Egypt's first Mawgat Int'l Audio Drama Festival to kick off online
Ahram Online, , Monday 1 Jun 2020
Motored by the Orient Productions and Studio Emad Eddin Foundation the festival is the culmination of a project which began in June 2019 and included a series of intensive workshops in broadcasting


The first edition of the Mawgat International Audio Drama Festival will take place between 7 June and 7 July via a digital platform designed exclusively for the programme.

Motored by Orient Productions and Studio Emad Eddin Foundation, with additional support from Arts Council England and the European Union, "the festivalis an artistic platform that aims to communicate with the world, sharing the best contemporary audio work from within and without the country," reads Orient Productions' press release.

"The Mawgat festival aims to promote the culture of audio drama in Egypt, and is part of a larger initiative consisting of the festival and a one-day training workshop directed at students. The latter is in collaboration with various local schools and non-profit organisations."

The festival is theculmination of a project which began in June 2019 and included a series of intensive workshops in broadcasting held by local and international experts.

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The workshop, the duration of which was six months, introduced the Egyptian participants to script development and gave them the technical skills required in audio drama production.

While to many participants it was their first experience, they succeededin producing nine audio dramas (each no longer than seven minutes) which they recorded and performed themselves. The recording process was supervised by broadcaster Asmaa Samir, who directed the pieces in a Cairo-based studio.

The nine completed works are as follows: Ali Mama by Salma El Banna, Al Wassiya by Ola Al Fouly, Run Asaleya by Eman Safwat, The Devil’s Crisis by Sherif Al Yamani, A Very Healthy Day by Ahmed Ayman Zaharia, The Teacher Asks for Pity by Nariman Mohammed Ali Mostafa, Meshmesh by Inas Ibrahim, A Literary Argument by Reham Ezz El Din, and Poor For Love Fixed by Fahd Mohy.

In addition, a one-day workshop was held for school students who during the six hours were introduced to the different stages of audio drama production, opening new avenues to young people with an interest in the field.

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The inaugural Mawgat International Audio Drama Festival will include the nine aforementioned audiodramas in addition to re-recorded pieces by the late broadcaster Youssef Ezz El Din Eissa, a renowned pioneer of audio dramas in Egypt.

Eissa's first broadcast was the 1940 radio play The Wheel Of Time followed by hundreds of other works - The Lost Day, Bitter Honey, A Drop of Honey, A Room Without Windows - produced for Egyptian radio.

The festival will also feature other works from the Arab world, including a project titled The Dead Are Busy by Syrian, German-based artist Madar Al Haggi, an audio drama which tells the story of a Syrian refugee in Germany and the obstacles he faces.

Another project titled Looks Like A Whisper saw the participation of a number of writers and journalists from Egypt, Syria, and Switzerland, documenting their experiences with exile, loneliness, identity, war, borders, death, and destiny.

The festival will take online on the official website which will be released soon, as well as on the Facebook pages forOrient Productions,Studio Emad Eddin, and theEuropean Union in Egypt.

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