The 44 h Egyptian Cinema Film Association Festival poster – Cultural Development Fund Official Facebook Page.
CAIRO – January 27 2018: The Cultural Development Fund will host the 44th Egyptian Cinema Film Association Festival’s movies from January 27 to February 3.
“Photocopy” will be showcased on January 27, “Akhdar Yabes” (Withered Green) will be displayed on January 28, “Sheikh Jackson” on January 29, “El Kenz” (The Treasure) on January 30, “El Khaleya” (The Cell) on January 31, “El Asleen” (The Orginals) on February 1, “Ali Maaza w Ibrahim” (Ali The Goat and Ibrahim) on February 2, “Bashtery Ragel” (A Man Wanted) and “Mawlana” (The Preacher) on February 3.
The film tells the story of an elderly man who, upon his retirement, decides to open a photocopying shop. He begins to re-discover life, his love for his neighbour and the people around him.
The movie stars Mahmoud Hemeida, Sherine Reda, Farah Youssef, Aly Tayeb and Ahmed Dash, amongst others. It was written by Haitham Dabbour and directed by Tamer Ashry.
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 Egyptian cinema.”
The script was nominated for the Sawiris Cultural Awards. Dabbour explained that he worked a lot on the script to develop it before reaching the final version. He began writing it in 2013 and finished a year later.
“Photocopy” represents a very special status, a unique soft and tender one. The movie tackles issues and problems facing the elderly, topics that are rarely addressed in Egyptian cinema. “Photocopy” premiered at the first edition of GFF, and won El-Gouna Golden Star Award for Best Arabic Feature Narrative Film. The movie was also screened at the fifth International Arab Cinema Meetings in Marseille on November 22.
“Photocopy” was shown as the closing film of the Arabian Cinema Week in New York City on November 23. Arabian Cinema Week was organized by Moviepigs, an online platform tailor-made to screen Middle Eastern films. The film was screened in the Cairo International Film Festival on Friday, November 24.
“Photocopy” screened for the first time in Egyptian cinemas on December 20. The movie made LE 57,000 on its opening day and LE 79,000 the following day.
Akhdar Yabes (Withered Green)
The movie focuses on a woman, Iman, living in an oriental society; she tries to convince her uncles to meet her sister’s suitor in place of their deceased father. The protagonist is very traditional and strict. However, Iman receives medical news that causes her to rethink her life and question her beliefs.
The movie’s director, Mohammed Hammad, was the first Egyptian to win the Muhr Award for Best Director in the Narrative Feature Competition at the Dubai International Film Festival. He also won a Golden Palm Award for Best Director in the Narrative Feature Competition at the Mexico International Film Festival.
The film participated in 45 international film festivals including the Hamburg International Film Festival, Festival de Cannes, and Stockholm International Film Festival.
“Akhdar Yabes” was written and directed by Hammad and stars Heba Ali, Asmaa Fawzi, Ahmed Alaidy, and John Ekram Hanna.
The internationally-awarded Egyptian film was screened for the first time in Egypt at Zawya cinema on October 25, 2017. It premiered at Locarno International Film Festival last year and was the first Egyptian film to be featured in the festival.
“Sheikh Jackson” stars Ahmed el-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.
The film poster, released by the production company, depicts the protagonist, played by Fishawy, dressed as a Salafi sheikh and posing in a Jackson dance move, wearing Jackson’s signature hat. Salama stated previously that “the story of the movie is personal and deep, as I am narrating a very private story.”
The movie stars Ahmed el-Fishawy, Amina Khalil, Dorra and Ahmed Malek, among others. It was written and directed by Amr Salama. “Sheikh Jackson” was the opening movie for the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival, which took place from September 22-29.
The film also screened in the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off on October 4. Egypt has selected Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson” as its candidate for consideration at the upcoming edition of the Oscars, set to take place in February 2018.
“Sheikh Jackson” screened for the first time in all Egyptian Cinemas on Wednesday, October 4. The film managed to achieve revenues amounting to LE 450,000 ($25,000) on its first day, and by the second day it had acquired LE 900,000; amassing LE 1,350,000 in its first two days of viewing.
El Kenz (The Treasure)
The storyline of “El Kenz” spans the Pharaonic, Abbasid, Ottoman and modern era, ending in the 1970s. The movie revolves around corruption and the mixing of religion with politics. It portrays religious figures using their authority as a means to gain political power.
The movie boasts a dazzling cast of Egyptian stars, including Mohamed Ramadan, Amina Khalil, Sawsan Badr, Mohy Ismail, Mohamed Saad, Hend Sabry and Ahmed Rezk.
“El Kenz” was written by Abdel Reheem Kamal and directed by Sherif Arafa.
El Khaleya (The Cell)
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” also stars Samer el-Masrie, Mohamed Mamdouh and Amina Khalil. The movie’s 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 Elesseily. “El Khaleya” is considered a high-budget action movie. The movie is the highest grossing in Egyptian cinema history.
El Asleen (The Originals)
The movie is about a man who loses his job to a younger person. He is beset by anxiety and depression that he never experienced before.
One day, he is given a cell phone and finds out that he has been spied on since the day he was born. The spies, known as “The Originals”, ask him to work for them. He agrees because he is unemployment and needs the money. He plans in the end to leave them and start his own business.
"El-Asleen" is an Egyptian drama, mystery and thriller released on the eve of Eid al-Fitr and starring Meged al-Kedwany, Menna Shalaby, Kahled el-Sawy, Kinda Alloush, Mohamed Mamdouh, Ahmed Fahmy, and rising stars Layla Fawzy and Khaled al-Zahaby. The movie was directed by Marwan Hamed and written by Ahmed Mourad.
Ali Maaza w Ibrahim” ( Ali The Goat and Ibrahim)
The movie is about Ali, a man who believes his late girlfriend’s soul is inside a goat, so he loves this goat, naming her Nada and talking to her. 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. The movie stars Ali Sobhy, Ahmed Magdy and Salwa Mohamed Aly, among others. “Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim” was directed by Sherif el-Bendary and written by Ahmed Amer and Ibrahim el-Batout.
Bashtery Ragel (A Man Wanted)
The movie is about a career-oriented woman in her late thirties who wants to have a child. She searches for a man to marry to achieve this goal. The movie stars Nelly Karim and Mohamed Mamdouh and is directed by Mohamed Ali.
Mawlana (The Preacher)
"Mawlana", adapted from a novel by renowned journalist Ibrahim Eissa, revolves around an influential religious preacher turned TV celebrity whose credibility is shaken when he gets close to politicians and security agencies.
The movie Stars Amr Saad, Dorra Zarrouk and Ahmed Magdy and was written by Ibrahim Eissa, directed by Magdy Ahmed Aly and produced by telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris.
It is worth mentioning that "Mawlana" previously won the Circle Award at the Washington, D.C. Film Festival. The film was awarded Best Film at the Luxor African Film Festival, and Amr Saad was awarded Best Actor. Saad was also crowned Best Actor at Tetouan Film Festival. The movie was originally released in 2016 and earned praise from both the public and critics despite the controversy surrounding it.