The latest exhibition by cartoonist Amr Fahmi, entitled "The Lotus Flower" was inaugurated by Minister of Culture Saber Arab at the Art Corner Gallery in Zamalek. The exhibition showcases 50 portraits in different sizes of an array of Egyptian public figures such as Sheikh Mohamed Metwalli El-Shaarawi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and godfather of the Egyptian revolution Mohamed El-Baradei, former president Anwar El-Sadat, Egyptian-American scientist Farouk El-Baz and martyr Karim Khazam. The inaugural ceremony was attended by former minister of administrative development Ahmed Darwish and his wife, head of the Fine Artists Syndicate Hamdi Abul-Maati, veteran novelist Bahaa Taher, and artists Farid Fadel, Gomaa Farahat, Zeinab Mahmoud and Fatma Hassan.
A grand celebration was held at Sofitel Gezira Hotel, overlooking the Nile, with the aim of encouraging tourism in Egypt, under the auspices of the hotel's public relations department. Among the guests who enjoyed a delightful evening were the Greek Ambassador to Egypt Chris Lazaris and his Lebanese counterpart Khaled Ziyada, Counsellor of the Sovereign Order of Malta Roger Chakkal and various Arab and European diplomats.
photos: Ayman Barayez
Iraq's permanent representative at the Arab League Qais Al-Azzawi held a ceremony commemorating the late Algerian singer Warda at his residence in Zamalek. Lebanese Ambassador to Egypt Khaled Ziyada, former governor of South Sinai Abdel-Moneim Said, former judge of the International Criminal Court Fouad Abdel-Moneim Riad, actress Nabila Ebeid, Iraqi oud player Nasseer Shamma, film critic Ali Abu Shady, Major-General Magdi Diab, maestro Gaber El-Beltagui, media figures Ahmed El-Faqih, Mohamed Sabrine, Mohamed Mattar, Hala Hanafi, Mohamed El-Khouli and Salma El-Shammaa as well as a number of the Arab League members were all present.
photo: Abdel-Hamid Eid
Actresses Yossra and Maye Ezzeddin celebrated the premiere of their new film Game Over, a comedy directed by Ahmed El-Badri. Present were actress Elham Shahine, actress-cum-producer Issad Younis, shaaby singer Saad El-Soghayar, actress Amira El-Aidi, and singers Shaza and Ahmed Fahmi.
For the first time in the Egyptian media a partnership between an independent satellite TV channel and an independent arts foundation was formed; 25 TV and the Townhouse Gallery will work together to cover various cultural activities, placing emphasis on concepts that are often overlooked by the media, such as the administration of culture, the discussions that take place between artists and the brainstorming process. Both entities will be conceptualising, developing and implementing projects to strengthen both independent art and media in Egypt.
1/2 Revolution is still seeing international and regional success in festivals. The documentary will participate in a number of festivals in Great Britain: the Maysles Brothers Competition at the Belfast Film Festival in Northern Ireland, the Sheffield Documentary Festival and on 4 July in Barbican Theatre in London during the East End Film Festival. The documentary was recently selected to be part of Silverdocs in the US, which is organised by Discovery Channel and the American Film Institute; it is also taking part in the Democracine Festival in Brazil -- not to mention the Arab world: the 15th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentary and Short Films.
Directed by Omar Shargawi and Karim El-Hakim, the documentary is the first that looks at 25 January as an incomplete revolution, which aligns with the current political situation in Egypt and calls for the completion of the revolution and the fulfilment of its demands. In addition to its success in film festivals worldwide, 1/2 Revolution is making its way to audiences, getting released in Nordic countries on iTunes, the digital download giant. The documentary was also acquired by US digital distribution outlet Focus World, part of Focus Features, for digital distribution in America.
Nostalgia, the first feature film by Jordanian filmmaker Zaid Abu Hamdan, was chosen among the 10 finalists of the Third Annual PGA Producers Showcase (ProShow), organised by the Producers Guild of America, where it is competing with film projects from the US, Canada, Australia and Korea making it the only Arabic film vying for the top prize.
The PGA Producers Showcase competition runs in conjunction with Produced By Conference (PBC) in Los Angeles, California in the US, in attendance this year of some of Hollywood's most prolific producers including Christopher Nolan, producer and director of Inception and the recent Batman trilogy and Brian Grazer, producer of A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13, among others.
ProShow gives foreign and domestic independent producers the chance to realise their vision. The 10 finalists get free admission to PBC where they will participate in one-on-one meetings with some of Hollywood's top financiers, studios and production companies.
Nostalgia is the story of four estranged sisters leading different lives after running away from their oppressive past for years; they have to join forces to find their father, who has suddenly gone missing.
Hamdan's last work was the Academy Award eligible short Bahiya and Mahmoud: the film tells the story of an ageing married couple who have fallen into a reliable routine of bickering and making one another miserable until the morning that Mahmoud wakes and finds his wife Bahiya gone. The film also took part in numerous Arab and international festivals including the Dubai International Film Festival, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, the Busan International Film Festival and the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco where it won the award for Outstanding Short Film.