Egyptian cinema masterpieces to lead selection of classics at Saudi Red Sea Int'l Film Festival

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Oct 2021

Four Egyptian films by Khairy Beshara, Henry Barakat, Raafat El-Mihi and Youssef Chahine will be screened as part of a selection of eight international masterpieces presented at the Red Sea International Film Festival (6-15 December 2021).


The films include the 1994 classic Strawberry War by legendary director Khairy Beshara; Raafat El-Mihi’s 1995 classic A Little Love Much Violence, a film that is considered one of the most daring in the history of Egyptian cinema; the 1959 drama The Nightingale’s Prayer, directed by notable filmmaker Henry Barakat; and the 1970 rare classic The Choice, which is among the most essential films by legendary Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine.

It is worth noting that in December 2020, the festival celebrated renowned Egyptian filmmaker Khairy Beshara. The director held a masterclass in Jeddah followed by a retrospective honouring his key works, which were restored by the Red Sea Festival Foundation, namely The Collar and the Bracelet (1986), Bitter Day, Sweet Day (1988), Ice Cream in Gleam (1992), Abracadabra America (1993), Traffic Light (1995).

Other films to be screened within the upcoming classics segment are Wadjda, the 2012 feature directorial debut of Saudi Arabian writer and filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour; the 1979 Bengali-language mystery The Elephant God, one of the most popular films from Indian director Satyajit Ray; the 2016 documentary Lumière! by French writer and director Thierry Frémaux; Pierrot le Fou, the 1965 classic from French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard.

With Pierrot le Fou, the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 38th Academy Awards, the Festival also is paying tribute to one of the most popular French actors, Jean-Paul Belmondo.

"Beginning with Jean-Luc Godard and the New Wave, it did not take long for him to take the turn of comedy and action film, with more than 80 films to his name. The Festival pays homage to this exceptional actor by presenting a montage of his main roles, prepared by the Lumière Institute, and by programming Pierrot le Fou in a restored version," reads the festival's official press release.

“These films represent not only classics of the Arab world, but also some truly iconic international gems. The Festival gives us the opportunity to celebrate these films with a renewed attention that such pioneering works of cinema are worthy of, given their disruptive and boundary-pushing nature,” explains Antoine Khalife, Director of Arab Programs and Film Classics of the Red Sea International Film Festival.

The inaugural edition of the Red Sea Festival was scheduled to take place in March 2020, but due to the pandemic it was postponed. The management has decided that the festival's first edition will only feature a few events from its original schedule under the 'Label Edition' name. The festival organised some events related to its inaugural edition, in December 2020. The festival's second edition was planned take place in March 2021, a date that was moved to December 2021.

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