A rich retrospective of films by Syrian director Mohamed Malas will take place in Cairo this week. It is the first large-scale event organised by Zawya only two months after its official launch.
Four films - Dreams of the City, The Night, Passion and Ladder to Damascus – will be screened at Zawya's permanent venue, the newly-renovated Odeon Cinema in downtown Cairo.
Born in 1945, Mohammad Malas is a prominent Syrian filmmaker whose cinematic wealth includes documentary and feature films, many of which have garnered him local and international acclaim.
His feature drama, Ahlam Al-Madina (Dreams of the City, 1984) won first prize, Tanit d'Or, at the 1985 Carthage Film Festival and a Golden Palm at the 1985 Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema. It also received an Interfilm Award - Honorable Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival, the same year.
Another feature drama Al-Lail (The Night, 1992), which looks at the Arab-Israeli conflict, brought him another Tanit d'Or. Though the movie received international recognition, it was banned for a few years in Syria and as such had to wait until 1996 it was screened in the director's homeland.
Both Ahlam Al-Madina and Al-Lail are parts of a trilogy which was completed by his more recent 2013 drama Selem Ela Demeshq (Ladder to Damascus).
Zawya was launched on 12 March with the aim of screening both local and international productions that do not normally make it to the Egyptian film market. It is also set to focus on local independent productions, in order to support and promote the work of young Egyptian filmmakers who often lack the means to distribute their work and give it the viewing opportunity it deserves.
Thursday 8 May at 6.30pmAhlam Al-Madina (Dreams of the City), 1984, 120 minutes
Friday 9 May at 6.30pmAl-Lail (The Night), 1992, 116 minutes
Saturday 10 May at 6.30pmBab Al-Makam (The Passion), 2005, 98 minutes
Sunday 11 May at 6.30pmLadder to Damascus, 2013, 95 minutesCinema Odeon (screen 3)4 Dr Abdel Hameed Street - off Talaat Harb.All films are screened in Arabic with English subtitles.