Egyptian filmmaker Medhat El-Adl withdraws from film festival jury

Ahram Online, Wednesday 5 Dec 2012

Egyptian filmmaker Medhat El-Adl announces his resignation from the jury committee at this year's Cairo Film Festival, in protest at the culture ministry's role in printing the draft constitution

Medhat El-Adl

Egyptian filmmaker Medhat El-Adl has announced his resignation from the jury committee of the 35th Cairo International Film Festival, which is currently under way. El-Adl stated that he will not attend the closing ceremony, scheduled for 6 December, Ahram Arabic new site reports.

El-Adl made his decision as a protest against the Minister of Culture Saber Arab, who organised that the controversial draft constitution, which will be put to nationwide referendum on 15 December, be printed at the expense of ministry.

"My decision to withdraw from the jury came after the constitutional draft committee publically thanked the minister for financing the printing of the final draft... a draft that limits freedom of expression," El-Adl said.

El-Adl states that he attended all film festival events, and has made arrangements with the rest of the jury committee regarding the closing ceremony and the awards, which will be presented in advance.

His statement came on Tuesday 4 December, as mass anti-Morsi protests took place across Egypt and outside the presidential palace in Cairo, demanding the cancellation of the referendum and the president's controversial recent constitutional declaration.

Other groups have argued that the draft constitution threatens freedom of expression, including many Egyptian journalists, many of whom went on strike on Tuesday in protest.

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