Guide to a Perfect trip in Egypt!
Egyptian cinema is among the most important in the Middle East and people often refer to it as "the Hollywood of the Arab world." It is also said that Egypt is the only Middle Eastern country which has a full cinema industry in the real sense of the word.
There is a some debate regarding when cinema was born in Egypt. While some believe it dates back to 1986 when the first film was watched in the country, others say it started way back in 1907 when the first documentary short film was made in Egypt. For more than a hundred years of cinema in Egypt and over 4,000 movies represent a significant slice, and the largest by far, of all Arab cinema. Egypt is touted to be the most productive country in the Middle East in the field of film production.
The 1940s and 1950s were the golden era of cinema in Egypt. Many actors found fame after playing popular characters. The period 1950 to 1962 saw many changes in Egyptian cinema with many ups and downs and in 1966 the Egyptian film industry was nationalized.
In 1970 Egyptian cinema struck balance between politics and entertainment. Many films like Khalli Balak min Zouzou starring “the Cinderella of Arab cinema”, Suad Husni, sought to balance politics and audience appeal. Zouzou integrated music, dance, and contemporary fashions into a story that balanced dramatic stories with family melodrama.
Cinema in Egypt today has all the modern amenities like studios and state-of-the-art technology, however there is also censorship. Any filmmaker has to check the script they're shooting and the government has to agree with it and check that there is nothing anti-Arab or Anti-Muslim in the film. Showing any such thing in a film can lead not just to controversy but also to a failed report from the censor board which can have very negative effects on your career.
Today many filmmakers are going out of line to make films that are different and even challenge the censor board here. One such film made recently here is the "The Yacoubean Building”, which was as a landmark in the history of cinema in Egypt. The film was made with the biggest ever budget in Egyptian cinema and had an all-star cast led by the revered actor Adel Imam and popular actress Youssra. The movie even covered some sensitive subjects that challenged the censors and religious conservatives, including homosexuality and terrorism.
Filmmakers are now struggling to come up with new and different subjects to keep audiences glued to the screen. But what is ultimately needed is a new generation of motivated filmmakers ready to break new ground and keep the industry growing.
Along with a great history, Egyptian cinema has an amazing and unique style that pleases a person and makes him/her fall for it more and more. Egyptian films and cinematography set a different standard that is wonderful in its own ways. With your tour to Egypt, you will get to explore the Egyptian cinema industry as well and get to know about it. At Ask-Aladdin we make sure that a complete view of this phenomenal cinema industry is also given to visitors.
Cairo is the main hub of film and cinema industry in Egypt. Every year an annual film festival is held at Cairo that was started in 1976. The place will make one see the real flavors of Egyptian cinema. If one wants to know more about the cinema industry and have a closer look then Cairo is indeed the perfect place to visit in Egypt.
Apart from its success, the Egyptian cinema industry has had challenges, including the struggle to retain its own unique voice. Historically the industry became very close to Hollywood and began losing some of its individuality and cultural uniqueness. However the work of great personalities like Muhammad Bayyumi and Talat Harb helped create the original Egyptian studios that pulled Egyptian cinema into its own and gave it a unique, non-Hollywood voice. Many studios popped up as well after that time, negatively impacted by the Second World War but then coing back yet again to reach what it is today: a truly unique and great cinema industry and culture.