Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What Would Sadat Do?

You mean Egypt and Israel aren't friends yet? They signed a peace deal in 1979 but I guess that didn't include entrance to Egyptian film festivals, damn they were short sighted, mutual film exchange would have been #1 on my peace list. I hope the Israeli's figure that out next time when they sign their deal with the PA.

Egypt festival launches barrage against Israeli film
by Alain Navarro Mon Oct 8, 12:02 PM ET (From Yahoo News)

CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian film festival has rejected an Israeli production and threatened to boycott any Arab moviefest that breaks a taboo on admitting films from the Jewish state.
Organisers of the Cairo International Film Festival, which opens next month, have loudly opposed an application by Eran Kolirin's "The Band's Visit," a fictional tale of an Egyptian police band that gets stranded in Israel.
The director has said his movie, which won praise at the Munich and Cannes film festivals, sends a strong pro-peace message.
But Soheir Abdel Kader, the festival's vice president, told AFP: "It is out of the question that an Israeli film plays here."
The Israelis applied for a place at this year's 31st edition of the Egyptian festival -- whose motto ironically is "to advance understanding through the language of art between all the peoples of the world" -- through the event's representatives in Germany.
"They will no longer be on our contact list, we didn't even answer their email," said Abdel Kader. "They should have known we are against the showing of an Israeli film."
A solid "anti-normalisation" front exists in Egypt's cultural circles which reject collaboration or contact with Israeli artists or intellectuals, despite a peace deal signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to fuel anger in Egyptians who believe the US-sponsored peace deal changed Egypt's role from regional heavyweight to mediator whose decision-making power is largely defined by Washington.
Three members of the festival committee did watch a preview of the "The Band's Visit" but did so in their personal capacity, not as officials of the filmfest which runs from November 27 to December 7.
The film delves into unlikely cross-cultural relations when an Alexandrian police band invited to perform in Israel gets lost in the Negev desert after their hosts fail to pick them up.
The musicians end up staying at a local cafe, and the initial, begrudging interaction between the Egyptians and the Israelis eventually develops into a warm exchange.
The film was also well received in its native Israel and is being considered for two prizes by the European Film Academy.
"We regret to hear that the film has not been accepted (in Egypt) for political reasons without consideration for its artistic merit," Israeli embassy spokesman Benny Sharoni told AFP.
The Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot said the movie had been expected to be shown at the Abu Dhabi film festival this month. But the paper said this infuriated the Egyptians and the showing was quickly cancelled after the Egyptian Actors Union threatened to boycott the Emirati festival if "The Band's Visit" was aired.
"It is clear that we will not participate in any Arab film festival if an Israeli film is shown," Ashraf Zaki, union secretary general, told AFP.
The weekly Rose al-Youssef magazine, meanwhile, ran an article under the headline "The Israeli squad was ready to attack the Arab festivals," charging that the bid to show the Israeli film at the Egyptian festival was part of what it called a well-orchestrated conspiracy to ignite a crisis within the local cultural scene.
The magazine said some in Egyptian artistic circles believed Culture Minister Faruq Hosni was ready to intervene in favour of Kolirin's film, as a way to polish his image as candidate for the post of chief of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO), though the ministry denied this.
The refusal to screen "The Band's Visit" is the latest episode in long-standing objections to normalising cultural ties with Israel.
In August, Zaki launched a virulent attack against rising star Amr Waked for agreeing to perform alongside an Israeli actor and threatened to block him from working in Egypt.
Waked is to star as the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein' son-in-law in "Between Two Rivers", a television film currently in development, on the life of the late dictator played by Israeli actor Yigal Naor.

For all my Arab Hommies:

عمرو واكد :: أحمد العيسوي
أحمد شاب رومانسي يعشق الشعر وتأليفه حصل على شهادة متوسطة وفجأة يأتي إليه جواب القوى العاملة بتعيينه ككشاف للكهرباء ، لا تعجبه الوظيفة ولكنه لا يملك رفضها بدلا من البطالة .. يعشق جارته نور الصباح ويحاول مساعدتها لكنها تتخلى عنه ، وعمرو واكد تخرج في الجامعة الأمريكية سنة 1995 ، و اشترك في ورشة إعداد ممثل وأول فيلم سينمائي اشترك فيه هو فيلم " "جنة الشياطين " و نال عن دوره في هذا الفيلم جائزة أحسن ممثل مساعد من مهرجان الإسكندرية سنة 1997 ، ثم شارك بعد ذلك في بطولة فيلم ديل السمكة ، وقام ببطولة الفيلم القصير " لي لي " والذي حصل على عدة جوائز داخل وخارج مصر من أهمها جائزة الجمهور في مهرجان كليرمون فيران بفرنسا وبعد ذلك شارك في بطولة فيلم " أصحاب ولا بيزنس " وفي المسلسل التليفزيوني " حديث الصباح والمساء " ثم في مسرحية " شباب روش طحن " مع المخرج جلال الشرقاوي .

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