The fifth Panorama of European Films starts in Egyptian theatres from 3 to 9 October, bringing to Cairo a fine selection of award-winning European movies and documentaries, including the work of young international filmmakers. The event was organised and founded by Misr International Films and takes place in the Galaxy Cinema in Manial and in Stars Cinema in CityStars.
According to Misr International’s official website, this year’s panorama can be divided into four categories. The first one features highly acclaimed and award winning European movies. The second category will be displaying the first works of young international filmmakers, followed by a Q&A with European experts. A third category will be devoted to documentaries and the last one will be “Education and Cinema’, which is a programme providing students with movies aiming introduce critical thinking and a passion for cinema.
The event takes place amid continuous efforts to strengthen Egyptian cultural ties with the outside world, especially in the post-revolution era, where much in the Egyptian cultural scene is changing, or more precisely, evolving. Even though the Panorama of the European Film in Egypt has been around since it first organised in 2004, it holds new significance in a new Egypt that is trying to create bridges of cultural cooperation to the outside world.
According to the Panorama’s website, the share of European movies in Egyptian cinemas is embarrassingly minor compared to featured American movies. The Egyptian audience is missing out on a richness and depth found in European movies and exposing them to those will definitely be the cornerstone of introducing European movies to the Egyptian market. It will also give young Egyptian filmmakers an opportunity to learn a different technical approach and improve their filmmaking skills.
The programme is co-funded by the European Union and supported by many prestigious cultural centres in Egypt as the Goethe Institut and the Institut Français in Egypt. Among the 49 featured films are movies from diverse European countries like France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Romania, Norway and Italy.
Featured movies include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, starring British actors Gary Oldman and Colin Firth. The film is a Cold War drama about the efforts of British intelligence officers to uncover a spy among them after an operation in Hungary goes wrong. The film won “best adapted screenplay” at the British Academy Film Awards. Caesar Must Die is a critically acclaimed movie about a performance of Shakespeare’s famous Julius Caesar by prison inmates, who go back to their dark cells after the show. The drama follows the stories of the actors and the crimes for which they have been punished. The movie won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Sama Wally, one of the event’s coordinators, said that the event combines the fun and enjoyment people usually find in going to the cinema with the cultural element of being exposed to new and different ideas, and that the festival aims to build a dialogue between two cultures.
For those who have had enough of American blockbusters, the fifth Panorama of the European film will certainly be an exciting, refreshing experience.