Hepta: The Last Lecture (2016) will be the first film launching activities of the Toronto Arab Film (TAF) collective in February 2018.
Directed by Hadi El-Bagoury, the film stars a number of prominent Egyptian actors, including Maged El-Kedwany, Ahmed Malek, Ahmed Dawood, Dina El-Sherbiny, Yasmine Raeis, Jamila Awad, Amr Youssef, Hany Adel, Ahmed Bedeir, Salwa Mohamed Aly, Kinda Alloush, as well as singer-actress Anoushka.
The film was a big box office success upon its release in Egyptian cinemas in April 2016, surpassing EGP 27 million in revenue, and becoming the highest-grossing romantic film in the history of Egyptian cinema.
Hepta is based on a novel with the same title adapted for the screen by Wael Hamdy, who is also known for the screenplay Mikano (2009).
Hepta – which means seven in Greek – takes the audience on a journey to the world of love, where a social psychologist traces the seven stages of the emotion: the beginning, the encounter, the relationship bond, the wakefulness, the truth, followed by decision, and then the ending, or the Hepta stage. It blends four different love stories that experience the different stages between crisis and pleasure.
The film brought the Best Supporting Actor award to Maged El-Kedwany and the Best Screenplay award to Wael Hamdy at the Cairo National Festival for Egyptian Cinema (2017).
The film will launch activities of the Toronto Arab Film collective with a screening 1 February 2018 at the Innis Town Hall, Toronto (Ontario, Canada). The screening will be followed by a reception for film lovers and film professionals. Following screening of Hepta the collective hopes to bring more films from the Arab world to Toronto audiences.
"The Toronto Arab Film is a non-profit collective dedicated to bringing films from and about the Arab world to Toronto audiences," reads statement on TAF's website. "TAF began because of a need to fill a void that exists in film programming in Toronto, specifically a lack of films from the Arab regions and a desire to reinstate a tradition of going out to watch films that has been lost."
The initiative will programme year-round film screenings in Toronto through its segment Layali El-Cinema. In parallel, the TAF's Shabaka segment will aim at creating links between Arab filmmakers in Toronto and internationally, fostering emerging talents through meetings and workshops.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture