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Egypt to embrace continent with African Cinema Club launch in Cairo

The role of African cinema and the cinema club initiative was highlighted during the African Women Against Violence programme that ran between 25 November and 3 December

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Dec 2016
AWAV
Ana Horra (I am Free) short film by Wafaa Ramadan screened during African Women Against Violence initiative (Photo: Still from Ana Horra)
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Amena Fazaa, a representative of Cairo’s African Society and head of the African Women's Club, announced that an African Cinema Club would start in January.

The statement was announced during the closing event of the African Women Against Violence initiative, held in collaboration with the African Women's Club and the Luxor African Film Festival.

The club will be screening films from every African country, and will act as a platform for discussing social issues in Africa in general, with some focus on African women's issues.

The initiative ran for a week, and featured daily film screenings that aim to spread awareness on the problems faced by African women and negative social stigmas that marginalise the female role in society.

Farouk Abdelkhalek, cinema critic and general-secretary of the African Luxor Film Festival, highlighted the importance of screening films during the initiative from several African countries including Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon and Senegal.

He added that “one of the main problems holding back African cinema from thriving is a lack of financial resources, possibly because most of the countries were occupied for long period of time. Another issue is a lack of screening halls in some of the countries, and with very few screenings per week the box office income is low.”

Abdelkhalek also noted that African cinema has been seeing a comeback in recent years with a visible presence in international festivals, and in European cinema competitions.

“Africa has the biggest studios in the world, with its natural landscapes, rivers, forests, as well as a rich heritage of legends and stories,” he said.

Film director and head of the Delta Media Academy, Mostafa El-Demerdash, also added that in order for African films to develop, have a stronger presence, and be competitive internationally, African countries must collaborate together.

“Egypt could have a central role in supporting African Cinema, because of its active presence on the film scene, and it’s significance within the continent. Our production companies must step up and play a role in this,” El-Demerdash added.

He also offered a suggestion: stars from African countries should be featured in Egyptian films every year.

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