Sweden hearts Egypt: Huge success for Egyptian films at Malmo Arab Film Festival
Egyptian films were a huge success at the third round of Sweden's Malmo Arab Film Festival, which closed on Sunday, competing against over 100 films from Palestine, Qatar, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, among other Arab countries.
Bassem Samra was awarded best actor for his role in Baad Al-Mawqe'a (After the Battle).
Magy Morgan was awarded best director for her debut feature 'Asham: A Man Called Hope while Ahmed Abdallah won the best editing prize for the same entry. Ahmed Saleh was awarded the prize for best film score, for Al-Sheta Elli Fat(Winter of Discontent).
The story of Egypt's exiled community, told by Egyptian filmmaker Amir Ramses in his Jews of Egypt, was awarded best documentary film.
Amir Ramses spent three years researching and shooting his film, which zooms in on the lives of members of the Jewish community living in Egypt over 50 years ago. Both a historical and personal account, the film weaves testimonials by figures such as Mohamed Abul-Ghar, author of Jews of Egypt: From Prosperity to Diaspora, sociologist Essam Fawzi, and a Muslim Brotherhood member who participated in the 1947 attack on Jewish shops, together with poignant recollections by exiled men and women, now mostly Paris residents.
Director Amir Ramses and the rest of the Egyptian delegation to the Malmo Festival were harassed at the event's opening on 2 September by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Ramses told Al-Ahram Arabic website that approximately 30 individuals, some of whom were Egyptians living in Sweden, surrounded the Egyptian delegation on the red carpet at the festival opening in the Swedish city of Malmo, fervently chanting against them while raising yellow 'Rabaa posters' (associated with supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and the protest camp staged in his support by the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque).
While a few members of the delegation decided to return to Egypt out of fear for their safety, Ramses was among the actors, filmmakers and journalists who opted to remain in Sweden, adamantly defiant in the face of hostility.
"Those of us who decided to stay believe that this will not be the first time that the Brotherhood attack us, and we will not give them the satisfaction of ruining the Egyptian presence at the festival, at any cost," Ramses posted on Facebook on 4 September.