Mohamed Khan's 'Before the Summer Crowds' competes in Luxor African Film Festival

Ahram Online , Thursday 11 Feb 2016

The film premiered at the 12th Dubai International Film Festival in December 2015

Before the Summer Crowds
Still from 'Before the Summer Crowds'

‘Before the Summer Crowds', a film by renowned filmmaker Mohamed Khan, has been chosen to represent Egypt in the 5th edition of the Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) feature film competition, where it will make its Africa premiere before its scheduled release across Egypt’s commercial cinemas in March.

Before the Summer Crowds (or Abl Zahmet El-Saif) is a drama and romance set at a resort by the sea. It follows an estranged couple and their neighbour whose holiday plans do not go quite as expected.

Starring Maged El-Kedwany, Hana Shiha and Ahmed Dawood, the film was written by Ghada Shahbandar, and it premiered at the 12th Dubai International Film Festival in December 2015, where it participated in the Muhr feature competition.

The film will be replacing Nawara by filmmaker Hala Khalil, which was supposed to participate in this year's feature film competition of the festival. Nawara, however, will still open this edition as previously announced.

The 5th edition of Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) is scheduled to run between 17-23 March, and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Ivorian film.

This year’s jury of the feature film competition will comprise director Flora Gomes (Guinea Bissau), director Moussa Touré (Senegal), actor Driss El-Rokh (Morocco), actress Sawsan Badr (Egypt) and director Magdy Ahmed Aly (Egypt).

Thirteen films are set to compete in this category, including Reveries of the Solitary Actor (Hamid Benamra-Algeria), Without Regret (Jacques Trabi-Cote D’Ivoire), Shadow of Madness (Boubacar Gakou-Mali), Starve Your Dog (Hicham Lasri-Morocco), The Unseen (Perivi John Katjavivi-Namibia), The Missing God (Ubaka Joseph Ugochukwu-Nigeria) and Mona (Anthony Abuah-Nigeria).

This year’s jury of the long documentary competition will comprise producer Pedro Pimenta (Mozambique), film critic Hans-Christian Mahnke (Germany), director Jihane El-Tahiry (Egypt), director Khaled El-Haggar (Egypt) and director of photography Wael Saber (Egypt).

The competition will include Funeral of My Father (Lorenzo Mbiahou & Milosine Tchetkou-Cameroon), Never Were They Not Children (Mahmoud Soliman-Egypt), The Last Fight (Jackie Lebo-Kenya), Duty to Remember (Mamadou Cisse-Mali), The Bread Road (Hicham Elladdaqi -Morocco), The Women of the Clock (Raja Sediki-Morocco), Sembene (Jason Silverman & Samba Gadjigo-Senegal), The Four Seasons (Mohamed Zran-Tunisia), Roundabout in My Head (Hassen Ferhani-Morocco), A Man for My Family (Thierno Souleymane Diallo-Guinea), Rendala le Mikea (Alain Rakotoarisoa-Madagascar), Rock Inspired (Nigeria-Famous Odion Iraoya) and The Siren of Faso Fani (Micheal Zongo-Burkina Faso).

For the freedom competition, this year’s jury will be headed by American actor Danny Glover and will also comprise film critic Olivier Barlet (France), actress-director Ahd Kamel (Saudi Arabia), director Ahmed Maher (Egypt) and novelist Ebtihal El-Shayeb (Egypt).

Competing in this year’s freedom competition will be Beasts of No Nation (Cary Jojy Fukunaga-USA), Towards the Forest of Snow (Robin Hunzinger-Cote d’Ivoire), Freetown (Garrett Batty-Liberia), Tentmakers of Cairo (Kim Beamish-Australia), Independence (Mario Bastos-Angola), Crumbs (Ghana), Visaranai (­Vetri Maaran-India), Gnonnou (Agnes-Maritza Boulmer-Benin), Little Go Girls (Eliane De Latour-France) and The Man Who Mends Women (Thierry Michel-Congo).

This year’s jury of the short film competition will comprise director Huwa Osman (Kenya), director Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia), Malek Khoury, professor of film studies at the American University in Cairo (Egypt), director Sherif El-Bendary (Egypt) and director Abdel-Nour Zahzah (Algeria).

Some 21 films are in competition in this category, including Parle Avec Eux (Maimouna Nddiaye-Burkina Faso), Alma (Eka Christa Assam-Cameroon), Rumeurs Du Lac (Wendy Bashi-Congo), Djibada (Mho Diaby-Cote d’Ivoire), Sounds of Tears (Dorothy A Atabong-Gabon), Intellectual Scum (Njue Kevin-Kenya), Tetirano (Firoza Houssen-Madagascar), Ball (Khalifa Ty-Mauritania), Voiler La Face (Ibtissem Guerda-Morocco), Nidae Trang (Hicham Regragui-Morocco), Mulheres (Elisa Bucchi, Nicola Bogo-Mozambique), Adam Minus Eve (Aurelia Mengin-France), Ishaba Apple (Yves Amuli-Rwanda), Dark Days (Kayambi Musafiri-Rwanda/Tanzania), Lazy Susan (Stephen Abbott-South Africa), Sniper (Kamel Laaridhi-Tunisia) and Crisis (Jamil Najjar-Tunisia).

This in addition to four Egyptian films competing in this year's short film competition: Aida by Maysoun El-Masry, Expired by Islam Kamal, Wintery Spring by Mohamed Kamel and Greedy by Mohamed Hisham

Headed by scriptwriter Sayed Fouad, LAFF’s 5th edition will honour Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, Moroccan critic Mustafa Elmesnawy and Ivorian director Henry Duparc.

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