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Panorama of Egyptian Cinema – Symposium in session! The screening of Winds of Asia – Middle East: Hassan and Morkos + Bitter Right.

“Winds of Asia – Middle East showcase the excellent films of Asia and Middle East with a slogan, “More extensively! More profoundly!” As one of the special feature to fulfill the slogan, we launched the symposium, “Panorama of Egyptian Cinema, featuring Egypt, which boasts 100 years of history as a major film making nation in the Middle East”, with our co-organizer: Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Japan. The movie marathon of the late master film maker, Youssef Chahine’s four part Alexandria series, will be screened along with the films made by the young directors who were influenced by Chahine, and are leading the next generation of Egyptian Cinema. The screening will be held everyday with the luxurious guests from the respective films.

The comedy, Hassan and Morkos, starring Omar Sharif, was screened on Oct. 18th. The respective families of Christianity and Islam religious leaders go into hiding, as a follower of the different religion to avoid the danger. Hassan and Morkos is a social film which depicts the religious conflict which besets Egypt and attempts to seek the way to resolve the problem by showing the humorous religious gaps between the two religions symbolically. Bitter Right which is shown together with Hassan and Morkos is a short documentary film which made a powerful appeal to the audience by issuing the problem that the divorced women in today’s Egypt face.

Mrs. Laila Ahmed Eloui (Actress)

The symposium started following the screening of the film by the seven members, namely, Ambassador Dr. Walid Abdelnasser, the Egyptian ambassador to Japan, and the film director, actress and media officials who held the symposium.
The Egyptian Film Production information was given as follows. "The only country in the Arabian world which has a successful ‘film industry’ is Egypt, which boasts 100 years of film making history. The Egyptian film has been considered as one of the Egypt’s export item and is fully supported by the government,"mentioned Ambassador Walid. "The number of the films produced by the government supported funds reached the total of 100 films. The three of the film titles produced the government have been shown at the Venice Film Festivals, competition screenings, and I think our film industry is reviving,"mentioned Mrs. Amal Amin Osman, Editor-in-Chief, Akhbar Elnogoum Magazine. The two actresses who are Egyptian superstars, Mrs. Laila Ahmed Eloui and Mrs. Elham Ahmed Shahin who is also a Producer, talked about the genres of the Egyptian cinemas, such as musicals, comedies, dramas, tragedies and varieties and mentioned, “The national identity of Egyptian people are known to be cheerful. We think positively and over come the problems even when we are facing the trouble. The movie is very appropriate for a better understanding between the two parties. We would like the film festival audiences to get this feeling by watching our films,"mentioned Mrs. Laila Ahmed Eloui.

Mrs. Elham Ahmed Shahin (Actress)

"I am proud of being the disciple of the director, Youssef Chahine," said Khalid Youssef, the Director of the Justified Betrayal. “ I was surprised that it wasn’t only in Egypt but also in Japan that the U.S. films boasted the overwhelming distribution share. The countries like Japan and Egypt with long history should work together and break the Statue of Liberty.” Director Khakid Youssef shared his spirited feelings about breaking through the film industry which is led by the U.S. films humorously.

Mr. Khaled Youssef (Director)

Finally, Ambassador Dr. Walid Abdelnasser showed his enthusiasm by mentioning, "The propositions are made to the Japanese film companies regarding to the use of film locations in Egypt. Like the Egyptian and Japanese cooperation of the book publishing industry which has already begun; we would definitely like to set up the cooperation between the Egyptian and Japanese film industry as well. ” The symposium lasted beyond an hour but the participating audiences gave a big applause in the end.

As some of the participants of the symposium mentioned, watching the movies gives us the good opportunity to understand the different cultures. We recommend you to visit our Film Festival and get in touch with the films from different cultures.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by JKA.
21st Tokyo International Film Festival(2008)