14 - 20 September 2000
Issue No. 499
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
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On screenAlexandria Film Festival
The 16th Alexandria International Film Festival began yesterday. Films from 23 countries, including Egypt, are participating in the annual event, which will run for one week. Forty-six foreign films will be screened, including 6 which are competing for the festival's top prize. As always, all eyes will be on the controversial "Egyptian panorama" part of the festival, which features 10 films competing for LE 260,000 worth of prizes. Amongst the films in competition are first-time directorial efforts by Ahmed Atef (Omar 2000) and veteran actor Nour El-Sherif. Sherif directed himself and his wife Poussy in Al-Ashiqin, a romantic comedy. The festival will be honouring its late founder, journalist and archaeologist Kamal El-Mallakh, as well as the late, great actor Hussein Riyad, actress Youssra, director Ashraf Fahmi and script-writer Mahmoud Abou Zeid.
Asal Al-Banat (Girls' Honey) The first of the summer's private sector song-and-dance extravaganzas out of the gate, Asal Al-Banat is also the first theatrical attempt at discussing the controversial new khul' law allowing women to divorce their husbands with due cause. A comedy almost fully dependent on the talents of El-Montasser B'illah, the play also features Russian dancers in what critics are saying is a spectacle superior to their traditional dance routines. A feisty lawyer, a belly dancer who owns a nightclub, and a handsome but bankrupt young man complete the somewhat cliched cast. Even so, first-time director Mohamed El-Naggar manages to give the audience a good time.
See listings below for venue and show-times.
Around the galleries
Opened by the Egyptian ambassador to Austria, Sameh Shukri, and organised by the Egyptian-Austrian Association for Culture and the Arts, an exhibition of "Paintings from the Egyptian and Austrian environment" was held recently in Vienna. Representing Egypt was veteran artist and academic Mohamed Zeinhom, whose oil-paintings of people and places draws heavily on the Egyptian psyche and natural environment. Palm trees, village centres and indoor scenes combine to produce a sensation of homecoming, and in contrast to the Austrian contribution, create a well-defined vision of Egypt.
Reviewed by Nagwa El-Ashri