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Egypt to doc cinematic heritage

The Nationwide Middle for Cinema is about to digitize the archives, information and paperwork of employees within the Egyptian movie trade.

The challenge goals to digitize the information of 800 main movie stars and artists, together with Faten Hamama, Shoukry Sarhan, Adel Imam, Ahmed Zaki, Mahmoud Abdel Azizi, Mahmoud Yassin, Soad Hosny, Gamil Ratib, Shwikar, Laila Elwi, Nabila Ebeid and lots of extra.

It’s being achieved via the Cinematic Tradition Middle and beneath the supervision of Egyptian screenwriter and movie critic Magdy al-Shahry.

The challenge additionally consists of the information and paperwork of those that have performed a significant a part of the Egyptian movie trade, most notably administrators Youssef Chahine, Hassan al-Imam, Henry Barakat, Atef el-Tayeb, Mohamed Khan, Ali Badrakhan, Mohamed Karim, Kamal el-Sheikh, Shadi Abdel Salam, Ashraf Fahmy, Mohamed Fadel, Yahya al-Alami, Houssam El-Din Mustafa and others.

The challenge additionally consists of the names of distinguished screenwriters, notably the world-renowned author Naguib Mahfouz, Abdel-Hay Adib, Mahfouz Abdel Rahman, Mohamed al-Basousy, Wahid Hamed, Lenin al-Ramly, Mostafa Moharam and others. The names of cinematographers additionally determine within the documentation challenge, notably Wahid Farid, Mohsen Nasr, Abdel Aziz Fahmy, Ramses Marzouk, Mohsen Ahmed, Abdel Halim Nasr, Saeed Shaimi and Sameh Selim, amongst others.

As for the names of set and manufacturing designers in Egyptian cinema, the challenge consists of Shadi Abdel Salam, Onsi Abou Seif, Salah Marei, Nohad Bahgat and others.

In a press release launched on the Nationwide Middle for Cinema’s Fb web page July 8, Shahry, who can also be the director common of the Cinematic Tradition Middle, mentioned the challenge comes throughout the framework of the Ministry of Tradition’s efforts to protect the historical past of the Egyptian film trade. The cinematic archive has over 1,400 information and paperwork of artists and employees within the sector, which will probably be digitized and preserved on CDs, he added.

Mohammed Youssef al-Sharif, a movie critic and chairman of the board of the Egyptian Affiliation of Movie Writers and Critics, praised the challenge, contemplating it a significant step that ought to have been taken a few years in the past.

“Over 10 years in the past, there have been consultations and research to determine a cinematheque that will be supervised by the Nationwide Middle for Cinema. The cinematheque would have included all copies of Egyptian movies that had been produced over the previous 125 years,” Sharif informed Al-Monitor.

“We additionally needed to protect the machines that had been utilized in filming, along with the previous movie posters and photographic movies and all the pieces associated to the cinema trade, in addition to tv and radio manufacturing. However to this point, nothing has materialized on the bottom,” he added.

Sharif continued, “Two years in the past, there was a gathering amongst senior and younger movie officers, a few of whom had been a part of the misplaced historical past of Egyptian cinema and nonetheless have tangible reminiscences from this historical past. After I requested them to share these reminiscences and the paperwork that they had — that are of nice curiosity for filmmakers world wide and never simply in Egypt — I used to be shocked to study that they now not had them. It’s because after they current their merchandise to the general public at any pageant at house or overseas, the Nationwide Middle for Cinema has the suitable to make use of these supplies with out returning them to their house owners.”

“If house owners want to current their works they want permission from the middle, which has sadly brushed apart the majority of the previous Egyptian cinema historical past through the years and didn’t raise a finger when two Arab corporations purchased the belongings of crucial historic movies, even though they represent a big a part of Egyptian cinema historical past,” he added.

An Egyptian movie producer who spoke on situation of anonymity had harsh phrases for the Nationwide Middle for Cinema’s practices. He informed Al-Monitor by way of cellphone, “How may the Nationwide Middle for Cinema have the suitable to doc and register content material in its identify with out this being a violation of copyrights of heritage house owners? How may it use content material for public and cultural functions with out referring to their proprietor first, and why would inventive works be registered within the heart’s identify? How may the middle have the suitable to digitize cinema contents and use it for cultural functions with out the permission of the house owners?”

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