For suggestions of places to go out
Director Amir Ramses is taking a new tour with his latest movie “Curfew” with his participation in the Shanghai International Film Festival from June 11 to 20. The film won 4 awards yesterday at the Catholic Film Festival: Best Film, Director, Actress, and the Artist’s Artistic Creativity Award Kamel Al-Basha, and his heroine Ilham Shaheen won the Best Actress Award at the Cairo Film Festival, and won the Audience Award at the MalmO Arab Film Festival, his director talked about, and he also talked about the controversy he raised when he presented his dealings with the issue of sexual abuse of children in the family environment. In his interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Amir Ramses revealed the scenes of presenting his movie, indicating his rejection of the term clean cinema, pointing out that those who promoted this term did not attack his movie for presenting it without indecent scenes, and Amir revealed his new movie “What Samira Hide” Al-Ayqa,” considering it a new comic experience on him.. For the first time, he spoke about the experience of being infected with the Corona virus and the depression it caused inside him, especially with the ban and closure imposed by the virus, which affected him psychologically.. and to the text of the dialogue:
■ Let’s start with a new tour of your latest movie “Curfew” at the Shanghai Film Festival.. What about it?
– In fact, I am proud of showing the film in one of the most important festivals in Asia and one of the 15 festivals in the world accredited by the International Federation of Producers with Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Locarno and Cairo. On viewing platforms.
■ The film was shown at the Cairo Film Festival and other festivals and won important prizes.. What does it like for you?
– Of course, I was pleased with the awards, and I very much hoped that Ilham Shaheen would receive the Best Actress award because in my opinion she deserves it. I was also particularly pleased with receiving the Audience Award at the MalmO Festival, which is given by voting independently and supervised by the city’s municipality, and that means a lot to me that The film touches with the Scandinavian audience with its different habits and lifestyle, but in the end, the film’s survival and continuity with the audience matters to me much more than the momentary awards..
■ Do you think that showing films at festivals, and winning awards, still puts the audience in front of the popular saying “film festivals”, and therefore it is not accepted?
– Unfortunately, this popular saying is not without merit. Perhaps in Egypt, the term festival film was associated with Art House cinema, while in the whole world, festivals are a means of acquainting the audience with film. Major films are shown in France immediately after their presentation at the Cannes Festival, and benefit from criticism. And the reactions in the festival that lead to the audience’s turnout for it, and perhaps limiting festivals to one type of film in our Arab world is the reason for this saying. There are films shown in festivals that are films dedicated to an elite audience as much as there are films that touch with the wide audience, and I always strive to make the second type..
■ Did you feel that the movie was unfair commercially when it was shown in cinemas?
– Not necessarily, the commercial launch was an adventure of which I and the producer of the film knew, and he had the audacity to do so, and we were tied to the exclusive offer after the platform chose it. osn As her first original film, the question was: Do we go directly to show her, or do we agree to release the film on a limited basis and in a season in which the cinemas are looking for films to play? Part of our duty was to contribute even a little to the revitalization of going to the cinema at that difficult time, which is a decision His ability a lot for the producer, Safi Al-Din Mahmoud, who thinks about the industry as much as he thinks about his financial benefit.
■ What is the impact of Corona on cinema after a year and a half?
– I think that cinemas in the whole world have been severely affected and witnessed a blow whose effects we will witness for years to come, even after the wave recedes.. Films postponed.. Accumulation of films that do not find the opportunity to show.. Major cinema networks declare bankruptcy after a year and a half of closure.. The whole scene changes and will not return as it is. It was years before its stability.. or maybe it will never come back with technological change.. no one knows.
■ What about this effect in light of the recovery of digital platforms and their presentation of films?
– I think we are witnessing a phenomenon, despite its danger to the halls, but it constitutes a new window for a film industry that has become scarce in the cinema. In Hollywood, it is no longer enough to have your name Martin Scorsese and to be in your movie Robert De Niro and Al Pacino to find sufficient funding from the studios. And the platforms undoubtedly have become a window for making important films that are not “blockbusters” according to the logic of the financial account, but rather films that the audience will want to watch for years and years, and will achieve its returns with time..
■ Many were divided over the platforms.. Some see them benefiting the industry and not stopping it and revitalizing the presentation of films, especially since some platform films made their way to the major awards in the world.. Others see them on the way to eliminating theaters.. What do you think?
– I think that platforms have a great positive role with some reservations about their impact on the exhibition halls, although they undoubtedly allow some kind of films to exist as I mentioned earlier.
■ Personally, how did Corona affect you after you contracted it, and did the Corona period or the infection with it change anything in Amir Ramses?
– I think that Corona affected me in a big way, with the lowest percentage of actual infection.. Cinema globally and locally lost characters that I love and appreciate a lot, and this damned virus has an effect that almost reaches the point of depression for me.. Also, I am a person who hates closed places and staying in them for a long time and the ban and closure that we have been subjected to. It put me in a very difficult period psychologically.. I breathe culturally in traveling to festivals and cultural events and live in the museums of the world on my rare vacations.. Being deprived of this was not an easy thing..
■ Amir Ramses’ films have a difficult way to find a producer for them, due to your previous statement at the Cairo Film Festival… So did the “curfew” suffer from this matter?
– On the contrary, I was fortunate to find two producers, as evidenced by the high number of films in my opinion (6 feature films and two documentaries, other than short films in 15 years, in addition to a Moroccan series), and I did not struggle to find a product. The producer, the adventurous friend, Safi El-Din Mahmoud, immediately got excited about the film as soon as he read it. And he harnessed all his capabilities to come out to light in the best way.. It was a wonderful productive experience, and I think that I aspire that everyone I work with in the future will be producers with “saffy” dedication and love for industry..
■ How about cooperation with the star Ilham Shaheen during the film?
– At first, Ilham was so excited about the film that she offered to be a partner in its production, which I did not want.. I do not like an actor in front of the camera busy with something other than acting because production is not just financing but rather a hard profession and we agreed that I want her as an actress only with my full appreciation And my enthusiasm for the works that she produced, and she was very adventurous in choosing her, such as “Fawzia Mix” and “Youm for Women.” She produces in the spirit of the actress who loves beautiful cinema and represents the spirit of the producer who fears for the whole work and not just her role. As for dealing with her as an actress, she is undoubtedly her A fertile and fascinating experience.. her daring in presenting the character and in the form in which she came out.. this passion for details, questions and permanent suggestions.. when Ilham Shaheen enters into an acting experience, she is not concerned with her societal image or special details in the form of inspiration herself to the audience, but only the personality, a trait that has become Rare in actors now.
■ What about the actress Amina Khalil in the role of the daughter? And the idea of working with two different generations of female stars?
– Working with generations was imposed by the nature of the scenario. As for Amina, it is our second interaction after a limited experience in the movie “Khana Aleik”, and if I find it a great pleasure to work with her.. She is an actress who listens to you with great focus and has the ability to interact with the character from more than one entrance intelligently. Strong and without preconceived ideas.. I wanted very much to repeat the fruitful experience of cooperating with her.
■ In “Curfew”, you chose to go back a few years… What did you want to tell during it?
– I think that the issue of child sexual abuse in the family environment and the societal silence surrounding it was a very frequent phenomenon when I started writing the movie, and this silence was frightening for me and a crime no less than the act itself .. I felt a special need to bring up the silent in this issue.
■ The film sparked a great controversy when it was shown about its handling of the issue of family sexual assault. Do you see that all the openness we are witnessing through social media and others, is still closed to dealing with thorny issues in the cinema that previously dealt with issues such as rape?
– With all the openness that we are witnessing, Egyptian society is still closed on more than one level, and in fact this closing is part of its crisis.. How many families prefer to remain silent about a case of rape in the face of “exposing the victim,” as they think.. Is dealing with a rapist should More shameful than, say, a murdered person? I can’t understand this classification of crimes.. I think we should be more open to our wounds so that they heal.
■ As you are not one of the advocates of “clean cinema” as some describe it, do you think that supporters of that cinema are behind the attack on the “curfew” addressing the issue of family abuse and the promotion that it deals with incest?
– On the contrary, there was a case of appreciation for the film because “in their sense” it did not infringe modesty, which surprised me.. No one in the whole world expects that a scene of physical harassment of a child will be filmed in order to ensure the psychological safety of the actress, unlike the adult actress, for example.. I do not think advocates of clean cinema They attacked the movie, although their logic in defending it surprised me.. I don’t think I’m making a good movie because it doesn’t contain explicit scenes because it was a moral imperative given the actress’ age not to do that, and I don’t think that movies that contain bold scenes are bad movies..
The truth is that society has lost a lot of its acceptance of the difference in that due to years of erosion of Egyptian culture at the hands of the petrodollar, which made what we accepted in the films of the sixties and seventies strange to generations who were raised in different circumstances..
■ Did you anticipate any movement from the authorities concerned with issues of harassment to support the film? Did that happen in reality?
– I did not expect it directly.. Several institutions were already interested in the film, and a number of representatives of these institutions attended the special screening of the film.. They expressed their admiration for it..
■ Can we see you as a director of TV dramas and presenting a series in the Ramadan season of 30 episodes?
– I think I prefer short series that are more suitable for the audience now.
■ In the eyes of the director and the spectator, how did you see the last dramatic season?
– I enjoyed a large number of works, on top of which is “Newton’s Game” by Tamer Mohsen, who draws a very different imprint in the industry.. What is remarkable for me in the works that I enjoyed and those that I did not enjoy is this large number of talents at the level of acting, image and writing .. I was fascinated by actors I see them for the first time, and directors of photography that I have never heard of before… I think that there is a source of talent that exploded this particular year..
■ Your film “On the Jews of Egypt” achieved great success and acclaim… When will you return to documentaries? Is there a project nearby?
– I do not have a current documentary project, although I am passionate about documentary cinema and I wish to return to it from time to time.. Depending on the availability of the topic.. “On the Jews of Egypt” had to be documentary due to the sensitivity of its subject and because it was a film that would clash severely with preconceived notions of society and therefore there was no space for imagination the novelist in it.
■ Which of the cinematic projects and dreams are chasing you to present in the coming period?
– I am still dreaming of Wajih Ghaly’s novel “Beer in the Billiards Club,” which is one of the novels that has won international admiration for decades. A novel with a wonderful narrative and cinematic narration, but perhaps talking about making a movie that takes place in the fifties in Egypt and England is a difficult dream to implement in the form of The current production in Egyptian cinema.
■ You are preparing for a comedy project soon.. what about it?
– It is a movie entitled “What Samira Al-Ayqa Hide” written by the talented author Haitham Dabour, and I think it is a new comic experience for me..