Red Sea Film Festival audiences get rare chance to see classic Egyptian musicals on big screen

Red Sea Film Festival audiences get rare chance to see classic Egyptian musicals on big screen
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In its latest restoration project, the Red Sea Film Festival is set to screen two legendary and beloved classic Egyptian films during the festival in December. (Supplied)
Red Sea Film Festival audiences get rare chance to see classic Egyptian musicals on big screen
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In its latest restoration project, the Red Sea Film Festival is set to screen two legendary and beloved classic Egyptian films during the festival in December. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 October 2022

Red Sea Film Festival audiences get rare chance to see classic Egyptian musicals on big screen

Red Sea Film Festival audiences get rare chance to see classic Egyptian musicals on big screen
  • Organizers have announced restored versions of ‘Watch Out for Zouzou’ and ‘Love in Karnak’ will screen during the 10-day celebration of regional and international cinema

JEDDAH: Movie lovers can look forward to screenings of restored versions two classics of Egyptian musical cinema during the second Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah in December.

In collaboration with the Arab Radio and Television Network, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture’s investment holding company for cinema, and Media Production City in Egypt, the festival will showcase on the big screen for an international audience 1972’s “Khali Balak min Zouzou” (“Watch Out for Zouzou”) and 1967’s “Gharam fil Karnak” (“Love in Karnak”).

Mohammed Al-Turki, the CEO of the Red Sea International Film Festival, told Arab News: “Today, our accomplishment is two gems richer with ‘Watch Out for Zouzou’ and ‘Love in Karnak,’ films that do not only represent major milestones in the history of Egyptian cinema but stand as shining testaments to the brilliance of great artists such as the ‘Cinderella of Egyptian Cinema,’ the late (actress) Soad Hosny, and the multi-talented performer, Mahmoud Reda.”

Reda, who died in 2020, was an iconic Egyptian choreographer and the creative mind behind fantastical dance routines in a number of films, including “Agazet Nus El-Sana” (“Mid-term Vacation”) and “Harami El-Waraqa” (“The Lottery Ticket Thief”).

Antoine Khalife, RSIFF’s director of Arab Programs and Film Classics, told Arab News: “We wanted to pay homage to the great choreographer Mahmoud Reda, who died during the (pandemic) period, and the restoration of ‘Gharam fil Karnak’ is a love letter from the Red Sea for this exceptional artist who made contemporary Egyptian dance shine throughout the world.”

In “Love in Karnak,” Reda’s dance sequences are key to the plot as a group of young dancers try to hit the big time in the entertainment industry while struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, lead dancer Amina and the troupe’s director, Salah, start to develop romantic feelings for each other, which results in a series of misunderstandings that complicates matters for everyone.

The film is widely acclaimed for the position it holds in the history of Arab filmmaking and so its restoration and screening at the festival is intended to serve as a tribute to its creators and performers, an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers, and a demonstration of the vibrancy and prominence of the Arab film industry through the years.

“The preservation of film heritage has been at the heart of the Red Sea Film Festival since its first year,” Kalife said. “We started by restoring the films of (Saudi photographer and cinematographer) Safouh Naamani and then we worked to highlight the work of important filmmakers such as Khairy Beshara, Youssef Chahine and Raafat El-Mehy.”

“Watch out for Zouzou,” which will have a 50th anniversary screening at the festival, is a love story laced with underlying social commentary that stars Hosny, who was one of the most beloved actresses in the Arab world.

She stars as Zouzou, who seems to have it all: The grades, the social popularity and the intelligence. However, her true passion is performing and so she practices her craft in the evenings as she sings and dances for her mother’s friends at private parties.

Considering the scandalous nature of her job in 1970s Egypt, she tries to keep her life as a performer a secret from her peers. This seems to be working out until she falls for a new, and engaged, university lecturer who teaches the theatrical arts. The situation becomes ever-more complicated when his fiance learns of the blossoming romance.

The film became one of the highest-grossing Arab films in history and made stars of its lead pairing, Hosny and Hussein Fahmy, while the music, by Salah Jaheen and Kamal El-Tawil, is sure to spark feelings of nostalgia in audiences who see the restored version of the film, reflecting the timeless love for Arab and Egyptian cinema.

“For this year, we could not miss ‘Khali Balak men Zouzou,’ a film produced just 50 years ago that has left an exceptional impact on generations, and not only because of the magnificent songs and the sublime Soad Hosny but, above all, because of the modernity in which the story was created,” Khalife said.

Al-Turki, who is a film producer in his own right, highlighted the importance of film restoration projects in preserving Arab culture and creativity.

“This initiative was taken by the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation to confirm our commitment and sense of responsibility toward preserving this precious cinematic heritage, and in recognition of its importance in shaping the memory and awareness of cinephiles,” he said.

“By resurrecting them and passing them on to new generations of artists and filmmakers, we can all learn from these restored masterpieces, enjoy them anew in light of modern restoration techniques and even rejuvenate our inspiration, evolving our plans for the art of cinema.

“This gesture didn’t solely come with cinematic goals in mind but cultural as well. The arts, cinema included, are mirrors of societies and in their restoration lies the preservation of heritage and the revival of civilizations and the building blocks of their identities.”

The restored Egyptian classics are part of a yet-to-be-announced program of regional and international films that will screen during the festival in Jeddah between Dec. 1 and Dec. 10. Organizers said it will include a retrospective program celebrating leaders in the industry, introduce audiences to local and international emerging voices, and aims to further cultural discourse and exchanges through film competitions, masterclasses and workshops.


Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic

Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic
Updated 26 November 2022

Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic

Saudi aid agency supports Chad to address malaria epidemic

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has delivered support to the Ministry of Public Health and National Solidarity in Chad to prevent and respond to the malaria epidemic, Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

The support was delivered in the presence of the Chadian Minister of Public Health and National Solidarity, Dr. Abdelmadjid Abderahim, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Chad, Amer bin Ali Al-Shehri, the KSrelief representative in the capital, N’Djamena, and a number of officials.

Abderahim expressed his thanks and gratitude for the support, which comes within the framework of the aid provided by the Kingdom through KSrelief for many relief projects, according to the humanitarian needs in all countries around the world and according to the highest standards.


Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic

 Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic
Updated 25 November 2022

Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic

 Saudi rapper creates hip hop podcast in Arabic
  • Al-Fahad told Arab News: 'I am a big supporter of the hip hop culture in Saudi Arabia'

RIYADH: Saudi music producer, rapper, and composer Bander Al-Fahad has started a podcast in Arabic to provide the latest updates on the Kingdom’s hip hop scene.

In his first podcast “Pure Hip Hop,” released on YouTube in August, other Saudi and Arab rappers shed light on the hip hop culture in the country, its relationship with Saudi society, and the history of the music genre.

Al-Fahad told Arab News: “I am a big supporter of the hip hop culture in the Kingdom. I wish to have a unique style. I am keen for hip hop to appear with Saudi rhythms that distinguish it as Saudi music.”

He first discovered his passion for music while pursuing an undergraduate degree in media communication and revealed that he would soon be dropping two more episodes.

SPEEDREAD

• Bander Al-Fahad first discovered his passion for music while pursuing an undergraduate degree in media communication and revealed that he would soon be dropping two more episodes.

• He collaborates with other Saudi YouTubers such as Ibrahim Basha, Dyler, Faisal Tiger, and Fahad Al- Dokhei to create music and jingles for local organizations. And he also aims to create a go-to platform for the genre.

“Podcasting is the way that I think is best to deliver my message. I had many questions about hip hop, and that’s when I decided to deliver information on it to a Saudi audience,” he said.

Al-Fahad collaborates with other Saudi YouTubers such as Ibrahim Basha, Dyler, Faisal Tiger, and Fahad Al-Dokhei to create music and jingles for local organizations. And he also aims to create a go-to platform for the genre.

“When I receive a campaign, I use their idea and begin creating the music and beats. If they don’t have a specific idea, we begin the creative process, and I initially draw the idea on a piano keyboard before transferring it to the studio, where we can use live instruments and musicians,” he added.

The musician said he was thankful that the Kingdom was placing increased focus on the music industry, especially via the recently established Music Commission.

“With the help of education services in the field of music, the young generation can now turn their passion for music into a career. Musicians can now learn, produce, and have people hear their voice,” he added.

Al-Fahad, who at first could only perform for friends and family, would like to have a lasting impact on the Kingdom’s music scene.

“My future projects include working on my company about content and music production. I’m also working on three singles and a mini album.”

He is also among the cast of “Rise of the Witches,” a Saudi fantasy series being filmed in AlUla.

 


Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh
Updated 26 November 2022

Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi energy minister receives Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh
  • The two sides discussed matters of common interest in the field of energy and agreed to continue to carry out important projects in gas, petrochemicals, electricity and renewables

RIYADH: Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Minister of Oil Hayan Abdul Ghani Al-Swad visited the Kingdom after receiving an invitation from Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed matters of common interest in the field of energy and agreed to continue to carry out important projects in gas, petrochemicals, electricity and renewables. They also reviewed ways to enhance communication between Riyadh and Baghdad to further explore shared opportunities in these fields and transform them into tangible partnerships.

 

 


Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life

Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life
Updated 25 November 2022

Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life

Riyadh’s Qariat Zaman brings the past back to life
  • Qariat Zaman, or “the old village”, launched on Nov. 24 as a living record of the country’s history for Riyadh Season 2022
  • The zone is a time machine that transports visitors back to the glory of the past

RIYADH: Old school books, telephones without touchscreens and classic cars are the kind of things that you will find at Riyadh’s tribute to how we once lived.
Qariat Zaman, or “the old village”, launched on Nov. 24 as a living record of the country’s history for Riyadh Season 2022. The zone is a time machine that transports visitors back to the glory of the past and the significant events through stalls, traditional markets, and demonstrations of the old lifestyles.
Visitors can explore Dakakin Al-Awwalin, Al-Meydan, Saudia Channel 1, Wadi Al-Masaqil, Al-Taybeen Theatre, Al-Hosh Playground, and Beit Muzna.
Qariat Zaman is an example of how the past is mixed with the present. It is a place where people can learn about old times while listening to traditional music and buying antiques.
Its activities bring together a wide range of talented people in the theater and arts. Visitors can learn old stories and tales related to Saudi traditions and heritage.
The zone recreates the life of the older generation, with workers dressed in traditional clothing and living in mudbrick houses. There are displays of traditional artworks, old crafts and dance shows.
During the previous seasons, the village garnered great admiration from visitors and received wide interest in its various recreational activities, which were enjoyed by the artistic, musical, and interactive atmosphere in an area that highlighted the Saudi heritage and its traditional elements and revived the past with excellence.


Saudi ambassador to Tunisia meets KSA delegation

Saudi ambassador to Tunisia Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Saqr. (SPA)
Saudi ambassador to Tunisia Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Saqr. (SPA)
Updated 25 November 2022

Saudi ambassador to Tunisia meets KSA delegation

Saudi ambassador to Tunisia Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Saqr. (SPA)
  • Earlier this month, the Arab League summit in Algiers concluded with a pledge of continued Arab support for Palestine, and condemnation of Israel’s use of violence and its blockade of Gaza

TUNIS: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Tunisia Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Saqr received a delegation comprising senior representatives of the Saudi ministries of justice, sport, and media on Friday.

The delegation is taking part in meetings of the Arab Administrative Development Organization, an affiliate of the Arab League, currently taking place in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

Saudi Arabia aims to foster relations among the world. Earlier this month, the Arab League summit in Algiers concluded with a pledge of continued Arab support for Palestine, and condemnation of Israel’s use of violence and its blockade of Gaza.

Calls for unity were led by the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan. “We must intensify coordination and consultation and reject our internal differences and prioritize our common interests,” Prince Faisal said.

He added that the country values collective Arab action, utilizing the potential of natural resources in oceans, investing in human resources, promoting biological and food diversity, and meeting the needs of food markets.

The foreign minister added that in line with Vision 2030, the Kingdom seeks to advance in various fields, in collaboration with its Arab brothers, and in a way that contributes to confronting challenges that directly affect its citizens.