An official at the Egyptian Cinema Sector confirmed the presence of more than 300 Egyptian films in the archives of a French distribution company without copies for some of these films in Egypt.
The chief of the board of Misr Company for Film Production and Distribution, Salah Ibrahim Hasab al Nabi told AFP, “I have received a list of the film names from the French company Regence which distributes the Egyptian films in France based on contracts signed before the middle of last century and the beginning of cinema production in Egypt.”
We called upon the French Cultural Attaché to send Egyptian experts to check the affair with the state run French National Cinema Archive and the Cinematic Center and he agreed. This will help identify the Egyptian films in France,” he added.
However, Egypt produced more than 3000 films since 1898 described by the historians as the beginning of the Egyptian cinema production. Egypt has lost since then around 1000 films, as confirmed by the head of the Egyptian Cinema National Center, critic Ali Abu Shadi.
The Egyptian Parliament’s Cultural Committee called Sunday for recovering copies of 300 films from France and launching a campaign in search of the rest of the films in other countries including Germany.
The committee discussed the means for conserving the cinematic and cultural heritage so that it won’t be deformed and called for refraining from selling the negative copies of the Egyptian films. Some parliamentarians described the sale of such copies as smuggling, which poses a threat on the heritage. They called also for passing legislations to ban the sale of these films.
The Egyptian press launched a campaign of criticism in this respect indicating repeatedly to depriving the Egyptians of seeing films for Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Umm Kulthoum and Ismael Yasin due to the sale of the original copies -- Albawaba.com