Late director Mohamed Kamel el-Qalyoubi – (Photo: archive)
CAIRO – 5 December 2017: Among the iconic figures that Egyptian cinema has lost in 2017 is director Mohamed Kamel el-Qalyoubi, who was honored at the recent 39th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) that ran from November 22 to November 30.
Qalyoubi was a director, a scriptwriter, and a notable Egyptian intellectual. His vision for cinematic art was untraditional as he originally studied engineering and later studied in Russia (then the USSR) for a PhD in Cinema. The mix between his engineering and cinematic backgrounds made his movies unique and his teaching in the Cinema High Institute insightful to students. Generations of directors and students were influenced by his depth and visual sensation.
Among his most prominent movies is “Three on the Road,” where a truck driver picks up a bellydancer and a small boy escaping from their dire social conditions on his way from Aswan to Cairo. The trip shows the problems of Egyptian society through various comedy and drama situations.
Qalyoubi's movies were not large in number but were quite distinguished. His accomplishments are also notable in academia, as he was a professor in the Academy of Arts, and a director of the National Cinema Center.
He was described as revolutionary and rebellious, with a vision biased towards the marginalized in society.
On the personal level, he was a wonderful storyteller, a real believer in freedom and equality and he was capable of seeing beauty in every person, always helping people develop themselves.
Qalyoubi has certainly left his mark on Egyptian cinema