Not to be missed: El-Gouna Film Festival kicks off, Christmas concerts across Cairo

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Dec 2023

Ahram Online highlights a selection of do-not-miss events this week (13-19 December) in Cairo, Alexandria, and El-Gouna.

Not to miss

Wonka - film
Wednesday 13 December
Across cinemas

The Story focuses on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures before opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory.

The film stars Rowan Atkinson, Timothee Chalamet, Calah Lane, Keegan Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Sally Hawkins, Jim Carter, Olivia Colman

Hypnotic - film
Wednesday 13 December
Across cinemas

Determined to find his missing daughter, a detective finds himself spiraling down a rabbit hole investigating a series of crimes that ultimately call into question his most basic assumptions about everything and everyone in his world. 

The film stars Alice Braga, Ben Affleck

6th El-Gouna Film Festival (GFF)
Red Sea resort of El-Gouna

Following two postponements, the festival will kick off on 14 December and continue until 21 December. 

The 2023 programming consists of 80 films to be screened across many sections, including 12 feature-length fiction films, 12 feature-length documentaries, and 21 short films in official competition.

Read more here 

Christmas concert
Thursday 14 December, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, main hall, Zamalek, Cairo

The evening will present The Oratorio de Noël, Op. 12, by Camille Saint-Saëns, also known as his Christmas Oratorio. The work is a cantata-like work scored for soloists, chorus, organ, strings, and harp. 

The evening will also include several Christmas carols.

The Cairo Opera Orchestra and Choir will be conducted by Ahmed Farag.

Tahqiq - performance
Thursday 14, Friday 15 December, 8pm
Rawabet Art Space, 5 Hussein Basha Al Meamari, Downtown Cairo

Tahqiq is a completely unscripted performance that features improvisation actors Ahmed Radwan, Hazem Ragheb, Nadim, Menna Walid, Nouran Waly, and Marwan Fares in skits of comedy, drama, action, and mystery. The performance will unfold in front of the audience’s eyes.

Bohemian Christmas Brunch
Friday 15 December, 3pm (doors open at 2.30pm)
Room Art Space & Café, 10 Etehad El-Mohamin St., Garden City

The Bohemian Project band will present world-famous Christmas melodies combined with Cuban rhythms and jazz.

Nesma Abdel-Aziz - music
Friday 15 December, 8pm
Alexandria Opera House (Sayed Darwish Theatre)

The evening will feature marimba player Nesma Abdel-Aziz and her band performing numerous compositions beloved by Egyptian audiences, arrangements of Arabic classics, as well as Western music and jazz flavours.

Abdel-Aziz began her career in 2001 when she performed with renowned musician and composer Omar Khairat. She later started her own band to work on personal projects.

Considered to be one of the best marimba players in the Arab world, Abdel-Aziz studied at the Cairo Conservatory of Music before traveling to continue her studies in the United States. Abdel-Aziz has performed in many international festivals and events.

Om Kalthoum Night - concert
Friday 15 December, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, main hall, Zamalek, Cairo

The evening will feature singer Mai Farouk, performing songs by the legendary Om Kalthoum.

The orchestra will be conducted by Selim Sehab.

Cairo Celebration Choir Christmas Concert
Friday 15 December, 8pm
Arkan Plaza, Sheikh Zayed, 6 October

The Cairo Celebration Choir, conducted by its founder and music director Nayer Nagui, will feature four soloists at this concert: Jacqueline Rafik, Dina Iskander, Amina Khairat, and Elhamy Amin.

El-Barouka (The Wig) - operette
Sunday 17 December, 8pm
Alexandria Opera House (Sayed Darwish Theatre)

The evening will feature an operettas by Sayed Darwish, commemorating his death centenary. 

Under the Fig Trees - film
Sunday 17 December, 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, 1, Dr. Mahmoud Azmi Street Zamalek, Cairo 

The film is directed by Erige Sehiri, a Tunisian-French writer, director, and producer, as well as a former journalist.

The film’s plot takes place over a single day, and with an intergenerational cast made up of non-professional actors, Under the Fig Trees is “an elegant, understated tapestry of complex interactions [and] a pleasurable and immersive experience.”

The film was Tunisia’s official entry for the 2023 Oscars.

Gala El-Hadidi Christmas concert
Sunday 17 December, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, small hall, Zamalek, Cairo

Mezzo-soprano Gala El-Hadidi will present her annual Christmas recital, accompanied on piano by Greig Martin.

Modern Dance Company
Monday 18 December, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, small hall, Zamalek, Cairo

The evening celebrates 30 years of the Modern Dance Company, choreographed by Walid Aouni.

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