Egypt Independent

Zawya brings a plethora of documentaries to Egyptian audience



As a curatorial tribute to the genre of non-fiction, Zawya cinema is dedicating almost the whole month of May to a documentary films series called “Hybrid Reels: Revisiting the Documentary”.
 
Zawya cinema and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture has joined forces to bring more than 20 films from different countries to the big screen. The films cover different periods of cinema’s history, from 1922 to the present. 
 
With this unprecedented documentary screening program, Zawya aims to provide Egyptian audience with a venue for the genre of non-fiction films, and put a strong emphasis on the fact that reality is as rich as, if not richer than, fiction.  
 
The film series will take place May 6-26, offering a complementary array of workshops, discussions and master classes.
 
The program is divided into three sections, kicking off with a section named ‘Narratives’ in which a storytelling approach is employed that quite resembles fictional films. 
 
The documentary “Three Disappearances of Soad Hosny” (2011) will mark the program’s inauguration. The film sheds light on the decades-long achievements of Hosny and the golden era of Egyptian cinema. Stephan demonstrates archived footage of Hosny’s films to recount the star’s ups and downs in her personal life, while telling the parallel story of the decline of the Egyptian industry and society in general. Other notable films will be screened in this section May 6-12.  
 
“Anthropology on the Screen – Beginnings” is the second section taking place May 15-17. This section mainly takes a profound look into society, era, or phenomenon adopting observational technique in filmmaking. 
 
A wide array of films will be screened addressing intriguing topics, from survival in the arctic circle, to sociopolitical issues in 1960s France, to the North American fishing industry, to the phenomenal success of Turkish soap operas.
 
A selection of landmark short Egyptian documentaries is one of the most notable participation in this section which will take place on May 16th including: Shady Abdel-Salam’s “Afaq” (Horizons) (1973), Tawfik Saleh’s “Fan al-Araas” (The Art of Puppetry) (1953), Samir Auf’s “Cairo” (1969) and “Waghan fi al-Fadaa” (Two Faces in Space) (2000). Auf will participate in an audience discussion after the screenings titled “Undefinable Documentary.”
 
The last section of the program is named “Highlights” focusing on a more recent assortment of documentaries screening May 20-26. 
 
The much awaited “Citizenfour” (2014) will be showcased on May 22, which unveils the story behind Edward Snowden’s exposure of NSA surveillance programs, and the dramatic impacts of this exposure on his life’s course. 
 
The program will be wrapped up with Dina Hamza’s “Gaye al-Zaman” (The Past will Return) (2013) in which the filmmaker delves into her late father’s life achievements, and in the process, reveals the story of Egypt’s aspiration for a drastic change from the 1950s until the present. The movie will be a subject of discussion between Hamza and producer Marianne Khouri, and the audience.
 
Tickets are available for LE20 and LE25.
 
Zawya (Odeon) Cinema is located at 4 Abdel Hamid Said St. off of Talaat Harb St., Downtown, Cairo.
 
Stay tuned for the schedule on the screening's Facebook page.