The poster for the 39th Cairo International Film Festival – Photo Courtesy of Cairo International Film Festival Official Website.
Egypt Today will provide its readers on two parts the most prominent artistic and cultural events in 2018.
1- Egypt is hosting for the third year the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) from 28 November to 18 December 2018 to feature films and documentaries around the world that captures the promises and challenges of migration.
2- Cairo International Film Festival was held on November 20-29.
3- The National Cinema Festival's closing ceremony took place on Sunday, Nov. 18.
Famed Egyptian actor Amr Saad won the Best Actor award from the National Cinema Festival for his role in "Mawlana" (The Preacher). Moreover, Egyptian actress Heba Ali won the Best Actress award for her role in “Akhdar Yabes” (Withered Green) movie. Meanwhile, the Best Director award went to acclaimed Egyptian director Marwan Hamed for his film "Al -Aslyeen" (The Originals).
4- The Egyptian horror movie “122” cast almost finished shooting it. “122” is the first Egyptian film to use the 4DX technology, which allows the observer to literally “live” the film while watching as it combines many sensory factors. The movie is directed by Iraqi director Yasser el-Yassery.and stars Amina Khalil, Tarek Lotfy, Ahmed el-Fishawy, Mamdooh Mohammed, Gihan Khalil, and Mohammed Dawood.
5- Dina el-Wedidi, Youssra el-Hawary and Karkade were nominated and selected for the fourth edition of the cultural exchange program Center Stage, which gives participants the opportunity for a month-long individual tour across the US that kicked off early September and runs through October.
6- Egyptian film Yomeddine won the Silver Tanit Award for Best Feature Film at the Carthage International Film Festival. Yomeddine received as well the Gouna Star for Best Arab Feature and the Cinema For Humanity Audience Award at El Gouna Film Festival. The Cinematic Professions Syndicate chose “Yomeddine” to represent Egypt in the 2019 Oscars list for Best Foreign Language Film. The Oscars will not be the first recognition “Yomeddine” gets, as it was awarded the Francois Chalais Prize at the Cannes International Film festival. The 71st Cannes Film Festival held a press conference with the Egyptian filmmakers of “Yomeddine” after its screening at the festival on May 9. “Yomeddine” directed by Egyptian director Abu Bakr Shawky is the first time for a debut movie for an Egyptian director to participate in Cannes Film Festival's main competition.
7- Black and White Music festival kicked off on Friday, November 16 in Family Park at Al Rehab city. The opening ceremony of the festival witnessed for the first time the participation of the most popular Egyptian bands such as Masar Egbari, Black Theama, Sharmoofers, Wust El Balad, Karakeeb, Disco Misr. Black and White Music festival is considered the first musical carnival of its kind in Egypt, the most famous 6 Egyptian bands performed on one stage in the longest continuous musical day that lasted for 12 hours under the media auspices of Youm 7.
8- The 27th Arab Music Festival which was named after Egyptian singing and acting icon, Shadia, ran between November 1 and November 13. The festival which was organised by Cairo Opera House hosted 43 concerts in seven different halls in Cairo, Alexandria, Damanhur and Tanta, where 72 musicians from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Jordan participated in this year's edition.
Among the participants were Hani Shaker, Medhat Saleh, Iman el-Bahr Darwish, Ali el Haggar and Mohamed Tharwat from Egypt, Assi el-Helani, Wael Jassar Ramy Ayach, Majda el Roumi from Lebanon, in addition to Tunisian singers Saber Rebaï and Latifa and Kuwaiti singer Nawal.
9- A session titled,”The role of art and cinema in shaping societies” took place on the third day of the second edition of the World Youth Forum. The session tackled the challenges that face the cinema industry. The session was attended Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem and Cairo International Film Festival head Mohamed Hefzy.
10- Zawya Art House Cinema organised the 11th session of the Panorama European Film, which ran from Nov.7 - Nov.17, 2018.
11- The newly discovered short stories written by the Egyptian Noble Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz, will be published on his birthday, December 11, 2018. The newly discovered short stories were found by the late writer's daughter, Um Kulthum Naguib Mahfouz, and culture journalist Mohamed Shoair. The short stories collection will be published by Lebanese publishing house Dar Al-Saqi under the title “Hams El-Nogoom” (Whispering of the Stars).
12- President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated World Youth Forum’s theater on Friday, November 2, to serve as an art forum for youth around the world.
The WYF’s theater was tailor made to be an innovative arena where young people show their talents, thoughts and cultures through this unique experience that was presented for the first time at the World Youth Forum 2018. The theater's performances extended over three days, reflecting a message of understanding and peace among the forum’s participants, emphasizing the integration of civilizations through singing, music and acting. El Za’aer” (The Visitor) play was shown on the World Youth Forum’s theater. The play which is directed by the veteran Egyptian director Khaled Galal sheds light on some important issues for youth around the world. “El Za’aer” is an international play that carries a message of peace, understanding and integration among all nations. About 16 actors from different nationalities participated in the play.
13- Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Mostafa Waziri, launched on October 29 the submerged exhibit at Minneapolis City in the USA, entitled “Drowned Cities: The Magical World of Egypt”, which will resume through to April 2019.
14- Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem inaugurated on October 27 the African Arts and Folklore Festival.
15- Some theater and art critics in Egypt decided to teach the play “Happened in the Land of Happiness” for director Mazen el-Gharabawy and writer Walid Youssef and instructed their students to watch it in preparation for their exam. Several local universities in different provinces across the country decided to take this initiative. Dr. Aida Allam decided to teach the play to her students in the Faculty of Theater Sciences at Helwan University; also, Dr. Sayed Ali decided to teach the play in the Faculty of Mass Communication at Helwan University.
16- The National Cinema Center headed by Khaled Abdel Jalil in collaboration with the Cultural Development Fund headed by Fathy Abdel Wahab inaugurated on Saturday, October 27 the first cinema club tailor made for the disabled and those who need special care.
17- Dina Mandour, head of the awards granting section in the General Egyptian Book Organization, revealed that French magazine, Livres De France, wrote about her within the magazine’s celebration of the overseas literature translation. The French magazine's article tackled Mandour's literature expertise, translations and writings, especially after she completed numerous translations from Arabic to French and vice versa.
18- The Bibliotheca Alexandrina will issue its first Italian publication in 2019, and the first knowledge embassy of the bibliotheca will be inaugurated in Europe in cooperation with the Catholic University in Milan, Italy.
19- Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem, decided to revive the Cairo International Fine Art Biennale after a 10-year hiatus, and its new edition “Toward the East” will be launched in April 2019.
19-Famed Egyptian singer Tamer Hosny announced that he almost recovered from the vocal cords inflammation that he recently suffered from. Egyptian star felt sick during shooting ‘’ Sahibat el Saada’’ program and was transferred to a hospital.
20- The UN organised a ceremony at the Cairo Opera House on Wednesday, On October 24 to mark UN Day.
21- Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem, inaugurated on Tuesday, Oct. 23the fourth edition of the Arabic Calligraphy Arts Forum, organized by the Cultural Development Fund sector at the Opera House’s Palace of Arts.
22- Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany along with more than 2000 tourists visited Monday, October 22 Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan to witness the marvellous phenomenon of the solar illumination of King Ramses II.
23- The 34th edition of Alexandria International Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries (AIFF) awarded veteran actress Nadia Lotfy the Bride of the Mediterranean Shield for playing a great role in enriching the Arab Cinema.
24- Egyptian actress Donia Samir Ghanem participated in the initiative of Dubai Governor, Mohamed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, to launch a school serving all students across the MENA region.
25- The first edition of Arab Lit granted the Best Short Story Award to Egyptian writer Muhammad Abdel Nabi for his short story “Kesetena” (Our Story). “Kesetna” was translated into English by Robin Moger. The award which amounts to $250,000 was divided between Abdel Nabi and Moger.
26- Lebanese singer Elissa expressed her happiness for being chosen to be the ambassador of the breast cancer awareness campaign. Elissa revealed having breast cancer in her latest clip "Ela Kol Ely Beyheboony" (To All Those Who Love Me), in which she shed light on her struggle with the disease and her recovery.
27- Wrestling star and Hollywood actor John Cena will participate in an Egyptian film named “El Tagroba el Mexicia” (The Mexican Experience). “ El Tagroba el Mexicia” is produced by Hussain Al Qolla and written by Mahmoud Hemdan and Mohamed Mehrez. John Cena will appear in the movie with his real identity as a wrestler.
28- The famed Egyptian star Ahmed Ezz received the best actor award while the star Sherine Reda received the best actress award from Arabian Cinema Awards on October 12.
29- Veteran actor Farouk al-Fishawy and Egyptian star Elham Shaheen was honoured in the Khartoum Arab Film Festival's fourth which ran from Oct. 20-25 in Sudan. The Sudanese festival decided to honor the Egyptian stars and grant them the Creative Shield Award for their enriching film career that spanned over decades. Fishawy revealed during the opening of the Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival’s 34th edition that he has cancer, asking his fans to support him and promised that he will defeat it.
30- The 10th edition of Cairo Jazz Festival took place on October 11. Among the international stars who participated in the festival are Syrian Lynn Adib, Portuguese Rita Maria, Austrian David Halbuck, Czech Dan Barta, Hungarian Esther Fakzi and Jerome Klein band from Luxembourg, Egyptian-German band Cairo Steps, Egyptian Singer Nouran Abu Taleb, as well as the Egyptian bands Hawidro and Baghdadi.
31- Egypt participated in the 2018 Frankfurt International Book Fair, which was held from October 11 to 14. Egyptian pavilion at the fair promoted for the Golden Jubilee of the Cairo International Book Fair which will take place at 2019.
32- Egypt hosted the 21st edition of the Arab Culture Ministries Conference on October 14 and 15.
33- Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Amr Talaat discussed new methods to create a digital cultural platform. The two ministers aim to cooperate in order to document all the Ministry of Culture's activities through audios, visuals, prints, documents and blogs.
34- Cairo Opera House celebrated its 30th anniversary in a huge gala labeled “30 Years of Art and Creativity”, dedicated to late maestro Manyato, who is considered the godfather of Opera in Egypt. The celebrations took place on Oct. 10, 11.
35- The eighth edition of the Malmo Arab Film Festival took place on October 5.
36- Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem agreed on Egypt’s participation in the 30th edition of Girona Film Festival (GIFF) in Spain. Abdel Dayem referred that this participation confirms Egypt’s leading position among other civilizations and different cultures.
37- The 34th edition of the Alexandria Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries (AIFF) was held on Wednesday, October 3, at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
38- The 22nd edition of the National Film Festival (NFF) which was titled “Eternal Moments” took place on October 22.
39- Several Egyptian novels as well as religious and political studies at the Egyptian pavilion of the Amman International Book Fair topped the best-selling books of the fair. The best-selling Egyptian books at the Amman International Book Fair include "Barqash Talks: A Structure without Borders" by writer Abdullah al-Sanawi, “Granada Trilogy” by the late novelist Radwa Ashour, “Madaq Alley” and “The Harafish” by Naguib Mahfouz, Youssef Ziedan’s novel “Ghorbat Arab”, and Sahar el-Mougy’s “Misk El-Tal (The Hill’s Musk).
40- Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany inaugurated on September 8 Miho cemetery, which is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Saqqara, allowing people to visit it for the first time since its discovery in 1940.
41- On September 2 ,Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem officially appointed Dr. Ashraf Zaki as the new president of the Academy of Arts.
42- Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre kicked off on September 6 in the Higher Council for Culture.
43- Famed Egyptian singer Tamer Hosny hits the one-billion views mark on all his songs on his YouTube channel.
44- Zawya Cinema screened 20 newly restored films by late iconic Egyptian director Youssef Chahine when it reopened its new venue on September 12 to September 22.
45- In honor of her rich artistic history, one of El Gouna city streets was named after the Egyptian superstar Yousra, on September 1.
46- Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem launched the Salah el-Din International Citadel Festival for Music and Singing in its 27th round on Thursday, August 2 at the Mahka Theatre at the citadel. She honoured the artistic figures who greatly impacted the festival’s success: veteran singers Hany Shaker and Medhat Saleh, as well as violin player Alaa Khalil, director Sayed Amin Abou Elhoda, critic Kariman Herk, Mohamed Hamdy and piano maintenance expert Hatem Mansour.
47- Egyptian comic actor Mohmed Sharaf passed away on Friday, July 28 at the age of 55 after a long struggle with heart disease.
48- The famed Egyptian producer ,screenwriter and head of Cairo International Film Festival, Mohamed Hefzy, has been selected as a jury member of the international competition, Orizzonti, at the Venice Film Festival.
49- The 11th edition of Oran International Arabic Film Festival honored the Egyptian director Khaled Youssef, veteran comedian Mohamed Henedy and the name of the late veteran Egyptian actress and singer Shadia.
50- Samira Said released her latest album ‘’ Superman’’
51- Turab el Mass was released in the Egyptian cinemas on October 10.
52- Amr Diab releases his latest album ‘’Kol Hayati’’ ( All My Life)
53- Sherine Abdel Wahab released her latest album Nasai ( Forgetful)
54- Egypt participated in the 12th edition of the international Children of Peace Festival, which was held in Morocco from July 23 to August 3.
55- Forbes’ "Arab Stars on the Global Stage" list included this year five Egyptians in different fields.The Egyptian celebrities in Forbes list are the famed football player Mohamed Salah, the iconic singer Amr Diab, the popular singer Tamer Hosny, the director Abu Bakr Shawky and the famed actor Amr Waked. In the singers’ category, Hosny claimed the second rank after French Montana while Diab claimed the ninth rank. Shawky grabbed the third rank in the directors category after Nadine Labaki and Zaid Doueiri, while Waked was ranked the second after the Algerian actress Sofia Boutella in the actors section. Mohamed Salah was the only sportsman in the list.
56- Egyptian superstars Ahmed El- Sakka and Mostafa Shaaban will reunite again after 16 years in the action movie “Taraneem Iblis” (Satan’s Hymns).
57- Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem launched the 11th round of the National Theatre Festival on July 19 in the Cairo Opera House's Main Hall.
58- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) cooperated with Bibliotheca Alexandrina to launch the “Music for Development” project during the 16th International Summer Festival, hosted by the Bibliotheca.
59- Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb was introduced to the most ancient manuscript for the Holy Qur’an at his residence in Lambeth Palace, London.
60- The Egyptian play "Mama" participated in the most prominent theatrical festival in the world, Festival d'Avignon in France. "Mama" is directed and written by distinguished Egyptian theatrical director and founder of the Temple Independent Theatre Company, Ahmed el-Attar.
61- Taba Heights Summer Nights Festival kicked off from July 20 to July 27. Faris Karam, Ramy Sabry, Bosy and Ahmed Sheeba were among the most significant singers participating in the second edition of Taba Heights Summer Nights Festival.
62- Elissa released her latest album "Ela Kol Eli Beyheboni" (To All Those Who Love Me).
63- The Egyptian Film Week held in Belgrade achieved a booming success, and witnessed the attendance of a large number of people. The film week was organised by the Egyptian Embassy in Belgrade, in cooperation with the Yugoslav Film Museum (Kinoteka) and the Arab Cultural Centre in Serbia.
64- Baalbeck International Festival, the oldest and most prominent cultural festival in the Middle East which ran from July 20 to August 18 honoured legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum in its opening ceremony.
65- Minister of Culture Inas Abdeldayem announced that the Egyptian Ministry of culture decided to create the first documented archive of the Egyptian cinema and its heritage since 1896 and name it "Egyptian Cinematic".
66- Graffiti artists draw famous icons of Egypt such as, Mohamed Salah, Umm Kulthum, Naguib Mahfouz and many others on Down Town walls. One of the Graffiti artists named Ahmed Fathy, also known as El Na2ash explained that they chose to fight radicalism and the status quo through art.
67- Elham Shahin was appointed honorary president of CAM Festival in Tunisia. CAM Festival focuses on short films, documentaries and stories.
68- “The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition” kicked off in Monaco, showcasing 149 ancient masterpieces from the Egyptian Museum. The huge, unique event was hosted by The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, between July 7 and September 9, under the auspices of Prince Albert II and the Egyptian government.
69- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences responsible for awarding the Oscar prizes announced that 12 Arab filmmakers are now members of the academy in the categories of writing, directing, acting, documentary, animation and production.The new Arab members who joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are:
Writing and directing: Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri
Writing: Lebanese screenwriter Joelle Touma
Directing: Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki
Acting: Algerian actress Sofia Boutella, Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas.
Documentary: Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha, Syrian director Feras Fayyad, Egyptian director Mohamed Siam.
Production: Lebanese producer Antoun Sehnaoui, Tunisian producer Saïd Ben Saïd.
Animation: Egyptian Disney animator Yasser Hamed.
70-The Bonhams International Auction House in London sold Thursday ancient Egyptian artifacts in an auction titled “Antiques”.
70- Cairo Opera House opened its Summer Festival events, which takes place in Cairo, Alexandria and Damanhur, with a concert for Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra (Light and Hope) on Wednesday July 4, 2018, at the Open Theatre.
71- Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani inaugurated “Egyptian Treasures” exhibition, held in Monaco, France, as part of the ministry’s plan to promote Egypt’s image abroad.
72- Arab Arts Focus (AAF) event crosses borders for the second time to participate in the Avignon Le OFF arts festival in France, which was held on July 6-24. The AAF program at the festival included five performances from four Arab countries, including Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, and Lebanon.