Luxor film festival invests on revolution's spirit
ANSAmed - 23/01/2014
A public school for boys from different social backgrounds and the discrimination between Christians and Muslims in Egypt before and after the revolution is at the centre of Amr Salama's film “Excuse My French”, which made its debut on January 19 in Luxor at the second edition of the Egyptian and European Film Festival. Some 62 short and feature films from 19 countries will be screened until January 25.
Salama told ANSAmed that, in order to make his film, he had to 'fight for four years with the censorship of the Mubarak era.
Nobody wanted a discussion on the great disparity between Christians and Muslims. It was as if the problem didn't exist'.
The 31-year-old filmmaker considered by many as a promise of Egyptian cinema said 'things regarding the equal treatment of this country's two main religious confessions have not changed at all. And they will not change with the implementation of the new Constitution' recently approved with a referendum.
'A piece of paper will not guarantee equal rights for Christians and Muslims. It will take decades and different generations to change a mentality which is deeply rooted in the country'.
Along with other artists, he was in Tahrir square since the beginning. On the eve of the third anniversary of the revolution on January 25, he says he is 'very disappointed'. Today, he noted, 'things are not as we expected. And now nobody can anticipate how they will go. We can only wait and see to try to understand what will happen in the country and which model we will adopt', referring to Iraq, Syria, Libya or Tunisia.
And from the Luxor Festival many have raised their voices to support the government and the country in its path towards democracy. 'An event which takes place right after the referendum which has given a clear sign of where the country wants to go', said of the festival the governor of Luxor, Tareq Saad Eldeen in his inaugural speech.
'We are fighting against terrorism and have chosen the road of democracy and thanks to this festival our aim is to draw Egypt closer to Europe and show that Egyptians still love peace and civilization', he said.
With the support of the government, governatorate and the European Commission - which is about to allocate 1.5 million euros in Egypt for projects to promote culture - the Noon Foundation, the NGO promoting the independent festival of Luxor, wants to involve youths in Upper Egypt, enabling them to take part in screenings which will he held from Monday until January 25 across the city along with meetings with a number of filmmakers.
The event takes place in a location which still has no movie theatres and no digital technology to screen films, as noted by the president of the festival Magda Wassef, who stressed that 'nevertheless we have invested in this. Youths are our objective, the nouvelle vague born from the revolution'.