File- Youssef Cherif Rizkallah.
CAIRO - 28 March 2020: Cairo International Film Festival posted ‘’Rizk el Cinema’’ documentary on its official Facebook page to be available for people to watch.
‘’Rizk el Cinema’’ documentary was screened on November 23, to honor the festival artistic director the late great film critic Youssef Cherif Rizkallah.
More than twenty prominent filmmakers spoke about the renowned Rizkallah in the short movie: famed actress Yousra, renowned actor Hussein Fahmy, Egyptian director Hala Khalil, acclaimed script writer Waheed Hamed, veteran director Yousry Nasrallah,famed Egyptian director Marwan Hamed, renowned film critics Tarek el Shenawy, Khaled Mahmoud and Kamal Ramzy, former CIFF head Magda Wassef, head of Luxor African Film Festival Sayed Fouad, in addition to the sons of Rizkallah, film critic Ahmed Rizkallah and engineer Karim Rizkallah.
CIFF head Mohamed Hefzy and acting artistic director Ahmed Shawky spoke about Rizkallah in the documentary too. ‘’Rizk el Cinema’’ documentary is directed by Abdelrahman Nasr.
Born in 1942, Youssef Cherif Rizkallah completed the Jesuit School and ranked fifth in the secondary school final examination on the national level. He then studied Political Science at the Cairo University graduating with honors in 1966.
Rizkallah dedicated his life to media specializing in film. Following his graduation, he worked at the Egyptian Radio and Television becoming the news editor.
In the 1980s and the 1990s, he was in charge of preparing, co-hosting and hosting several programmes focusing on the seventh art: "Oscar", "Telecinema", "The Magic Lantern", among others. He also chaired the Cairo Film Society between 1978 and 1994.
Throughout his work at the Radio and Television and his writings, Rizkallah raised awareness of cinema among the Egyptians, sharing with them his vast knowledge about this field in Egypt, regionally and internationally. He has also introduced many Hollywood icons to the Egyptian viewers.
Between 1997 and 2002, he was appointed president of the Nile TV Channel and then president of the International Cooperation Sector in the Media Production City (2007 – 2011) and head of the Cinema Authority in the Media Production City (2011 – 2012).
Rizkallah was among the jury members of many renowned international film festivals, including Strasbourg, Milan, Rotterdam and Montpellier Film Festivals. He also served as artistic director of the Luxor Egyptian and European Film Festival.
The 41st Cairo International Film Festival is dedicated to Rizkallah, the iconic film critic and historian who passed away on July 12, 2019.
Hefzy previously stressed that Rizkallah’s decades of work in popularizing and spreading knowledge about a variety of segments of the seventh art possesses an important place in the hearts and souls of cinema followers. He added that the significance of Rizkallah’s work in the field deserves much more than just the dedication of the festival’s 41st edition.
“We have learned the love of cinema from Rizkallah; we hope to continue learning about sincerity, alongside many values that we often miss from Rizkallah,” Hefzy previously commented.
Many activities will be held to shed light on the late critic's work and he will posthumously retain the festival’s artistic director position that he held since 2000, after joining the festival in 1987 as artistic secretary.
In the festival’s 41st edition, Egyptian critic Ahmed Shawky, the festival’s deputy artistic director, was the acting artistic director. He was in charge of all the matters related to this post.