“Starting his career [in the 70s] as a documentary director for several films like The Seagull, Doctor in the Countryside and Tank Hunter, before turning into fiction to become one of the pioneers of the Neo-realism generation in Egyptian cinema,” stated the festival on Sunday, dubbing Beshara a “great director.”
Last December, the multi-awarded Beshara was celebrated at the inaugural edition of the Red Sea Film Festival. Five of his most significant films were screened in Saudi Arabia for the first time after being restored to 4K versions, including The Collar and the Bracelet (1986), Bitter Day, Sweet Day (1988), Ice Cream in Gleam (1992), Abracadabra America (1993) and Traffic Light (1995).
Among his most known films are Crab (Kaboria) (1990), Wild Desire (1991), Strawberry War (1993) and Nutshell (1995).
One of the first Egyptian and Arab directors to venture into digital filmmaking in the late 1990s, the 74-year-old graduated from the Egyptian Higher Institute of Cinema in 1976 and underwent a two-year fellowship at the Film Institute in Poland.
Beshara also directed a number of television series like Habiba's Heart (2005), Zaat (Self, 2012, episodes 17 to 30), The People of Alexandria (2014), The Flood (2017), and Karma's Curse (2018).
Recently, he directed the theatre show Habibaty Man Takoon hosted in Saudi Arabia as part of the Riyadh Season festival to celebrate the life of legendary singer Abdel-Halim Hafez.
This year’s edition of the festival is taking place under the presidency of director Saad Hendawy, who is succeeding critic Essam Zakareya, who presided over the previous four editions of the festival.
The festival, which is organized under the authority of the culture ministry’s National Cinema Center, headed by Zainab Aziz, will reveal details of the participating films and other details later in February.