Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – The head of the Egyptian Cinema Association, Youssef Sherif Rizkallah, has revealed that films about the 25 January revolution, which resulted in the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak after weeks of popular demonstrations, may soon be coming to a cinema near you.
Rizkallah acknowledged that the Egyptian film industry is facing a crisis in film production due to lack of public demand and interest for movies and cinema in the wake of the Egyptian revolution, stressing that many film producers are reluctant to screen their films during this transitional period in Egypt. However the head of the Egyptian Cinema Association stressed that he expected the situation to return to normal following the holy month of Ramadan [August], with filmgoers returning to the cinema once more.
Rizkallah also said that film production in Egypt will see drastic developments in the forthcoming period “regardless of what these films are about, for film producers will prefer to produce films with reasonable budgets, and will avoid films that require huge budgets.”
Rizkallah also told Asharq Al-Awsat that there will be even more opportunity for the younger generations of actors and filmmakers who only joined the industry a year or two ago, since they do not require huge salaries. He also said that this may also lead to the re-emergence of some old faces, including actors and directors.
The head of the Egyptian Cinema Association also told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Egyptian film industry is set to see new methods of production and cinematography coming into effect, thanks to new filming and cinematography techniques that are both highly efficient and cost effective.
Rizkallah said that the forthcoming period may see a number of films with relatively meager budgets of between 3 and 4 million EGY [Egyptian pounds], as films with such budgets are cost-effective and almost guaranteed to make a financial return for the filmmakers and studios
The Egyptian film industry has been given pride of place at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with Egypt being nominated as the first-ever “guest country” at this international movie event. The Cannes Film Festival has seen the screening of “18 Days”, a collaborative work comprising ten short fictional films inspired by the Egyptian revolution. In addition to this, the Cannes Film Festival is set to remember the late Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, whilst a number of other Egyptian movies are being screened, including a new edition of Hussein Kama’s 1968 classic “al-Bostagui” [The Postman], and Sameh Abdel Aziz’s new film “Sarkhat al-Mammal [An Ant’s Cry].