FILE – “El Asleen” poster.
CAIRO – 23 March 2017: “El Asleen” (The Originals) movie won the Nile Award for Best Movie from the seventh edition of the Luxor African Film Festival.
The movie is about a man who loses his job to a younger employee. He is beset by anxiety and depression, something he has 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 unemployed 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 it stars Maged al-Kedwany, Menna Shalaby, Khaled el-Sawy, Kinda Alloush, Mohamed Mamdouh, Ahmed Fahmy, and rising stars Layla Fawzy and Khaled al-Zahaby. The movie was written by the acclaimed Egyptian novelist and scriptwriter Ahmed Mourad and directed by the famous Egyptian director Marwan Hamed. It is worth mentioning that Hamed won the Best Director award from Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal.
The seventh edition of the Luxor African Film Festival kicked off from March 16 to 22 under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi at the Temple of Deir al-Bahri in Luxor.
The festival’s opening ceremony was attended by Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem and Luxor Governor Mohamed Badr. The famous Egyptian band Black Theama – whose musical genre includes different styles, including Nubian rhythms, reggae, hip-hop and other African styles – performed in the opening ceremony.
The festival displayed a recorded message by acclaimed Lebanese singer Majida el Roumi celebrating the passage of 10 years from the death of late great international Egyptian director Youssef Chahine. Roumi explained in the message her strong relationship with Chahine and their cooperation in the movie “Awdat al Ibn al Dal” (The Return of the Prodigal Son).
The seventh edition of the film festival honored veteran Egyptian actor Gamil Rateb, Egyptian actress Ghada Adel and renowned Senegalese director Moussa Toure.
Rateb was born in Cairo in 1926. He first appeared on screen in 1946 in the film “I Am the East”. After a 20-year break from Egyptian cinema, Rateb later returned to the screen with the film "Al-Kaddab" (The Liar).
The iconic actor also appeared in French and Tunisian cinema. Rateb performed in a lot of distinguished international movies, such as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Trapeze” and “To Commit a Murder” among others.
Toure was born in Senegal in 1958. In 1987, he established his production company, named “Les Films du Crocodile”, which funded a number of important documentaries. Toure released his successful first feature movie in 1991, entitled “Toubab Bi”.
In 2002, he launched Moussa Invite Film Festival, which is a showcase for African documentaries. One of his important achievements was directing “La Pirogue”, semi documentary movie, in 2012.
The poster of the festival bore the face of the late African icon Nelson Mandela.
Fouad explained that he chose Mandela because his achievements 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 coincides with what would have been Mandela's centennial birthday; he was born in July 1918 and died in December 2013. The festival will feature a number of films about the life and struggle of Mandela.
The poster takes the shape of the Africa continent, which is the festival's top priority. It was originally designed by Ahmed Seyam and was used in the third edition of the festival; it was extremely admired by festival guests at that time.
The festival’s management added a new competition to its seventh edition for cinema students in Egypt. The management announced that launching such a competition is a must, because Egyptian cinema students are currently producing extremely creative movies worth a special competition.
The LAFF was founded 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.
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