage International Film Festival.

The documentary recounts the life of acclaimed pioneering puppetry artist Nagi Shaker. It tackles Shaker’s various contributions in other areas, such as directing, design and fashion, throughout his 50-year long career.

The Tunisian festival was launched for the first time in 1966, and is considered to be one of the oldest festivals in Africa.]]>
11/11/2017 7:36:05 PM
<![CDATA[Mona Abdel Ghany to perform in Century Concert ]]>
Abdel Ghany will sing “Maa el Ayam” (With the Days) and “Ashab” (Friends), and the third song will be from her next album, which is expected to be released on November 20. Abdel Ghany expressed her happiness to participate in the Century Concert. The concert will host about 20 singers from the most prominent 1980s’ and 1990s’ singers.

‘’We are all from the same generation. We need to meet again and work together to prove to our fans that we are all one,’’ said renowned Egyptian singer Mohamed Fouad previously. The massive concert will take place in Cairo Stadium. Along with Abdel Ghany and Fouad, the concert will feature Simone, Hassan Abdel Megeed, Hossam Hosny, Hanan, Ehab Tawfik and Alaa Abdel Khalek, among others.
11/11/2017 6:14:04 PM
<![CDATA[Remembering Russian novel master Fyodor Dostoyevsky ]]>
Dostoyevsky is regarded as one of the greatest novelists, displaying a nuanced understanding of human psychology in his major works and enriching literature themes. His works featured analysis of human behavior and society.

“Crime and Punishment” cover -Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia-

Adopting rebellious social points of view, Dostoyevsky’s writings had an immense influence on many prominent figures, such as German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre and André Malraux. The novella "Notes from Underground" is considered one of the first existentialist novels in history.

“Notes from Underground” book cover - Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Among his most famous works are “Crime and Punishment”, “The Karamazov Brothers”, “The Idiot”, “Notes from Underground” and “The Gambler.”

“The Gambler” book cover - Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia ]]>
11/11/2017 5:41:17 PM
<![CDATA[‘I Am Heath Ledger’ to screen in Cairo ]]>
The film celebrates the life of late actor Heath Ledger and his iconic career. Released in 2017, it features video footages of Ledger and reviews Ledger’s life from his camera lenses.

The film stars Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts, Ang Lee and Djimon Hounsou. It was directed by Adrian Buitenhuis and Derik Murray.

Heath Ledger was an Australian actor and director. He was born in 1979 and died in 2008.
Having renewed acting skills, Ledger introduced various unforgotten film characters, such as the “Joker” in “The Dark Knight” (2008).

“Ten Things I Hate About You” (1999), “The Patriot” (2000), “A Knight’s Tale” (2001), and “Lords of Dogtown” (2005) are considered Ledger’s major films. ]]>
11/11/2017 5:26:23 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: ADSA charity bazaar displays colorful Asian products]]>
This year, Suzy Shoukry, spouse of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, is the guest of honor of the event for the second year in a row. A huge turnout has been witnessed at the bazaar on Saturday, with Egyptians and foreigners flowing in to buy Asian products.

China s sector at 2017 ADSA bazaar in Cairo - Egypt Todaay/Ashraf Fawzy

After the inauguration ceremony, held at Conrad Cairo Hotel, Suzy Shoukry expressed her delight for participating in the bazaar, which is distinguished by eye-catching, colorful Asian culture.

She highlighted the resemblance between Egyptian and Asian cultures as a main enhancer to such a big event, which is established for a “great cause,” as revenues go to charities and benefit many children, orphans and women in Egypt, according to her statement to Egypt Today on the sidelines of the bazaar.

Suzy Shoukry, spouse of Egyptian Foreign Minister during her speech at 2017 ADSA bazaar in Cairo - Egypt Todaay/Ashraf Fawzy

In her speech, Shoukry thanked the wives of Asian diplomats for their effort in organizing the charity event. She was accompanied by the spouse of the Pakistani ambassador to Egypt, Shahida Shah, in a tour around the bazaar.

For her part, ADSA President Shahida Shah welcomed the attendees and highlighted a number of charity associations that ADSA is donating the bazaar revenues to.

Suzy Shoukry, spouse of Egyptian Foreign Minister during a tour in 2017 ADSA bazaar with Pakistani Ambassador wife Shahida Sha - Photo by Ashraf Fawzy

The associations include Children Cancer Hospital 57357, Nile River School, Light and Hope Association, Dar el-Hanna Orphanage, Women's Health and Improvement Association, and Torah House for disabled women.

Six Asian countries participated in cultural performances and fashion shows. One of the shows was presented by the spouse of the Sri Lankan ambassador to Egypt, MandaraYogarajan, who played saxophone.

The annual bazaar is one of the main fundraiser activities organized by the ADSA, aiming to raise funds to help underprivileged people in Egypt, especially women and children, Shah previously told Egypt Today.

Members of ADSA and Suzy Shoukry - Egypt Today/Ashraf Fawzy

The ADSA was established in 1975 to promote Egypt-Asia mutual cultural cooperation. It constitutes 28 member countries. The association members meet monthly to discuss the charities’ future plans and vote on the associations that will receive the fund after field visits.
11/11/2017 5:18:34 PM
<![CDATA['We Need to Talk about Kevin' to screen at ADEF DECA]]>

From director Lynne Ramsay, who helmed this year’s "You Were Never Really Here," this film follows the perspective of a mother who must deal with the fact that her son became a school shooter, confronting her grief and confusion as she aims to figure out the chain of events that led to this senseless tragedy. The film is based off a book by author Lionel Shriver.

Tilda Swinton is Eva, a headstrong independent woman who never really wanted to be a mother, but still found herself with two children. Her firstborn son, Kevin, played by Ezra Miller, was more than she could have bargained for. As a baby he refuses her milk, is deaf to her efforts to calm his crying and shows no affection.

Things do not get much better as Kevin grows into a teen as he forms no connections with anyone and only maintains an interest in archery; an act that soon leads to his nightmarish school shooting which leads to the murder of over seven people. In the aftermath of this horrifying tragedy, Eva is left with no answers and struggles to pick up the pieces of her ruined life.

"We Need to Talk about Kevin" was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the British Independent Film Award.

ADEF DECA’s "Cinema Psychoanalysis" theme is a special Program for November that features films that explore the relationship between Cinema and Psychoanalysis, screening films that show a direct exploration of human psychology which allow room for the viewers to interpret and create meaning behind the events that occur.
11/11/2017 4:18:49 PM
<![CDATA[Hend Sabry receives ‘AMM’ award]]>
Sabry received the award for her long cinematic career, artistic achievements and increasing audience awareness about tackling vital social issues. Sabry dedicated this award to veteran actress Shadia, whom she described as “the Arabian legend that inspired her in her artistic career.”

During the ceremony, Hend spoke about the importance of the idea of acceptance and how each one of us has to accept our human differences.

Sabry was born in Tunisia in 1979. In 2004, she completed her masters in intellectual property and copyright law. Sabry starred in “The Silences of the Palace” in 1994 and “The Season of Men” in 2000; both movies were directed by Moufida Tlatli. Her talent attracted Egyptian director Inas al-Degheidy, who chose her to star in her movie “Mothakerat Morahkah” (A Teenager's Dairies) in 2001.

Veteran Egyptian director Dawoud Abdel Sayed surprised everyone by nominating her for the role of an Egyptian girl in the movie “Mouatin Wa Mokhbir Wa Harami” (Citizen Informant and Thief). Sabry sold the role like a girl that was raised in the heart of Cairo.

Sabry starred in different roles in various films, such as “Ahla El Awqat” (The Most Beautiful Times), “Banat Weset El Balad” (Downtown Girls), “Ouija” and “the Yacoubian Building.”
11/11/2017 4:07:57 PM
<![CDATA[Haunting romantic drama ‘On Body and Soul’ part of PEFF]]>Panorama of the European Film Festival, set to screen on Saturday, November 11.

This strange romantic drama tells the story of Endre (Géza Morcsányi) and Maria (Alexandra Borbély). Endre is the manager of a slaughterhouse and is insecure about his disabled arm, a lonely man with only one friend. Maria is a newcomer, a health-inspector who works to ensure the slaughtered animals are fit for consumption. She is awkward and shy, sharing in common with Endre their inability to properly connect with others.

A much stronger and more bizarre connection lies between them however; every night, without fail, the two share the exact same dream. In a cold remote forest blanketed in snow, they live another life as a pair of deer, a male and female who find warmth through each other in the harsh winter. In an effort to seek meaning behind this inexplicable bond they share, Endre and Maria begin to grow closer and closer.

Director Ildikó Enyedi won four awards from the Berlin International Film Festival, including the Golden Berlin Bear award for Best Film.

The Panorama of the European Film Festival runs from November 8 until November 18.
11/11/2017 4:05:52 PM
<![CDATA[Iraqi musician Yousef Abbas to perform at Makan ]]>
He was born in Iraq, and then he came to Cairo to enhance his musical education in 2009. He was the youngest participant in the contest in the Carthage International Festival at the age of 15. He won first prize at the festival.

Working on his original music, Abbas composed tracks inspired by Iraqi and Egyptian folk arts.

In 2016, he founded his ensemble, “Yousef Abbas Project”. It consists of many Iraqi and Egyptian musicians.

He won many awards, such as the Best Actor Award at the Youth Theater Competition in Babylon, Iraq in 2008, and the Munir Bashir Medal for playing Oud in 2009.
11/11/2017 3:48:58 PM
<![CDATA[Trump praises Egyptian civilization]]>
“Egypt is a bit more ancient,” Xi admitted. “But the only continuous civilization to continue onwards is China.” This statement came during Trump’s visit to Beijing’s Forbidden City on November 8. Trump went to China on a three-day state visit, beginning with a tour of the ancient imperial palace.

China is proud of its history, with schoolchildren learning early on that the country is one of the four great ancient civilizations.

The Ancient Egyptian civilization, from its unification around 3100 B.C. to its conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C, for almost 30 centuries, was the preeminent civilization in the Mediterranean world.

The Egyptian civilization has long attracted archaeologists and historians, creating an extensive field of study from the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom through the military conquests of the New Kingdom.

The ancient monuments, objects and artifacts that have been recovered from archaeological sites are the main sources of information about the Egyptian civilization.

Those monuments covered with hieroglyphs actually tell us that we have the greatest and oldest civilization ever. The picture of the Egyptian civilization is characterized by the beauty of its art, its dazzling architecture and the richness of its religious traditions.]]>
11/11/2017 3:36:08 PM
<![CDATA[You Were Never Really Here’ screening at PEFF]]>Panorama of the European Film Festival, screening on Saturday, November 11.

Also titled "A Beautiful Day," the film comes from director Lynne Ramsey, known for 2011’s "We Need To Talk About Kevin." Here, Phoenix leads the film as Joe, a grizzled veteran now turned to hitman killer, who primarily targets those involved in human trafficking. Haunted by his past and by the horrors of his current job, Joe struggles to maintain his sanity.

A routine job turns out to be more than he bargained over after Joe is tasked by a Politician to retrieve his kidnapped teenage daughter, and is allowed to be as violent as he wants to be. As he navigates the heinous world of human corruption, Joe must deal with his own demons in order to save not only the girl, but himself.

“You Were Never Really Here” won two awards from the Cannes Film Festival; ‘Best Actor’ for Phoenix and ‘Best Screenplay’ for Lynne Ramsay. It was also nominated for the ‘Palm D’Ore’ award.

The Panorama of the European Film Festival runs from November 8 until November 18.
11/11/2017 2:36:51 PM
<![CDATA[Psychedelic color storm takes over Washington art space]]>
In their US debut, the pair, who form the WeAreColorful collaborative, are bringing an immersive experience -- filling the main gallery space at Artechouse, a Washington venue marrying art, science and technology, with 270-degree projections of their liquid mixtures.

Varying hues, ranging from deep blues to hot pink and sparkling gold, ripple across a surface, spill onto geometric shapes and drop dramatically on flowers like milk or heavy smoke to the beat of a dreamy electronic soundtrack from Leonardo Villiger.

The shapes seem huge in the projections, towering far above visitors, but Oilhack and Blanchard in fact worked on tiny surfaces sometimes no larger than two inches (five centimeters), shooting with powerful 100mm macro lenses.

"What we film, you can hold it in the palm of your hand," Blanchard told AFP ahead of the show, which opens Friday.

"A lot of people thought we were filming in swimming pools and said, 'What's with all this waste?'"

Hours of mixing acrylic paint, glycerophtalic oil-based paint, liquid soap, bleach and canola oil were distilled into a 15-minute sequence.

The oil's reaction to the paint forms small beads that come undone in what the artists describe as "explosions."

- Lace-like explosions -

"It's very ephemeral," said Oilhack. "It opens up like lace… When the music picks up, that's when we show the explosions."

In one portion of the video, marbles and prisms dramatically shift very slowly while colors spew out onto them.

To create the effect, the artists used strings attached to stones to suspend small wooden shapes measuring just a few millimeters, then injected liquids into the space. The resulting projections are very soothing.
"For a few minutes, we forget our problems," said Blanchard, who gave the rights to one of his videos to an Australian children's hospital, where staff said it calmed the sick children.

"It's therapeutic."

The artists hail from the city of Lyon, the French creative center that also served as homebase to Adrien M & Claire B (Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne), who created the interactive abstract landscapes for Artechouse's inaugural June-September show.

Artechouse co-founder Sandro Kereselidze calls technology a "fresh, new form of art."

"Is it performance? Is it fine art? It's like the Chinese curse, 'may you live in interesting times.'"

To take the psychedelic experience to another level, evening visitors can virtually augment their drinks at the bar in the mezzanine, which overlooks the projections and the guests experiencing them below, lounging on benches and comfy gray poufs.

Cocktails topped with an edible wafer stamped with a colorful swirl come alive with the venue's smartphone app, showing smoke or bubbles of color lifting out of the glass.]]>
11/11/2017 2:02:49 PM
<![CDATA[Disney announces new Star Wars film trilogy, TV series]]>11 November 2017: Disney on Thursday announced plans for a new Star Wars film trilogy and a live-action TV series as it builds on the beloved and profitable science fiction franchise.

"We have big ambitions for the Star Wars franchise," Disney chief executive Robert Iger said during a quarterly earnings call.

Disney just closed a deal with Rian Johnson, director of upcoming film "The Last Jedi," to develop a brand new trilogy, according to Iger.

"We're also planning to produce a number of original series for the new service and are already developing a Star Wars live-action series," Iger said of a planned direct-to-consumer pay service offering television and film content.

While there have previously been animated Star Wars series, this will be the franchise's first live-action show for the small screen.

The Star Wars franchise has been "exceeding expectations" since Disney acquired Lucasfilm five years ago, according to Iger.

Disney touted the box office success of two new Star Wars films and expressed confidence that "The Last Jedi," set to debut in theaters next month, would be a hit.

"The excitement will only intensify as we get closer to the release date," Iger said of the coming instalment.

- Going 'Solo' -
Production recently wrapped on a film based on the story of Han Solo, who was played by actor Harrison Ford in the original trilogy as well as in 2015's "The Force Awakens," according to Disney executives.

"Solo" is the second movie of a saga that unfolds on the sidelines of the adventures of the Skywalker family, the primary protagonists of the Star Wars universe. The first was "Rogue One," which came out in 2016 and raked in more than $1 billion at the box office.

"We've got more great Star Wars movies already planned for years to come in addition to the 2019 release of Episode IX," Iger said, referring to the film that will follow "The Last Jedi."

Star Wars has grown into the most lucrative and influential movie franchise of all time since the original film was released in 1977. It has become ingrained in a geek culture that gave rise to Silicon Valley and disruptive technologies.
Californian filmmaker George Lucas was 33 years old when he prepared to release his third feature -- a far-fetched, slightly corny intergalactic saga of good and evil starring a sulky farm boy with daddy issues.

"I'm running out of hyperbolic adjectives to describe the power of Star Wars, but that's because it is the ultimate standard-bearer," Shawn Robbins, chief analyst for BoxOffice.com, told AFP in an earlier interview marking the 40th anniversary of the original film.

"Four decades of record-breaking, genre-defining entertainment across film, television, video games, toys, books and everything else the brand has touched simply speaks for itself."

- The Force is strong -

Lucasfilm debuted its highly-anticipated second trailer for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" last month, hinting at dark times ahead for the Resistance and possibly even the end of Leia Organa, one of the main characters in the first three films who returned along with Han Solo in "The Force Awakens."

The clip for the eighth installment in the blockbuster space opera, due for release on December 15, followed a trailer released in April which teased Luke Skywalker, the star of the original trilogy, teaching newcomer Rey the ways of the Force.

This time around more plot was unveiled, with Luke telling Rey he'd only seen power like hers once before -- and while it didn't scare him enough then, it does now.

Fans speculated on social media that he could be talking about his nephew and Rey's nemesis Kylo Ren, who is seen in a TIE fighter with his mother General Leia Organa in his sights, his eyes welling up as he prepares to open fire.

Carrie Fisher -- who has played the character since she was known simply as Princess Leia in the original 1977-83 trilogy -- died in December, having already wrapped her scenes for "The Last Jedi."

"The Last Jedi" -- filmed on the west coast of Ireland and at Pinewood Studios near London -- sees the return of the characters introduced in 2015's seventh installment.

Johnson will write and direct the first installment of the new Star Wars trilogy in a collaboration with Ram Bergman, who will produce the film, according to a release posted online.

"We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on 'The Last Jedi'," Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement.

"Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can't wait to continue with this new series of films."]]>
11/11/2017 1:59:58 PM
<![CDATA[Shakira cancels first week of concerts of her world tour]]>11 November 2017: Pop star Shakira was forced to cancel the first swathe of concerts of her world tour Friday because of a problem with her vocal cords, the tour's promoters said.

The Colombian singer postponed two concerts this weekend in Paris and a Belgian date on Sunday as well as a concert in Amsterdam on Tuesday "on the orders of her doctor", they said.

The cancellations come after the "Hips Don't Lie" star called off the opening concert of the "El Dorado World Tour" in Cologne on Wednesday, telling fans that all cancelled shows would be rearranged.

"We regret to announce the postponement of the dates," promoters Live Nation said.

"It was under the orders of her doctor because the singer's vocal cords are still recovering."

"Shakira is really upset not to see her fans, and is thankful for all the support they have given her in this difficult period," their statement added.

The singer is now due to kick off the tour in the southern French city of Montpellier next Thursday before a slew of Spanish concerts, which will end in her adopted home of Barcelona at the end of the month.

The star, who has a reported net worth of around 260 million euros (£300 million), was this week caught up in the "Paradise Papers" leaks.

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists she avoids tax by being domiciled in the Bahamas and has transferred the rights to her songs to companies in Malta and Luxembourg.]]>
11/11/2017 1:52:16 PM
<![CDATA[Lupita Nyong'o complains of airbrushing on Grazia UK cover]]> 11 November 2017: Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o, who won an Oscar for her role in "12 Years a Slave", on Friday complained her hair had been airbrushed out of the front cover of women's magazine Grazia UK.

"I am disappointed that @GraziaUK invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like," she said in a lengthy post on Instagram.

She said it was an "omission of what is my native heritage", adding: "There is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women's complexion, hair style and texture."

She posted the original image, showing that her frizzy bob of hair had been removed and the rest smoothed out.

The actress said she had viewed being featured on a magazine cover as "an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are".

The magazine apologised for the airbrushing but blamed the photographer for the alterations.

"Grazia is committed to representing diversity throughout its pages and apologises unreservedly to Lupita Nyong'o," the magazine said on Twitter.

Beyonce's sister Solange Knowles last month criticised the London Evening Standard magazine for digitally removing her hair braids from its cover.

Knowles posted an original version of the image with the caption "dtmh" (don't touch my hair).

Earlier this week, British Vogue unveiled its December cover which will be the first since Ghana-born Edward Enninful was named as editor in April.

Diversity will feature heavily and the cover model chosen is Adwoa Aboah, a British fashion model and feminist activist of British and Ghanaian descent.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who is also interviewed in the magazine, said Enninful was "showing Britain at its diverse and creative best."]]>
11/11/2017 1:50:06 PM
<![CDATA[That's art?' Baby turns heads in Manhattan auction house window]]>
Sculpted after artist Duane Hanson’s son, the lifelike artwork, titled “Baby in a Carriage, 1983,” is valued at about $80,000 to $120,000, according to director of American art at Heritage Auctions in Manhattan.

“It’s the greatest. If you could watch our footage of this baby in the window, it would crack you up because truly all day, people, women, children, mothers, grandfathers, cops will stop and look at it and wonder truly for a second, or more than a second, is that really a baby?”, Director of American art at Heritage Auctions, Aviva Lehmann, told Reuters, adding that this “is exactly what Hanson wanted you to think.”

The polyvinyl piece of a sleeping toddler wearing a lightlue sweatshirt and matching sweatpants, is topped off with a head of blonde human hair, furthering its authenticity.

“That’s art?” a stunned Rachel Leeds said with a laugh. “I thought that was a real baby.”

The baby’s shirt carries the bible verse, ”He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the first stone,” from the Gospel of John 8:7.
Hanson, a Minnesota native, is often depicted as a “hyper realist” artist.

“He’s been grouped with the pop artists, but he’s just all about capturing middle America, whether it’s a cop or a security guard or a tourist sitting on a bench in the sun,” Lehmann said.

As the afternoon wound down, the scuplture continued to confuse midtown Manhattan.

“I passed by it a few minutes ago on my way to a store and then on my way back I took a better look at it,” said onlooker Sarah Conforti as she snapped a photo of the sculpture. “The baby doesn’t look very happy.”

Passerby Rahmel Dantzler expressed having a similar reaction to the sculpture.

“Kinda creepy,” Dantzler said. “I’d run.”

“Baby in Carriage” will hit the auction block on Nov. 30.]]>
11/11/2017 1:37:53 PM
<![CDATA[ Exhibit at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate evokes Syrian war]]>
The exhibit drew protests by far-right activists when it was shown in the east German city of Dresden last February. Demonstrators said it belittled the memory of the city’s own devastating bombing during World War Two.

Halbouni said the exhibit, which evoked a scene from 2015 when Syrian rebels sought to protect Aleppo from government snipers, was meant to send a message of unity.

It was installed a day after the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
“The Brandenburg Gate is a symbol of destruction and of the end of war. It was also a symbol of division, but then came to represent unity,” Halbouni told Reuters TV.

Thousands of jubilant Germans climbed on top of the Berlin Wall near the 18th-century gate after the wall fell in November 1989, reclaiming what was a no-man’s land during the years of division between the former Communist east and West Germany.

Entitled “Monument,” the red and white buses stand just one block from the Holocaust memorial, a somber reminder of the millions killed during the Nazi regime of World War Two.

“This is an installation against war and against all that is going wrong in this world,” the artist said.
It is part of the Berliner Herbstsalon, or “Autumn Salon,” which includes 100 cultural events organized by the Maxim Gorki Theatre across the German capital.

Passersby stopped to eye the 12-metre-high buses.

“It’s a little bizarre, but ... that’s art,” said Dieter Krapp, a tourist from the Eifel region in western Germany.

Florian Breitenwieser, a Berliner, said the exhibit was a reminder of the peace and well-being Germany now enjoys.

Aleppo was taken over by the Syrian army in December 2016 after years of fighting with rebels and a siege that forced the rebels to retreat.

Reporting By Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Janet Lawrence]]>
11/11/2017 1:35:40 PM
<![CDATA[How two traumatized soldiers changed notions of war]]>
But Craiglockhart War Hospital, now part of a Heriot Watt University campus on the outskirts of the Scottish capital, was where traumatized souls took refuge from war and where Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen wrote about their terrifying experiences as part of treatment for shell-shock in 1917.

Their friendship and mutual admiration became the catalyst for some of the most vivid and best-known writing in English about war, playing a big part in changing public perceptions of a patriotic death being a glorious destiny.

This weekend, Britain commemorates its war dead on Remembrance Sunday with the laying of wreaths at official ceremonies up and down the country.

Owen and Sassoon, whose work often features in such ceremonies, were treated for a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder when they were sent to Craiglockhart, a pyschiatric military facility Sassoon affectionately nicknamed Dottyville in a play on the English slang word for “mad”.

The doctor treating Owen recommended a “talking cure,” urging him to write to overcome the terror of being blown into the air by a bomb, Catherine Walker, curator of the War Poets’ Collection housed at Craiglockhart, told Reuters.

His first poems were published anonymously in The Hydra, Craiglockhart’s in-house magazine, which Owen edited.

Most of his poems, however, were published posthumously.
“Dulce et Decorum est”, in which he slates the idea that dying for one’s country is an honor, portrays the terror of a soldier dying of gas-poisoning, hearing “the blood/Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,/Obscene as cancer.”

Owen was the younger of the two writers and worshipped published author Sassoon, who was from a wealthy influential family. Sassoon edited and encouraged Owen during a convalescence of several months in Scotland.

“You can certainly see that their poetry tightens up and becomes more powerful while they’re here,” said Walker. “‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ was originally ‘Anthem for Dead Youth’ and you can see in the original manuscript that ‘Dead’ is scored out and ‘Doomed’ is substituted, which was Sassoon’s influence on Owen.”
Sassoon had escaped court martial after writing an open letter, read in Britain’s parliament, declaring “wilful defiance of military authority because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it”. Instead he was given leave.

Once at Craiglockhart, a former hotel, he described how it was “elaborately cheerful” during the day.

“In the evenings it became, as Sassoon said, ‘a living museum of war neuroses,'” Walker said. “People would hallucinate, have bad dreams, migraines and disturbed sleep and lots of officers stammered and were depressed.”

Their friendship and the cures espoused by their psychiatrists helped both to return to the front, driven by a loyalty to the men they fought with, despite their criticism of the war.

Owen died in battle just before the end of World War One, in 1918, aged 25. Sassoon survived the war and died aged 80.

A permanent exhibition now allows visitors to view the War Poets Collection, offering a glimpse into the minds and experiences of the poets, patients and medical staff at Craiglockhart through documents, photographs and memorabilia.]]>
11/11/2017 1:33:46 PM
<![CDATA[Dance star Akram Khan prepares for swansong tour]]>
The production, “Xenos”, is Khan’s tribute to the Indian soldiers of the British Empire who fought in World War One. It focuses on the story of a shell-shocked Indian soldier, but also tackles contemporary political issues.

“Xenos means a foreigner or alien or stranger in Greek, i.e. xenophobia, and it just seems apt and relevant to my reflection of the world today and how xenophobia is growing,” he told Reuters.

Khan, 43, will dance a segment from “Xenos” at the opening night of the Darbar Festival, an annual festival of classical Indian music, on Thursday in London.
Following its full premiere next year in Athens, Xenos will tour Australia, North America, and Europe, with a staging at Sadler’s Wells theater in London in 2018.

Born in London to Bangladeshi parents, Khan was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to dance. His style is a hybrid of Indian classical, traditional Indian kathak and contemporary dance.

Khan says he is going to step down from dancing in full-length productions as a lead, but will still dance smaller roles. Besides wanting a respite from physical demands of dancing, he wants to focus on other areas.

“I want to focus more on choreography. I‘m working a lot on film. I‘m fascinated by film and that medium and what movement, how you can tell stories through the camera,” he says.

“There just came a time where I felt: ‘OK, enough is enough’. You know, I’ll keep training but not to the severity or the intensity that I do to prepare myself for a full-length solo.”]]>
11/11/2017 1:29:38 PM
<![CDATA[Wanas Festival reminds Egyptians of their heritage]]>
This festival was first organized by El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folklore Music in 2014. This edition is different from the previous editions as new local bands such as Nubian Haoidor Band were invited to participate, according to the founder of El Mastaba center Zakaria Ibrahim, who announced details about the edition in a press conference on Thursday.

The Egyptian bands who will perform in the festival are Mostafa Rizk, the Afro-Egyptian band Hawidro, El Tanbura, the Bedouin band Aljarkan, the Nubian band Nubanor, the Sudanese band Rango and the Sea Youth band.

Besides local bands, international bands from Germany and the Netherlands are participating in the festival as well.

Ibrahim believes that the festival would raise Egyptians’ awareness about the richness and diversity of Egyptian cultures by reviving folk music, which is considered a part of Egypt’s heritage.

Ibrahim explained that El Tanboura’s members are residents of Egyptian traditional neighborhoods that still preserve the Egyptian heritage now forgotten by most Egyptians due to contemporary life.

“The festival aims to change the wrong conceptions that the audience holds about folk music, since many people do not even consider this kind of music lately,” Ibrahim explained.

He added that nowadays folk music is threatened by mainstream trends that impact the style of folk musicians who seek popularity and money. Besides, the General Authority for Cultural Palaces wants to integrate folk musicians in the career pyramid, obliging them to work under their rules which contradicts their simplicity and freedom.

Consequently, one of the obstacles facing the Wanas Festival is funding, as the Ministry of Culture does not finance bands that are not affiliated with it.

He noted that without the Ministry of Culture’s support, Egypt's rich heritage of traditional music is at risk; hence, El Mastaba looks for talented folk bands to introduce them to people.

The opening night was inaugurated with a performance from one of El Mastaba’s own bands, El Tanbura, which plays the folk music of Port Said.

Following El Tanboura’s performance was Nuba’s Nubanour band’s performance. This band led by Osama bakry plays Nubian traditional folk music mixed with elements of jazz.

“Through this festival, we are trying to preserve Nubian culture that is about to become extinct and unknown to most Egyptians,” said Bakry.

Nubanour started out in the 1960s; El Mastaba Center then opened many fields internally and internationally to allow them to present their culture at festivals such as the Wealth Festival in London and Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts in Jordan.

In cooperation with Goethe Institute

The opening day of the festival ended with a performance by Unterbiberger from Germany, who came to Egypt in cooperation with the Goethe Institute. The band consists of Franz Joseph Himpsl, his family, and two other members.

Coming originally from the surroundings of Munich, Southern Germany, the band creates a fusion of German folk music mixed with jazz. Their style of music is influenced by diverse regional and international influences such as Turkish and oriental music.

Franz explained that Unterbiberger is used to travelling to different countries including Tunisia, Iran and Egypt noting that music has the power to bring people together and helps them encounter and respect diverse cultures.

He added that Egyptian folklore music is more powerful than Germany’s music as it uses drums and the lyre instrument, simsimeya, and damma. His band, has in effect, fused their style with the Egyptian one.

Mostafa Rizk, whose musical style is influenced by Egyptian blues and jazz music mixed with folklore; will present a concert on the second day of the festival.

Asked how jazz and folklore music are related, he said that it is not difficult to mix Egyptian traditional music with a modern style especially since blues have African roots.

“The festival is part of Ibrahim’s efforts to revive Egyptian traditional music that might be unknown to many,” Rizk concluded. ]]>
11/10/2017 7:48:21 PM
<![CDATA[Google honors Sabah with a Google Doodle]]>
The veteran Lebanese singer led a rich life with a career that spanned 60 years. A long successful journey launched Sabah as an icon of music in her life and death. She was on the top of the entertainment world during the Egyptian cinema’s golden era in the 1940s and 50s.

Sabah, whose real name was Jeanette Gergis al-Feghali, was born in the village of Bdedoun, a Lebanese town in the Baabda-Aley province to a Christian family in November 10, 1927. She released her first song in 1940, aged just 13.

Sabah travelled from her Lebanese town in Mount Lebanon, to Cairo in the 1940s in search of a better opportunity in the capital of art. The young rising singer at that time caught the eye of the famous Egyptian film producer Asia Dagher. Dagher after her strong belief in Sabah’s talent immediately signed her for three films.

After nicknaming herself Sabah following the morning she released her first movie “El-Qalb Louh Wahid” (The Heart Loves Only One), she shot into stardom after the film was a booming success in the entire Arab region.

Sabah appeared at a time when the music scene was already loaded with prominent singers, nevertheless, she managed to engrave her name as one of those prominent figures, a real sweetheart to most of the Arab audience.

She performed throughout her career in about 98 films as well as over 20 Lebanese stage plays. Among her most popular films were “El Aydy el Naema” (Soft Hands), “Sharee’ el Hob” (The Love Street), “El Ragol el Thany” (The Second Man), “Leila Baka Feha el Qamar” (The Night the Moon Cried) among others.

Sabah released over 50 music albums and has a large music repertoire that contains over 3,500 songs that were composed by a group of veteran Arabian composers, including the late great Mohamed Abdel Wahab. Some of her most famous songs included "Zay el-Assal" (Your Love is as Sweet as Honey), “Laa’a” (No), “Touby” (They Asked Me to Repent), and “Saat Saat” (Sometimes Sometimes).

She was known for performing the folklorist 'Mawwal' which is a certain type of Arabian way of singing that mainly depends on how melodious the singer’s voice is. Sabah presented ‘Mawwal’ on stage in places like Piccadilly Theatre, the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall.

Sabah was dubbed by her fans with several affectionate nicknames, including "Shahroura" (Singing Bird) and "Sabbouha". She was famous for her elegance and her deep fondness for fashion trends. During the war years in Lebanon, she undertook humanitarian work, helping millions of people.

In addition to her Lebanese citizenship, Sabah held the Egyptian, Jordanian and U.S. citizenships as well. She was among the first Arabic singers to perform at the Olympia in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, The Royal Albert Hall in London and the Sydney Opera House. She was considered one of the four Lebanese icons along with Fairuz, Wadih el Safi and Samira Tawfiq.

She was dubbed the "Elizabeth Taylor of Arabia" because of her numerous marriages. She frequently married and divorced, at least nine times. Her shortest relationship was a month and her longest was 17 years, which was her marriage to a dancer known as Fadi Lebanon.

Sabah died in 2014 aged 87. In the early years of social media, her health and death was often a topic of false reporting. “I have lived enough,” she often commented. She died at her home in Beirut of an unspecified illness, her health had been declining for years.
Sabah kept her love of life and positive outlook even unto old age. "I'm proud that I'm a village girl with a lot of ambition," Sabah once said in 2008.

"She broke so many taboos. I don't know if she was even aware of it," said Chady Maalouf, head of programming at Voice of Lebanon radio. "She was the example of a star, she was totally complete: in her appearance, behavior and voice. She shocked people all the time," Maalouf added

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut issued a statement on its Facebook page after her death calling Sabah "a bright, shining image of the Lebanese people." On Twitter, Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt wrote: "She was a great singer of a Lebanon that my generation knows will never come back."

"Our giants are leaving, our cedars are diminishing," Lebanese singer Ragheb Alameh also wrote on Twitter.

Sabah's youthfulness and the joy she brought in her performances made her a living symbol of entertainment in the Arab world. She is the cheerful honey-haired iconic artist who will remain forever alive in the hearts of her audience around the world.]]>
11/10/2017 6:36:43 PM
<![CDATA[Actor John Hillerman of Magnum PI fame dies at 84]]>
Hillerman was born on December 20, 1932 in Texas. Starting on the stage, he later headed to Washington, DC to pursue his acting career, where he landed his first iconic role in the 1972 movie “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” his big screen debut. It was his part in the television series Magnum PI that saw him shine.

Here he portrayed Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, or Higgins, a supporting character who was a former army sergeant turned real estate owner who had to contend with the shenanigans of Thomas Magnum, played by Tom Selleck, a naval officer who now masquerades as a private detective in Hawaii.

Despite Hillerman’s roots in Texas, Higgins the character came from Britain, a fact that did not stop the actor from portraying him so convincingly that various audiences’ members assumed he really was British. His time on Magmum PI was his favorite performance of all, and the role singlehandedly win him several Emmy and Golden Globe awards and nominations.

Hillerman’s final on-screen performance was the 1996 comedy film A Very Brady Sequel. On Twitter, fans and co-stars of Hillerman expressed their sorrow over his death, including radio host Larry Manetti, Hillerman’s close friend and co-star who played bartender Orville "Rick" Wright on Magnum PI.

11/10/2017 4:51:45 PM
<![CDATA[Marwan Khoury to perform at Cairo Opera House]]>"Musical Drama” was the main theme of the opening ceremony of the festival. The opening ceremony shed light on the role of oriental music in Egyptian and Arab drama.

An orchestra especially formed for this occasion performed at the opening ceremony, led by conductor Ahmed Atef and head of the Cairo Opera House Inas Abdel Dayem.

At least 84 Arab musicians are taking part in this year’s edition of the festival, which is dedicated to honoring the memory of lead singer Mohsen Farouk.

Eight Arab countries are set to give performances in six theatres including the Cairo Opera House, Arabic Music Institute, Alexandria Opera House, and Damanhour Opera House.

A renowned set of musicians and singers, including Medhat Saleh, Mohamed al-Helw, Ali al-Haggar, Nadia Mostafa, Lotfi Bushnaq, Abdallah al-Rowaished, Mohamed Tharwat, Hany Shaker, and Safwan Bahlawan, are taking part at the festival.
Moreover, around 14 musicians will give solo performances during the festival, including Cairo Opera House director’s Inas Abdel Dayem, Salem Abdul Kerem, pianist Hassan Sharara, and violinist Mahmoud Soror.

The festival will also feature 31 choirs and orchestras including the Ministry of Youth Orchestra, the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, and Abdel Halim Nowera Ensemble for Arab Music.

Various iconic Arab musicians will be honored such as Talal Maddah, Sayed Hegab, Rageh Daoud, Raad Khalaf, and Amr Selim.]]>
11/10/2017 3:33:48 PM
<![CDATA[Ismail Nosrat, Misty and Gawdat to perform at Cairo Jazz Club]]>
Nosrat, a young and upcoming DJ with loads of potential will be playing at CJC for the first time. Playing across a wide array of electronic genres, Nosrat always has something new up his sleeve to spice up the party.

He will be accompanied by fellow DJ Misty, who has 8 years of experience in the field and is one of Egypt’s most in-demand DJs. Building himself up since he was 15, Misty has made it to become associated with names such as Booka Shade, Edu Imbernon, Armand Van Helden, with support from FatboySlim, Ritchie Hawtin, Veeru, amongst many others. Misty has definitely earned his positions on the top 10 charts of traxsource, trackitdown and the DMC buzz charts.

Dynamic DJ duo Gawdat formed in 2009 and has remained inseparable ever since. Touring across all of Egypt, they have also performed alongside international DJs such as Los Suruba, Dave Seaman, Jody Wisternoff and more.
11/10/2017 3:32:06 PM
<![CDATA[Cheb Khaled: Thank you Mr. President and long live Egypt]]>

Khaled commented on the video ‘’I would like to thank Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and all the World Youth Forum’s organizers and representatives for giving me this great honor to perform the forum official song.’’

Khaled performed the song in the closing ceremony of the forum. After he finished Sisi and the attendees applauded loudly, Khaled greeted them ‘’Thank you Mr. President…Long live Egypt.’’

Renowned singer Khaled stated during an interview with Egypt Today on Wednesday that he is honored to participate in WYF as it is the most prominent event of its kind in the Middle East.

Speaking about WYF song, he said that as an artist he should always send peace and messages of love through his music. “We could show the world through art that we are proponents of peace not terrorist as the art is more powerful than politics and has a great effect on youth,” he said.

Khaled expressed his pleasure working with musicians of the WYF song, including poet Khaled Taj Aldin, composer Amr Mostafa, and businessman Mohamed Saadi.In terms of his participation in the forum, he noted that what brought his attention is President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s expression of care for youth and seeking to grow their role in society.

He added that through forum, the whole world could see the real image of Egypt, particularly as it is held in Sharm el-Sheikh, the city of peace. On the other hand, he hopes that he would perform a big concert in Egypt as he has only done so. Regarding his coming works, he has completed an album with singer Tamer Hosny.

Egypt’s first international youth event brought together 3,000 youths represented by 60 delegations. The seven-day gathering witnessed the participation of official youth representatives over 18-years of age, leaders of various youth networks, heads of state, media figures and around 250 young Egyptian expats. It was held under the slogan "We Need to Talk."

WYF sent a message of peace, prosperity, harmony and love to the entire world. It was a strong opportunity for global youth dialogue.

The idea of holding an international youth conference in Egypt was made during the third National Youth Conference in Ismailia and it was approved by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. In July, the president announced organizing the WYF in Sharm el-Sheikh during the fourth National Youth Conference in Alexandria.]]>
11/10/2017 2:32:40 PM
<![CDATA[Sharjah book fair's attendance hits record high]]>
In statements to MENA, Amri said this attendance record reflects the SIBF’s impact on building the UAE’s society culturally and shows its role in establishing dialogue among various cultures of the world.

Meanwhile, he revealed that 1,691 publishers from 60 countries took part in the event, which also witnessed more than 2,600 cultural events.

Amri also pointed out that Sharjah International Book Fair was the first one of its kind to witness a ministerial meeting on the sidelines of its activities. ]]>
11/10/2017 2:30:54 PM
<![CDATA[Today in History - Sesame Street Premieres]]>

It all started with a dinner party in 1966, hosted by Joan Ganz Cooney, a former documentary producer. When a guest remarked as to how his young daughter was so attached to their Television, he pondered if there was anyway TV could be used as an educational force. That guest was the vice president of the Carnegie Corporation, Lloyd Morrisett, and the two agreed that there was a dearth of programming available for preschoolers. Thus, Cooney came up with the Children’s Television Workshop in 1968, funded by Carnegie, with the intention of preparing young children, particularly those underprivileged, to be able to enter preschool.
From this workshop, Sesame Street was born.

Sesame Street broke new ground at the time of its airing. It featured a diverse cast amongst various social and racial backgrounds all living together in an inner-city setting modeled after real areas in New York. The show primarily focused on various sketches that were short and easy to absorb for children, featuring a wide range of characters that ranged from celebrity guest stars to the show’s most beloved feature, The Muppets.

Cooney hired Jim Henson to design a series of puppet characters for the show, which were originally intended to be part of their own sketches separate from more realistic settings. However, the child audiences loved seeing the Muppets on the street, leading to them becoming the central characters. Characters such as Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Oscar, Grover, Kermit the Frog and Cookie Monster were amongst the original Muppets created for the show, and were designed according to various needs. As the years went on, beloved new characters would be introduced, with Elmo, the modern face of Sesame having been introduced in 1980.

Along with handling basic educational topics such as counting and the alphabet, Sesame Street was also renowned for its daring honesty in tackling difficult topics, explaining harsh realities such as racism, divorce, natural disasters, grief and trauma in an easy to understand way that did not talk down to its audience.

Since it first premiered, Sesame Street has become the most successful children’s program of all time, winning well over a hundred Emmy Awards and becoming a cultural landmark that multiple generations can credit for inspiring their minds to learn and imagine.

11/10/2017 2:09:34 PM
<![CDATA[Introspective Greek drama Eternity and a Day at PEFF]]>Panorama of the European Film Festival on Saturday, November 11.

Acclaimed writer Alexander (Bruno Ganz) is terminally ill, and finds himself cherishing the little time he has left. As he travels in between the past, present and fantasy, he seeks to make peace with the coming end of his life. While ruminating on his nature and approaching death, Alexander encounters a young Albanian boy, a refugee on the run from the police, and seeks to help him return home, seeing in the child the infinite possibilities of a youth now lost to him.

‘Eternity and a Day’ was the unanimous winner of the 1998 Cannes Film Festival’s ‘Palme d'Or’ award. The Panorama of the European Film Festival runs from November 8 until November 18.
11/10/2017 1:24:15 PM
<![CDATA[French animated adventure Adama screening at PEFF]]>
This unique computer-animated film from director Simon Rouby tells the story of 12-year-old Adama, a young boy who has only known the safety and comfort of his African village. When his older brother goes off to France in order to fight in World War I, Adama risks everything and leaves his home to seek him out, going on a journey across the vast expanse of Africa into the heart of war-torn Europe.

While aimed for young audiences, Adama features richness to its plot that also appeals to adults, allowing them to ponder the more complicated aspects of the socio-political history that Adama is based off. The film also features a unique combination of computer-animated characters with realistic movements and hand-painted backgrounds, which contrast and compliment to create an animated experience like nothing else.

Adama premiered in France on October 21, 2015. It won the 2014 Annecy International Animated Film Festival’s ‘Gan Foundation Aid for Distribution for a Work in Progress’ Award.

The Panorama of the European Film Festival runs from November 8 until November 18.
11/10/2017 1:22:46 PM
<![CDATA[‘Ancient Alexandria's Topography’ lecture at BA ]]>
Tracing the development of Alexandria from its establishing in Alexander the Great era untill now is main theme of the lecture.

Cherout Fadl will review the ancient sources that mentioned the Alexandrian culture, heritage, people, philosophy, history and geography.

Fadl is one of the prominent Greek and Roman studies lecturers at Faculty of Arts, Damanhour University.

Celebrating for "Ayam El Torath Al Sakandary" [Alexandrian Heritage Days], the event is a collaboration work between The Alexandria Project and The Centre d'Études Alexandrines [Alexandrian Studies Center], (CE Alex).

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is one of the main symbols of Alexandria. It was one of the oldest libraries in the world. It was built 23 centuries ago, and it contained more than 700,000 volumes and manuscripts till it was burnt for the first time.

In 2002, the UNESCO cooperated with Egypt to reconstruct Bibliotheca Alexandrina again, whereby it became the first digital library in the Middle East in the 21st century.

Currently, it contains more than 8 million books, six specialized libraries, three museums, seven research centers and six halls for cultural and artistic events.
Fragmented from a promotional material - Courtesy of Event official Facebook page
11/10/2017 1:21:32 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi visits singer and actress Shadia in the hospital]]>
‘’We truly appreciate the president visit, it is a magnificant gesture from him,’’ recounted Shadia’s nephew Khaled Shaker.

Shaker added that Sisi asked the doctors about the iconic artist health updates and listned extensively to their explanations pertaining Shadia’s health status, promising that he will pay her another visit soon.

Veteran Egyptian singer and actress Shadia is currently in a stable condition in the ICU receiving treatment from a professional medical crew at El-Galaa Hospital, according to a released statement late Tuesday.

Shadia was transferred from El-Asema hospital to El-Galaa military hospital in order to provide optimal treatment to the heartthrob artist. The great singer was subject to intensive care at El-Asema hospital after a minor brain stroke, media reports affirmed Saturday.

Facebook users shared an old photo of the great artist taken from an old magazine. "My greatest secret wish that nobody knows is to have a dozen children when I turn 50,’’ Shadia said in the old magazine. Shadia has never had children.

Egyptian audiences grew concerned over the health of their cinematic icon as the board of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) dedicated its upcoming 39th edition in the name and honors of Shadia.

She was dubbed "Dalouet el-Cinema"(cinema’s sweetheart) by her loyal fans from all over the Arab world. Her fans consider her as their dear sweetheart singer. Shadia has enriched the Egyptian art with about 114 songs spanning over 37 years. She was enchanting with her melodious charming voice and light-heartedness.

Shadia’s birth name is Fatema Shaker. The 86-year-old played various roles and nailed movie genres that range from political to emotional and comic roles. She began her acting career in 1947 at the age of 16, She usually played the role of a lively young girl. She started her singing career in 1953.

One of her most iconic roles was Soheir, the famous actress who falls in love with the less prominent Ibrahim in the romantic classic movie ‘’Maaboudet el-Gamahir’’ (the People's Idol). In addition to her diverse roles, she will always remain a prolific singer whose songs remain favorites on many playlists. In fact, 25 years after retiring and completely disappearing from the limelight, her song “Ya Habebty ya Masr” (Egypt is my Beloved) became the voice of January 25th Revolution.

After her last role in “La Taslani Man Ana” (Don’t Ask Me Who I Am) she officially announced her retirement in the late 80s. Even at the age of 86, Shadia is still in our hearts, screens and playlists. Egypt Today wishes a speedy recovery for Egypt’s sweetheart iconic star.]]>
11/10/2017 12:18:57 PM
<![CDATA[Dance star Akram Khan prepares for swansong tour]]>
The production, “Xenos”, is Khan’s tribute to the Indian soldiers of the British Empire who fought in World War One. It focuses on the story of a shell-shocked Indian soldier, but also tackles contemporary political issues.

“Xenos means a foreigner or alien or stranger in Greek, i.e. xenophobia, and it just seems apt and relevant to my reflection of the world today and how xenophobia is growing,” he told Reuters.

Khan, 43, will dance a segment from “Xenos” at the opening night of the Darbar Festival, an annual festival of classical Indian music, on Thursday in London.

Following its full premiere next year in Athens, Xenos will tour Australia, North America, and Europe, with a staging at Sadler’s Wells theater in London in 2018.

Born in London to Bangladeshi parents, Khan was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to dance. His style is a hybrid of Indian classical, traditional Indian kathak and contemporary dance.

Khan says he is going to step down from dancing in full-length productions as a lead, but will still dance smaller roles. Besides wanting a respite from physical demands of dancing, he wants to focus on other areas.

“I want to focus more on choreography. I‘m working a lot on film. I‘m fascinated by film and that medium and what movement, how you can tell stories through the camera,” he says.

“There just came a time where I felt: ‘OK, enough is enough’. You know, I’ll keep training but not to the severity or the intensity that I do to prepare myself for a full-length solo.”]]>
11/10/2017 11:14:40 AM
<![CDATA[China bars billionaire actress Zhao Wei from stock trading for five years]]>
Zhao and her husband Huang Youlong, through a company they controlled - Tibet Longwei Culture Media Co - made a failed attempt to buy 29.1 percent of Zhejiang Wanjia Co in late 2016. Zhejiang Wanjia was later taken over by another investor and renamed Zhejiang Sunriver Culture Co.

But Tibet Longwei’s bid drew scrutiny of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) regarding information disclosure and takeover-financing ability.

The regulator stated that the bid made misleading statements and major omissions in disclosures, according to a filing by Zhejiang Sunriver to the Shanghai stock exchange.

The bidder’s actions “severely impacted market order, hurt medium and small investors’ confidence in the market, and undermined fairness, justice and openness of the market,” the regulator said, according to the filing.

Zhao, Huang and Tibet Longwei could not be contacted for comment by phone. CSRC also could not be reached immediately for comment. Zhejiang Sunriver said in an emailed statement to Reuters it will “disclose information in a timely manner in accordance with law for any follow-up”.

The CSRC fined Zhao and Huang 300,000 yuan ($45,201.15) each, while Tibet Longwei Culture Media Co received a 600,000 yuan penalty.

Zhao and Huang built up an estimated 7 billion yuan in wealth through their investments, including early stakes in Alibaba Pictures Group, and were ranked 567 in the 2017 list of China’s richest compiled by the Hurun Report.

Zhao, 41, came into national prominence for starring in the costume TV drama “My Fair Princess”, produced jointly between Taiwan and mainland China in 1998. She was also part of the popular “Shaolin Soccer” and “Red Cliff” movies.

11/10/2017 11:12:05 AM
<![CDATA[Five women detail sexual misconduct claims against comedian Louis C.K.: report]]>
In the New York Times article, C.K.’s publicist Lewis Kay said the comedian “is not going to answer any questions” from the publication.

Kay said in an email to Reuters on Thursday that C.K. will issue a written statement “in the coming days.” Reuters was unable to independently confirm any of the allegations.

In the Times article, C.K. had “dismissed stories of his alleged sexual misconduct as ‘rumors,'” when the Times had interviewed him about his latest film “I Love You, Daddy” at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

The New York premiere for “I Love You Daddy” was scheduled for Thursday and abruptly canceled before the Times’ story was published.

“In light of the allegations concerning Louis C.K. referenced in today’s New York Times, we are cancelling tonight’s premiere of ‘I Love You, Daddy.’ There is never a place for the behavior detailed in these allegations,” the film’s distributor, The Orchard, said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

The film company added that it is “giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film and continuing to review the situation.”

The Times article said C.K.’s scheduled appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was also scrapped.

C.K., 50, the creator and star of FX’s “Louie” and one of the most popular and praised stand-up comedians, has often joked about sexual topics and masturbation in his stand-up routines and show.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s FX Networks said in a statement that it was “obviously very troubled by the allegations” published in the Times.

“The network has received no allegations of misconduct by Louis C.K. related to any of our five shows produced together over the past eight years,” the network said. It added that “the matter is currently under review.”

Time Warner Inc’s HBO said in a statement that C.K.’s past projects with the network, including 2006’s “Lucky Louie” series, would be removed from its on-demand services. HBO said that C.K. will no longer participate in the Nov. 18 televised “Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs,” hosted by Jon Stewart.

Two of the women in the New York Times article, comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, said C.K. had invited them to his hotel room after a comedy festival in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002 and then masturbated in front of them. Reuters could not immediately reach Goodman and Wolov.

The newspaper also quoted three other women. One said C.K. masturbated in front of her, a second said he did so while on the phone with her and the third said she declined when he asked to masturbate in front of her.

C.K. is the latest celebrity in the entertainment business to be accused of sexual misconduct by people coming forward in the wake of allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.]]>
11/10/2017 11:09:37 AM
<![CDATA[Nesma Abdel Aziz to perform at Cairo Opera House ]]>
Nesma Abdel Aziz is considered one of contemporary music icons, especially she is the first musician who played Marimba in Egypt.

She participated in numerous number of concerts in Cairo Opera House such as participating with Omar Khairat ensemble.

Starting from 2001, Abdel Aziz founded her ensemble and released many music such as "Marimba Fusion," and "Tico, Tico."

Gaining huge international success, Abdel Aziz toured all over the world with her ensemble under the theme of Spreading Happiness.

Also, she presented many music shows such as "Opera Show" about Cairo Opera House events. ]]>
11/10/2017 10:04:21 AM
<![CDATA[Looking into the 'From the Heart to the Pen’ exhibition]]>“From the Heart to the Pen,” running from October 30 until December 30, is a stunning tribute to a forgotten yet beautiful form of Islamic calligraphy.

Courtesy of Sharjah Calligraphy Museum media office

Egypt Today takes a closer look at the artwork being exhibited. The title of the exhibition arises from Ibn Al-Muqafa’a belief that successful artwork comes from the heart, and so he believed that calligraphy is something that must come from an emotional core. This exhibition is a celebration of his belief, honoring the rare Al-Muhaqqaq script.

In a statement released to Egypt Today, Sir Allen, Mansour’s assistant, remarked that “Calligraphy is a beautiful art form. It must come from the heart; otherwise it will be shallow and will fail to penetrate into the conscience of the reader.”

Through the hard work of Mansour and Sir Mark Allen, the Al-Muhaqqaq script which was once feared to be lost, is now admired and appreciated by new enquiring minds, willing to open their hearts to accept the beauty of this Islamic art form.The exhibition details the history of the script until its downfall after the death of Ahmed Karahisari, the last artist to have mastered the script, over 400 years ago.

Mansoursaid in the statement about his belief that “The art of calligraphy flows and pulses with love. It is formed by the pen in the shape of letters and set in beautiful structures and sublime meanings.”

Born in Jordan in 1967, Mansour is one of the leadingcalligraphers in the Arab world who played an important role in reviving the ancient Al-Muhaqqaq script. An associate professor of Islamic Calligraphy and Qura’nic manuscripts, Dr. Mansour lectures on Islamic history and Calligraphy at Amman.

Mansour’s assistant, Sir Allen, was born in England, 1950, and studied Arabic in the university before exploring the Arab world on his own, from Cairo to Abu Dhabi. While in Cairo during the 1970s, he was introduced to the six classical Qura'nic scripts and found them fascinating. He met Mansour in 2006, and became his pupil. Sir Allen has written various books on the topic of Middle East and Religion, including an introduction to Dr.

Mansour’s study of Al-Muhaqqaq, "Sacred Script," which was published in 2011.

Courtesy of Sharjah Calligraphy Museum media office
11/10/2017 10:03:16 AM
<![CDATA[Acoustic Classic Rock Night in Cairo ]]>
Omar Kay is the front man of a few trending rock and classic music projects, such as Bluezphernia, and Rokam.

Bluezphernia is a rock n’ roll cover band founded in 2013. It performed various tribute nights for leading rock n’ roll bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This month, Room Art Space & Café hosts many acoustic events such as Nour Khan acoustic night and Do’souka.

11/9/2017 4:45:23 PM
<![CDATA[Remembering Dorothy Dandridge]]>

Born in 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, Dandridge’s mother was Ruby Dandridge, an entertainer and comedy actress of her own who brought up her daughters into show business as soon as they were able to perform. Together with her sister Vivian, Dandridge and their friend Etta Jones were part of a musical group called "The Dandridge Sisters," originally the “Wonder Sisters.” Her mother’s companion, Geneva Williams, was cruel, overworking and abusing them, a fact that their mother seemed blind to.

By the 1930s, her family had moved to Los Angeles, where the Dandridge Sisters group was formed and toured various nightclubs. She would experience the cruelty of racial segregation firsthand being unable to eat at restaurants, even if she performed there. Despite her harsh upbringing, Dandridge grew into a beautiful and strong woman, and managed to land a few bit roles in film.

Her most notable early role was in the 1941 musical “Sun Valley Serenade,” where she danced alongside the black tap-dancing Nicholas brothers. She eventually went on to marry Howard Nicholas, though the marriage was not a happy one; Nicholas was verbally abusive towards his wife and preferred the company of other women. Worse still, he abandoned Dandridge after their only child, Harolyn Suzanne Nicholas, was born brain damaged due to a difficult birth.

Dandridge did everything she could to “cure” her child, but could find nothing. As a reprieve from her harsh life, Dandridge delved further into her career. After her divorce from Howard in 1951, she would land one of her biggest film roles yet.

Starring as the title role in the 1954 all-black movie “Carmen Jones,” this film would see Dandridge become the first black woman to ever be considered for an Academy Award, and in 1955, she had been featured on the cover of Life magazine. It was a brief moment of joy in a life that had been so marred by oppression and pain, but it was not to last. Though she continued to sing at nightclubs and act, it grew harder and harder to find the roles she wanted, all thanks to Hollywood’s racism.

Her second marriage to Jack Denison in 1959 also proved to be unhappy, and it was because of his mishandling of their funds that she wound up losing much of her hard-earned savings. They divorced in 1962, and it would only be a few years later that Dandridge was found dead of an apparent drug overdose on September 8, 1965. She was only 42.

In 1999, a biopic film featuring Halle Berry as Dandridge titled "Introducing Dorothy Dandrige" helped bring the actress’s tragic life back into public awareness. Dandridge had everything set to become a household name like Marilyn Monroe, but a combination of a life filled with abuse and Hollywood’s systematic racism ensured her flame would be put out swiftly.

According to The Washington Post, her “Carmen Jones” co-star Harry Belafonte solemnly remarked that Dandridge "was the right person in the right place at the wrong time."

11/9/2017 4:39:40 PM
<![CDATA[Drama ‘Full Metal Jacket’ to screen at Room Art Space and Café ]]>
Released in 1987, the film traces a platoon of U.S. Marines through their training, primarily focusing on two privates, Joker and Pyle, who struggle to get through camp under their foul-mouthed drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. The film traces the lives of two Marines and their experiences in the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, according to the Event’s official page. The scenario of the film is based on “The Short Timers” novel by Gustav Hasford.

Listed on the American Film Institute Top 100 thrill films, it is directed by Stanley Kubrick, and stars Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, and Vincent D’Onofrio.

11/9/2017 4:36:54 PM
<![CDATA[“Egypt and the World” seminar in the French Institute in Cairo]]>
Entitled “The development of Egypt’s position among world countries from the 19th century to 21th century,”. tThe seminar will discuss the development of Egypt’s foreign relations and Egypt’s position among worldwide.

Anne-Claire Bonneville is a French researcher and author specialized in Egyptian history and civilization.

Having rReleased many books and studies such as “Egyptian Kingdom Failure”, SBonnevillehe reviewed the reasons for the Egypt’s political transformation of Egypt after the July 23, 1952 rRevolution.

The event is one a part from of a monthly Midan Mounira seminar series that is organized by the French Institute in Egypt and the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology among other cultural institutions. ]]>
11/9/2017 4:34:53 PM
<![CDATA[Paris Hilton announces new album]]>
The reality TV star had dipped her expensively painted toes into the world of pop music with her debut album "Paris," in which the song "Stars are Blind" hit the #18 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. Now Paris is back on the music game, expanding her brand to become a busy DJ, touring clubs all over the world and getting paid to party it up.

In an interview with TIME, Hilton mentions that her upcoming album will be totally different from her previous musical work, inspired by deep house, techno-pop and electro-pop. Hilton has named Michael Jackson, Madonna, DJ Chuckie, and Katy Perry as her biggest influences.

Since making a name for herself as a paparazzi magnet and reality TV icon, Hilton has used the attention the public has given to help mold herself into a successful businesswoman. Alongside the album, Hilton is at work marketing her franchise, which includes 23 perfume brands, a VR project, 45 stores and 19 product lines.

Hilton has also participated in various charity efforts recently, including visiting Mexico on Monday, November 6, in order to contribute relief to the earthquake struck region.

11/9/2017 4:33:19 PM
<![CDATA[BA part of 4th SIBF–ALA Library Conference]]>
The conference draws in library expertise from across the Arab world and internationally on libraries and will feature speeches by President of the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information (AFLI) Khaled Elhalaby and Jim Neal, ALA president. The conference's first edition took place in 2013, and offers programs on a wide variety of topics to help out librarians from various public and private Libraries and allow them to network and share resources.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s contribution occurred during the poster session on Wednesday, November 8. The poster, titled "Disseminating International Library Standards in Arabic", was represented by Gina Younis of the BA's Research and Technology Department and Rania Osman, the BA’s head of libraries of the Future Section. ]]>
11/9/2017 3:13:44 PM
<![CDATA[Spiritual Sufi night at DA House]]>

Founded in 2014, Waslet Sama' presents magical chants that praise God through repeating the name of Allah and enumerating God's given gifts; in addition to chants that praise Prophet Mohamed using religious poetic sonnets such as “Nour Allah, Ya Sayed” (God’s Light, Master).

It covers numerous iconic Sufi music compositions for acclaimed chanters such as Nasr el-Din Tobar and Sayed al-Nakshabandi.

Revival and rediscovery of heritage are the main targets of Waslet Sama’s members as they follow the chanting style of the early generation of chanters.

Previously, the band performed many live concerts at El-Sawy Culture Wheel and Al-Rab3.

Last April, the band presented a new experience as they performed a concert with the Malaysian Sufi band Identity.

Waslet Sama’ consists of many chanters, including Nour Allah Sayed, Mahmoud Ali Helal and Moustafa al-Shafe’y, in addition to many musicians such as Hisham Lotfy on flute, and Yasser Moustafa on oud. ]]>
11/9/2017 2:26:36 PM
<![CDATA[Do’souka to perform at Room Art Space & Café ]]>
Founded in 2015 in Mansoura, the band managed to be one of the most successful underground bands.

Using folk/acoustic tunes to create a cool and enjoyable musical mood is the main characteristic of Do’souka. Also, they add groovy swing vibes to the acoustic melodies that rejoice the audience.

The band released five singles, including “Hasharab Hashesh” (I’ll Smoke Weed), which was played for more than 6 million times on Soundcloud and "Ya Bakhtak" (How Lucky).

Do’souka's latest performance was at the Jesuits Cultural Center in Alexandria as a part of the Oufuqy Music Festival.

The band consists of four members: Khaled el-Demerdash on drums, Michael Yehia on guitar, Amr Ismael on bass, and Luka on guitar and vocals.]]>
11/9/2017 2:24:31 PM
<![CDATA[Portuguese musical drama ‘The Nothing Factory’ screening at PEFF]]>10th edition of the Panorama of the European Film Festival, set to screen on Thursday, November 9.

When employees at an elevator factory in Portugal start to suspect that they might lose their jobs, they begin to react in various ways. Examining the lives of blue-collar workers in the current social economic climate of Portugal, Pinho’s three-hour long fictional film debut is based on a real life case involving the Portuguese elevator company Otis.

As punishment for the workers’ attempts to prevent the machinery from being taken away, the higher-ups force them to stand around and do nothing, leading to wild outbursts and eventually ending in a musical number. Since premiering on September 21, 2017, the film has won five awards, most notably the FIPRESCI Prize for "Directors' Fortnight or Critics' Week" at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Panorama of the European Film Festival started on November 8 and will run until November 18.

11/9/2017 2:23:19 PM
<![CDATA[464 historical artifacts seized by police in Fayoum ]]>
According to police reports, two certain cars visited Fayoum city regularly and sold a number of antiquities with the aim to smuggle them abroad.

The police found 266 Ushabtis made from rare blue ceramic, eight wooden faces for a person, 12 statues made from blue ceramic, pottery statues, three pottery pots, 66 fragments from ancient coffins decorated with hieroglyphic inscriptions and a number of plates used in mummifications.

A further 122 Ushabtis were found with the criminals, yet the statement has not clarified the materials they were made of.

Seized Antiquities [Photo Courtesy: Ministry Press]

Most of the seized artifacts date back to the Ancient Egyptian era.

Fayoum Antiquities checked the seized artifacts and verified their historical importance; confirming that the seized artifacts are antiquities.

Recently, the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Police

managed to thwart artifacts

thefts and smuggles in different regions in Egypt such as Assuit. ]]>
11/9/2017 12:36:33 PM
<![CDATA[ ‘Egypt Cinema Month: A Walk Down Memory Lane’, ongoing on Netflix]]>
The online screenings will include “Prince of Egypt”, “Tickling Giants”, and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Jumper” that will all be accessible to Netflix users across the globe, according to a newsletter released by Netflix.

“The Prince of Egypt” revolves around the story of Moses who was born a slave but raised as the son of a pharaoh and is pursuing a journey of leading the Hebrews out of slavery and into freedom.

Netflix will also screen the show of the Egyptian satirical icon Bassem Youssef’s “Tickling Giants” that challenges politics and encourages democracy in the Middle East. Tech-oriented “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is also provided to the binge culture in Egypt as well as the prominent film “Jumper”, which revolves around a boy who escapes his abusive father and discovers that he can teleport himself.

This month will also witness the screenings of the best films of renowned American actor Will Smith including “Men in Black”, “The Pursuit of Happyness”, “Bad Boys”, “Hancock” and “Seven Pounds”.

The worldwide entertainment service is working on several projects including a sports-oriented Juventus FC which will be turned into a television series depicting stories of the Italian powerhouse football club, according to a previous statement by Netflix in October.

The docu-series will feature four-hour long episodes that will be released worldwide in early 2018. The entertainment company has also mentioned in its released statement that it will track down the most appealing stories and personalities in the club.

This mere depiction of the stories will be genuinely done through the Netflix team’s efforts in following up on personal and professional times with players on and off field as well as in their homes in efforts to capture in depth reality.]]>
11/9/2017 11:57:51 AM
<![CDATA[Icelandic drama 'Hjartasteinn' is part of PEFF]]>10th edition of the Panorama of the European Film Festival on Thursday, November 9.

From director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, “Heartstone” is a coming-of-age drama about two boys in a remote Icelandic village. Thor and Kristjan are best friends, who aim to find ways to pass time during the long summer. Their bond is put to the test however after Kristjan begins to make it apparent that his feelings for Thor might extend beyond just friendship. As the summer draws to an end and the ruthless winters of Iceland threaten to return, the two come to realize that they are no longer young boys.

Since it opened in Iceland’s cinemas on December 28, 2016, “Heartstone” has won numerous awards, such as the Audience Award for Feature Film during the 2017 Angers European First Film Festival.

The 10th edition of the PEFF commenced on Wednesday, November 8 and will run until November 18.]]>
11/9/2017 11:52:29 AM
<![CDATA[ 'Glengarry Glen Ross' revival examines the dark side of cutting deals]]>
The play, which first premiered in London’s National theater in 1983, charts two days in the life of a group of desperate Chicago real estate salesmen and chronicles the moral compromises they are willing to make in order to make a sale.

For director Sam Yates, whose London revival stars Hollywood actor Christian Slater, the play is an examination of how language is used to control people -- which Yates thinks hits home in the current political climate.
“We have a president in the United States who cut his teeth selling real estate in the 80s,” the director told Reuters.

“The way language is used by these guys in the play, there’s certainly many, many echoes with how you see Trump buying for time or covering up hugely lack of understanding or pushing something or selling something.”

The 1992 film version featured a bravura monologue of sinister masculinity from Alec Baldwin, who won an Emmy this year for his menacing Trump impersonation.

The workplace bullying on display in the play also strikes a chord at a time when Hollywood is experiencing its own scandals of sexual harassment and abuse.

Kevin Spacey, who played an abusive boss in the “Glengarry” film, was fired last week by Netflix from its hit show “House of Cards” after a number of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Slater, who is returning to the London stage more than a decade after an acclaimed run in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, told Reuters that for too long Hollywood has been “sweeping so many things under the carpet and living with these hush-hush little secrets, that everybody kind of knows about but doesn’t really want to do anything about.”

“That era has to come to an end, women and men have to feel comfortable in the workplace, and in every place,” he said.

“And this sort of behavior of taking advantage and manipulating people, that’s over.”]]>
11/9/2017 11:29:58 AM
<![CDATA[Broadway sensation 'Hamilton' heading to Puerto Rico]]>
Since its premiere in August 2015, the modern retelling of US founding father Alexander Hamilton's story has been one of Broadway's biggest hits in years with tickets still fetching at least $400 each.

Miranda, a New Yorker of Puerto Rican heritage, wrote "Hamilton" and starred in the title role until July 2016.

But he said he would return to take the role for the three-month run in January 2019 at the Teatro UPR in San Juan.

"I have a year and a bit to remember the words," Miranda wrote on Twitter before posting six emojis of the Puerto Rican flag.

Miranda announced his return at a news conference at the Teatro UPR, which was damaged when Hurricane Maria slammed into the island in September and will undergo repairs before the presentation of "Hamilton."

Miranda promised at the news conference that a large number of tickets to "Hamilton" will be distributed by lottery for $10 each.

More than a month after Hurricane Maria, most of the island remains without electricity with many residents still unable to return home.

Miranda has long advocated for the island -- and been an outspoken critic of the response of President Donald Trump, who has criticized Puerto Rican officials.

Miranda in October wrote and arranged a song to raise money for relief efforts led by the Hispanic Federation non-governmental group.

Entitled "Almost Like Praying," the song featured leading Latin stars including Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and Luis Fonsi, the Puerto Rican pop star behind the global hit "Despacito."]]>
11/9/2017 6:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[UAE, France open Louvre Abu Dhabi]]>
In attendance were King Mohammed VI of Morocco, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, and a host of guests representing several brotherly and friendly countries.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France.]]>
11/8/2017 9:58:06 PM
<![CDATA[DIFF announced the final eight films to participate in Muhr Short Film Competition ]]>
The final eight selected films are:

Into Reverse
AN Egyptian short film directed by Noha Adel, premiering at DIFF. It captures the daily situations female drivers in Egypt face.

The Crossing
A Palestinian-Jordanian film by Amen Nayfeh revolves around Shady and his sister. They are to visit their grandfather on the other side of the wall, although after having the required permit they still are unable to pass through.

The President’s Visit
After its first premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Lebanese film ‘The President’s Visit’ will participate in the official competition. This film was written by Lebanese screenwriter and director Cyril Aris. It tells the story of a simple fisherman who knew about a secret visit by the President.

Blue Fly Road
A Syrian film by filmmaker Bassam Chekhes, deeply capturing the life of two young boys, Abdulla and Ibrahim, who live in a forest. Every day, Abdulla goes outside the forest to get food and water for his brother, but one day Ibrahim has the chance for the first time to leave the forest.

A Scene from one of the participating films [Photo Courtesy: DIFF]

City Soul
A film by Hicham Lasri, it narrates the story of a young boy who aims to find his soul in the beautiful landscapes of Casablanca.

Another Lebanese film participating in the competition. Tashwesh is a film by Lebanese filmmaker Fayrouz Serhal. It premiered for the first time at the Locarno International Film Festival.

It focuses on the situation of football fans while they are waiting for the first match in the FIFA world cup. While people are obsessed with the match, the lives of the other people go on normally.

A film made by Lebanese filmmaker Talal Khoury, reflecting the passion of people to escape to the sea away from wars.

When the Sky Began to Scream
The only Tunisian film in the competition, it is by Filmmaker Kays Mejri and focuses on belief in good and bad omens. Layla and Samy get lost on one of the roads and they meet a number of gravediggers. Layla thinks that this accident is a bad omen for her unborn child.

A Scene from one of the participated films [Photo Courtesy: DIFF]

The 14th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will commence on December 6 through December 13 , and will showcase well over 120 original films from the Arab world and beyond, promoting new talent and creativity.]]>
11/8/2017 7:54:50 PM
<![CDATA[GUC Ensemble to perform covers of famous Arabic songs]]>
Supervised by GUC Music Academy, the ensemble will perform various selections from the Arab music scene starting from Umm Kalthoum oriental songs to modern songs of artists today such as Amr Diab.

The concert will also feature intercepts from underground music such as Hany Adel and folklore music such as Ahmed Adawya.

Founded in 2010, the ensemble performed various music genres such as classic music, Arabic pop music, and Disney songs. The ensemble has previously performed numerous concerts at GUC campus.

Conducted by Shady Abdelsalam, the ensemble is comprised of more than 30 musicians and more than 25 singers of different voice pitches. ]]>
11/8/2017 7:40:32 PM
<![CDATA[Al Kahila Art Gallary hosts contemporary art exhibition ‘Gathering’ ]]>
Through his 21 artworks, Damarawy portrays different perspectives of daily social gatherings such as streets, transportation and concerts.

Mohamed Damarawy Art works [Photo Courtesy: Al Kahila Art Gallary]

”Gathering” is the fifth exhibition by Damarawy hosted at Al Kahila Art Gallary. His previous exhibitions included “Damarawy Solo” exhibition and “Dahab” Exhibition in 2016.

Since 2010, Damarawy participated in different artistic occasions such as “Ana El Masry” (I Am the Egyptian) exhibition in 2013 at Cala Art Gallery, and January 25 revolution exhibition at Palace of Arts in 2012.

Mohamed Damarawy Art works [Photo Courtesy: Al Kahila Art Gallary]

Last month, Al Kahila Art Gallery hosted an exhibition entitled “Eve and the Music of Color” by Taha Abdullal.

Expatiation poster
11/8/2017 7:30:50 PM
<![CDATA[Today in History - Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, is born]]>
Born Abraham Stoker in Dublin, Ireland, the author’s childhood was one of illness, unable to fully leave his bed until the age of seven, when he eventually recovered. During this time, his mother would read him horror stories from Irish lore, planting the seeds of his future literature.

As he grew up, Stoker eventually graduated from Dublin’s Trinity College and went to work at Dublin castle as a civil servant. Stoker’s ancestry from his mother’s side was filled with outrageous figures which he drew from inspiration for his horror stories, such as the Sheriff of Galway, who reportedly hung his own son.

While working for the Dublin castle, Stoker also worked in the press as a theatre review writer for the local newspaper, for which he was unpaid. However, it did bring him to the attention of Sir Henry Irving, who is believed to have been an inspiration for the appearance of Count Dracula. Another source attributed as inspiration is the real life case of Vlad the Impaler, a vicious tyrant from 15th century Transylvania.

Stoker would eventually go to work in London as Sir Irving’s manager at the Lyceum Theatre. In 1875 he would publish his first novel, “The Primrose Path,” and would continue publishing various novels while working as manager for the theatre. His stories and strong love of art attracted some attention. A year prior he had founded the Dublin Sketching Club. In 1882 his short story collection “Under the Sunset” achieved critical acclaim, helping establish Stoker as a capable writer. His second novel was 1890’s “The Snake's Pass,” which retold the legendary story of how Saint Patrick drove all snakes out of Ireland.

On May 26, 1897 he published “Dracula,” creating one of horror’s most famous characters.

Taking place in Victorian England, “Dracula” follows a traveler who, on a dark stormy night, finds himself in the castle of Count Dracula, a mysterious and charming man. The traveler soon learns however that there’s more than meets the eye with Dracula. While Stoker did not invent the concept of vampires or much of the traits associated with them, he is responsible for propelling them into public consciousness. Following in the wake of William Polidori’s 1819 story “The Vampyre”, which helped kick start vampire stories, Stoker created the world’s most famous vampire and indeed, horror icon, especially helped by the cinematic portrayals from actors such as

Bela Lugosi.

After the success of “Dracula,” Stoker unfortunately was never able to truly replicate its success, even though he continued writing and publishing. He died at the age of 64 on April 20, 1912 in London.]]>
11/8/2017 7:24:16 PM