Trump says ceasefire in Syria is holding despite few skirmishes    Johnson faces perilous Brexit ratification after Brexit deal vote blocked    China's economic growth could fall below 6% in 2020: IMF    Salah returns to Liverpool's trainings on Monday, says Egypt's coach    Lebanon set to cut ministers' pay in bid to defuse protests    Banks weigh on Saudi stocks ; other Gulf mixed    Match abandoned in latest blow to Mexican football    Tennis: Murray beats Wawrinka to win first title since hip surgery    Spanish PM to visit Barcelona, criticises regional chief    EBRD bank praises Egyptian reforms efforts – official    Sisi: Russia-Africa Summit reflects historic friendship ties    Parliament committee to address problem of stray dogs in Egypt    Shell Egypt to sell assets in Western Desert to focus on offshore exploration    WHO hails 'triumph' as Ebola vaccine gets European green light    Current and ex smokers may lower lung cancer risk with exercise    Lebanon agrees final budget with no taxes to appease protesters    Egypt's Sisi praises SCC's role in protecting justice, rights, freedoms    France's President Macron receives Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Elysee    Egypt inks deal with Euroclear Bank to upgrade public debt management    Egypt's Cooperative Insurance Society to cover NGOs clients' loans    After a young pupil dies of meningitis in Egypt, tips to help prevention    Egypt's PM urges US's ADTRAN Inc. to invest in communications equipment    French President Macron receives Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Elysee    'Passports should be valid for six months,' Egypt's foreign ministry advises citizens planning travel abroad    Grand Nile Tower Arts & Cultural Centre launches second round    Egypt's coach Hossam El-Badry satisfied with winning start despite technical problems    Luxor's new discoveries    Moroccan film Nomades scoops awards in Alexandria Film Festival    Toshiba's JV with Egyptian Elaraby opens regional HQ in South Africa    Six authors vie for Booker prize 2019, Atwood in the lead    In Photos: A sneak peek into rehearsals for the Cleopatra ballet world premiere    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM to meet in Moscow to discuss GERD issue    Sisi: army engaged in attrition phase against terrorism in Sinai since 2013    10K fans to attend Egypt's friendly against Botswana in Alexandria: EFA    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM agree to overcome obstacles in Nile dam talks    Farwell to Egyptian comic actor Talaat Zakaria    Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case    Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections    ACWA Power compares 3 bids to supply production units for Luxor power station    What do you know about gold alloying?    NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements    Jennifer Lopez evokes Egyptian outrage post her North Coast performance    Al-Sisi honours Egypt's scholars on Science Day    IS claims responsibility for suicide bombing killing 63 in Afghan wedding    Political parties gear up for parliamentary, senate, local elections    Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men's U-19 World Handball Championship    12th National Egyptian Theatre Festival fuel up public theatre art scene    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Festival improves but awards leave a lot to be desired
Published in Daily News Egypt on 10 - 12 - 2006

Critic bashes Arab films as "plainly rubbish
Cairo: The 30th Cairo International Film Festival had its ups and downs, but if we sidestep what could be considered controversial judging, this year's cinematic extravaganza was a remarkable improvement on yesteryear.
However, as predicted, Egyptian films, apart from the award winner Qass We Lazq (Cut and Paste), were not up to standard.
Syrian critic Rafiq El-Sabban put it best when he said Arabic films were plainly rubbish and the only two good films are the ones that deserved to win.
El-Sabban said that the musical Mafeesh Gheir Keda (None But That) was different and amusing yet the film had a small production for a musical and didn t provide the audience with the sweet visual taste of such a genre.
Emad El-Bahhat s feature debut Istughomaya (Hide and Seek), although a good effort and an indication of a promising career for its director, was still a bad film.
El-Sabban also criticized the somewhat overzealous decision to award the Chinese film The Road three prizes especially for the Special Jury Mention which he believes should have gone to Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga s performance in Civic Duty.
The Road, an excellent film in its own merits, was topped by other films in the competition. El-Sabban, along with many other critics, considered the Brazilian film Zuzu Angel as the lawful, robbed winner of the Golden Pyramid.
The film, predicted by many to win best film and actress, left the festival empty handed.
Argentinean film La Volocidad Funda el Olvido (Velocity Begets Oblivion), considered by critics and The Daily Star Egypt to be the best film in the festival, was only given the best actor award, while La Ultima Mirada (The Last Gaze), another favorite for The Daily Star Egypt, left with only the International Critics award.
The choices for the Silver Pyramid and Direction were particularly infuriating. El-Sabban stated that the Silver Pyramid winner Sankara from Sri Lanka didn t deserve to win and that the award should ve been given to any of the much superior Latin American films.
He also said the Best Director award for the Iranian film Jayee Dar Dour-Dasti (Somewhere Too Far), a forgettable senseless melodrama that represents only a pale shadow of other superior Iranian films, was absurd since the film was upstaged by at least five films in the competition.
The basic notion of awarding a film is directly proportional to the tastes of the jury members, their cultural backgrounds and their political and social ideologies, explained film critic Khayriya El-Bishlawy.
Yet, it is difficult not to commend all the improvements that took place this year.
Ezzat Abu Ouf, festival president, proved that with more experience and confidence he has the potential to turn the Cairo fest into the international cultural event Marrakech and Dubai are becoming.
Organization was a major improvement over the last three or four years. Press conferences and screenings were held on time, discussions were, most of the time, civilized and controlled and the opening ceremony was excellent.
And although Egyptian celebrities rarely showed up during the proceedings of the festivals, except at the few gala dinners, it was Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris that pulled the festival from its slump.
His contribution in publicizing the event and the touch of glamour he stamped on every aspect of the festival, apart from the artistic one, is clear and undeniable.
The absence of any high-profile films, except for Paris, Je T aime (Paris I Love You) and Indigènes (Days of Glory) was both a blessing and a curse.
On the on one hand, it gave more room for the smaller, lesser known films to shine. On another hand, and despite the considerable commercial success the festival enjoyed this year, the selection denied many film lovers a rare opportunity to watch the latest art blockbusters from Europe which would likely have attracted more audiences.
All things considered, the festival was a success, both artistically and commercially. The problem that remains unsolved is the global publicity for the festival.
What the festival needs now is not the films; it needs the media outlets and the major celebrities to boost its image and essentially compete with both the giant festivals and the emerging ones.

Clic here to read the story from its source.