Egyptian filmmaker Ayten Amin to speak for WCF at 71st Berlinale on 'Decolonising Cinema'

Mona Sheded, Sunday 28 Feb 2021

Egyptian film scholar Viola Shafik will also open the event with a live talk about the definition of the focus theme

Ayten Amin
Ayten Amin (Photo: courtesy of MAD Solutions company)
Egyptian filmmaker Ayten Amin will speak at one of the talks organised by the World Cinema Fund (WCH) on the theme of "Decolonising Cinema" during the upcoming 71st edition of the Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale), which will be held online 1-5 March.
Amin will participate in the talks alongside curators, scholars, activists and filmmakers from Latin America and Africa such as, Davi Pretto (Brazil), Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho) and the founders of several community cinemas across Africa.
Meanwhile, Viola Shafik, who is an Egyptian film scholar, director and curator, will open the event with a live talk about the definition of the focus theme.
The talks will be streamed on the Berlinale’s Facebook and YouTube channels on 5 March from 2 - 5:30pm 
The WCF is an initiative by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Berlin International Film Festival, in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office and with further support by the Goethe-Institut.
Since 2004, the WCF has successfully supported film production in underserved regions with its increasingly differentiated funding programme (WCF, WCF Europe, WCF Africa, WCF ACP), and has also embarked on cultural diversity in German cinemas.
The WCF also promoted cooperation between production companies from these regions or countries and German/European production companies.
Four projects funded by the WCF have been selected for the 71st edition of the Berlinale, which is planned in two stages: The industry event, held online between 1-5 March, and film screenings within the Summer Special between 9-20 June.
Amin’s second feature film Souad is one of the WCF funded projects and will see its world premiere in Berlinale’s Panorama Section.
The film was also among the official selection of the 73rd edition of Cannes Film Festival, which was canceled last year due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Souad is a co-production between Egyptian producer Sameh Awaad, marking his production debut; Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha, producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy, Egyptian producer Mark Lotfy and Wim Wenders through Germany’s Road Movies. 
Amin co-wrote the script for Souad with Mahmoud Ezzat, and the film stars Bassant Ahmed, Basmala El-Ghaiesh and Hussein Ghanem.
As part of the event, directors of current funding projects and other guests will address this complex topic of decolonising cinema.
Additionally, the programme will include an event titled "Directors Talk" with directors of films from the festival selection.
“Most of the projects submitted for WCF funding derive from countries and regions that have to deal with colonialism and post-colonialism,” says WCF Head Vincenzo Bugno in an official statement from the festival.
“But, what does that mean for the film production located there in terms of content and structure? To what extent are new decolonising efforts necessary? We have to question this in a differentiated way as we are very aware of these cultural and historical contexts," added Bugno.
"The present is a mirror of history. The consequences of colonialism are reflected in the daily life of many countries. This topic is coming through in more and more of the projects submitted to the WCF."
WCF Day shines a light on impressive and original Latin American and African projects and initiatives focused on, or inspired by, colonialism and its lasting impact.
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