Zawya will celebrate Egyptian director Daoud Abdel-Sayed between 17 and 20 January by showing four of his films – El-Kit Kat, The Wedding Thief, Land of Fear, and A Citizen, a Detective and a Thief.
Abdel-Sayed is one of Egypt's most accomplished directors and has to date directed 12 films, many of them award-winning. In 2013, three of his films were chosen among the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF)'s list of the 100 Most Important Arab Films: El-Kit Kat (1991), Land of Fear (1999) and Messages from the Sea (2010).
Abdel-Sayed is credited for pioneering "new realism," a school of thought in Egyptian cinema that introduced action to the melodramatic movement of the 1960-70s.
He graduated from the Higher Institute of Cinema in Egypt in 1967 and went on to work as an assistant director on the set of The Land (Al-Ard) by the legendary Youssef Chahine.
Abdel-Sayed's latest film, Out of the Ordinary, premiered last month at the 11th edition of DIFF. The film stars Khaled Aboul-Naga, Naglaa Badr, Mahmoud El-Guindy, Abbas Aboul-Hassan, Mariam Tamir, Hassan Kami and Ahmed Kamal.
Zawya has hosted retrospectives on Syrian filmmaker Mohamed Malas and on Egypt’s Chahine, whose production house Misr International Films launched Zawya in March last year. This will be the art house cinema's first retrospective in 2015.
Starring Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz, Aida Riyadh and Amina Rizk, El-Kit Kat is one of Abdel-Sayed's most popular films. The script is adapted from the novel Malek El-Hazin (The Heron) by Egyptian writer Ibrahim Aslan.
"Abdel-Sayed conjoined the talents of Aslan and Abdel-Aziz along with those of other skilled cast and crew members to craft an entertaining, heartwarming film that is visually and auditorily impressive," wrote Mohannad Ghawanmeh, a film scholar, about El-Kit Kat in a blog post titled 'Soaring Above the Doldrums', published in 2012.
The Wedding Thief (1994) centres on a love entanglement in an Egyptian village. Co-written by Abdel-Sayed, the film stars Loussy, Hassan Hosny, Maged El-Masry, and Hanan Turk, as well as Mohamed Henedi in one of his earliest roles on the screen.
In Land of Fear, Ahmed Zaki plays a police officer who is ushered by his superiors into a life of crime. The film sheds light on notions of good, evil and power. The film won the Silver Pyramid award for best director at the 23rd edition of the Cairo International Film Festival, and also won best Arabic film.
Also written by Abdel-Sayed, A Citizen, a Detective and a Thief (2001) stars Khaled Aboul-Naga alongside Salah Abdallah, Hend Sabry and Ahmed Kamal.
A Q&A with the director will follow each screening. The discussion will be moderated by film critic Ahmed Shawki.
Saturday 17 January - El-Kit Kat (1991), with French subtitles
Sunday 18 January - The Wedding Thief (1994), with English subtitles
Monday 19 January - Land of Fear (1999), with French subtitles
Tuesday 20 January - A Citizen, a Detective and a Thief (2001), with English subtitles
All screenings start at 6:30pm at Zawya
Odeon Cinema, 4 Abdel-Hamid Said Street, off Talaat Harb Street, Downtown Cairo