Egyptian director Osama Fawzy dies at 58

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Jan 2019

The esteemed director is known for his films during the 1990s and 2000s, which include Afarit El-Asfalt (Asphalt Demons) and Baheb El-Cima (I Love Cinema)

Fawzi
Egyptian film director Osama Fawzi

Egyptian film director Osama Fawzy died yesterday at the age of 58 after a struggle with illness.

His funeral took place last night after sunset prayers at Sheikh Zayed’s Beverly Hills mosque.

Fawzy is regarded as an important filmmaker with a unique language, despite a relatively short career directing just four films.

The Syndicate of Cinematic Professions has issued a statement of mourning and appreciation of his legacy.

“We have lost a director who had a unique imprint and clear influence on cinema in his works, even if they were just a few, they were influential and worthy of appreciation. His films stood out with individualism, etching a place for themselves in the collective memory of Egyptian and Arab cinema,” the statement read.

Fawzy graduated with a Bachelor's in directing from the Higher Institute of Cinema in 1984.

He worked as an assistant director for many years alongside directors that include Hussein Kamal, Barakat, Niazi Mostafa, Sherif Arafa, Yousry Nasrallah, and Radwan Kashef.

His directorial debut was the 1995 hit Afarit El-Asfalt (Asphalt Demons), which earned him the jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival, and won best director and three other awards at the Cairo National Festival for Egyptian Cinema.

The film was officially selected in many international film festivals and was nominated for the Golden Motogolfiere in the Nantes Three Continents Festival.

The film starred Mahmoud Hemeida, who produced Fawzy’s next film Gannet El-Shayatin (Fallen Angels Paradise) in 1999.

This too was widely selected in international film festivals, and won best film awards at the Cairo International Film Festival and the Alexandria International Film Festival, along with 17 other awards.

In 2004, he directed Baheb El-Cima (I Love Cinema), and his last film was Belalwan El-Tabaeya (In Natural Colors) in 2009.

Baheb El-Cima centered on the life of a Christian family, with a religiously Orthodox husband and a Protestant wife, and the social problems they face because of the husband's views on religion.

The film provoked the public, and saw some lawyers and Christian clerics filing a lawsuit against the screening of the film because of what they said was its ridicule of Christianity. 

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