Saudi Red Sea Film Festival Foundation restores The Choice by Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine

Ahram Online , Friday 28 Feb 2020

The film will be screened at the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah next month

Al-ikhtiyar (1971)
(Photo: still from Al-Ikhtiyar)

The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation has announced that it has restored Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine’s masterpiece Al-Ikhtiyar (“The Choice”).

The film will be screened at the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival, in the Retrospective and Classics section.

The festival is taking place between 12 and 21 March in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The organisers said that "the Retrospectives and Classics programme is specially curated to give local and international audiences the opportunity to encounter works that have shaped collective memory."

The screenplay for the 1971 drama mystery was written by Chahine and Naguib Mahfouz, whose novel served as a basis for the film.

The Choice is an allegory of contemporary intellectual schizophrenia involving two brothers. It is "a deep dive into the human psyche, exploring the social conscience of Egypt in light of the Six-Day War," reads the festival's press release.

The film stars the "Cinderella of Egyptian cinema" Souad Hosni alongside Ezzat Al-Alayli, Hoda Sultan, and Mahmoud Al-Meligui, among others.

The festival foundation is the first Saudi independent non-profit organisation with an official mandate to promote film culture.

Among the foundation's aims is to shed light on Saudi cinema, promote international cinema to local audiences, and support Saudi and international filmmakers, while nurturing the cultural scene.

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