The first Aswan International Film Festival, which opens on 20 February, will close on 26 February with the French-Italian production Dalida.
The film is a biography on the life of singer and actress Dalida, written, directed and co-produced by Lisa Azuelos, and staring Sveva Alviti.
Born Yolanda Cristina Gigliotti, Dalida was an Egyptian-Italian-French singer born in Cairo, who peaked in fame both locally and internationally during the 1960s, selling over 130 million records.
Her career began in 1956 and lasted for 30 years until her last album in 1986, less than a year before her suicide.
She was a multilingual artist, singing in German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and French. Also an actress, Dalida starred in the Egyptian film Sigara w Kas (A Cigarette and a Glass, 1955), and in Al-Yom El-Sades (The Sixth Day, 1986).
Head of the festival, scriptwriter Mohamed Abdelkhalek, stated in a report on Ahram Arabic news website that the selection of the film Dalida was for the singer’s connection with Egypt, especially her hit songs that she sang about the country in Arabic; Ahsan Nas (Best People) and Helwa Ya Baladi (My Beautiful Country).
The film is also to celebrate Egyptian women, to complement the festival’s opening film Laila Bint El-Sahara (Laila Daughter of the Desert, 1937), directed by Bahiga Hafez, which is a testament to Egyptian women’s cinematic presence at the dawn of the 20th century.
Abdelkhalek added that the festival has invited the film’s star, director, as well as Dalida’s brother to attend the closing ceremony and film screening.
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