The arrested producer, Moataz Abdel-Wahab, is accused of terrorism and his film is an Oscar nominee


Activists and filmmakers circulated the hashtag # Freedom_Mutaz_Abdul Wahab, after his film “When We Are Born” was chosen to represent Egyptian cinema recently in an Oscar competition for the Best Foreign Language Film Award, by a committee of 41 members, according to press statements by art critic Magdy El-Tayeb, one of the committee’s members.

And Moataz Abdel-Wahab – the producer of the film – was arrested last May, on repeated charges that the authorities used to direct activists of various affiliations, namely: belonging to a banned terrorist group (meaning the Muslim Brotherhood) and misuse of social networking sites. One Productions “, he is also a graduate of the Film Institute and a member of the Filmmakers Guild.

After news of Abd al-Wahhab’s release was circulated yesterday, his name was included in a new case, the details of which are not yet known.

Abdel-Wahab participated in the production of the movie “A Curfew”, in which the Cairo Film Festival announced in its next session that it had chosen to represent Egypt in the international competition.

And the movie “When We Are Born” directed by Tamer Ezzat and starring Amr Abed, Salma Hassan, singer Amir Eid, member of the “Cairokee” band in his first movie participation, Ibtihal Al-Saraiti, Muhammad Hatem, Dana Hamdan, Basant Shawqi, Hanan Suleiman and Sameh Al-Saraiti, and a thousand of his music videos. Sheriff Hawari is also a member of the Cairokee band.

The film deals with 3 stories about 3 different personalities who face special challenges due to the restrictions imposed on them, and the stories are intertwined through the songs of the singer Amir Eid, who is the author of one of the three stories.

Activists and filmmakers emphasized that the imprisoned producer had no relationship with politics, and that his activities were limited to cinema only. He is a “small” producer compared to big names in the world of production, and that he “has invested all his money to produce films that respect the recipient,” according to Twitter.

Tweeters watched the movie “When We Are Born” confirmed that it is “fun and beautiful,” and some of them nominated it for viewing on film screening platforms, while Tweeters invited the producer’s films promoting propaganda for “the Authority’s achievements” as part of the Knowledge Bank video series, which is a government digital platform.

Tweeters – in the tag – referred to testimonies that confirm his activity is limited to cinema only, criticizing the state of silence by the artistic community towards his arrest, as a result of fear of “catching up” or in order to avoid harm that could be caused to them, such as preventing them from working in cinema if they are in solidarity with him.

They said that fears should not paralyze filmmakers and art workers from speaking about it without criticizing the state, calling for following up on the publications of his daughter Zeina, who her father cries about.

A statement by the Filmmakers Syndicate after Moataz was arrested said that the director of the Filmmaker Syndicate, Musaad Fouda, upon learning of the arrest of the producer, Moataz Billah Mahmoud Abdel-Wahhab, submitted a report to the Public Prosecutor requesting the member’s release due to his “good biography and bright artistic history.”

The Syndicate of Filmmakers addressed a letter to the Attorney General of the State Security Prosecution regarding this matter, and “diligent legal work is underway to respond to the matters attributed to him that contradict the facts, logic and history of colleague Moataz Billah Mahmoud Abdel-Wahab, a member of the Syndicate’s Production Division until his release,” according to the statement.


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