Few days ago, journalist Sherif al Shubashi was appointed head of the Cairo International Film Festival succeeding actor Hussein Fahmi who headed it for four years before he resigned.
“I can’t understand how the Ministry of Culture can support the festival with only 200,000 pounds, while its annual expenditure amounts to 7 million pounds. Such a situation made me feel that I had been “Don Kishot” for four years,” Fahmi told AP, adding, “and without some businessmen’s support, the latest session of the festival couldn’t be held.”
He reiterated that the government did not change its position towards the festival, because it has been out of its plan and budget since it was founded by Kamal al Mallah and then Saad Eddin Wahba. “Despite the fact that circumstances has changed, the satellite TV channels and Internet has appeared, the festival, which is the most important of its kind in the Middle East, is still a Foundling,” Fahmi said.
He expressed that he was frustrated when the government abandoned the festival, an intolerable situation that made it impossible to overcome the obstacles, particularly in view of the fact that I was appointed by the minister of culture,” the actor said.
The former head of the Cairo festival explained that since theaters have been privatized, the festival lost half a million pound earned by screening films at the public theaters. Moreover, the festival income from the fees on the tickets was reduced by 40%.
Regarding the ability of gaining other investors’ support, Fahmi said, “In spite of the touristic invisible income from the festival, the officials in the Cairo Airport refuse to put the posters of the festival, like what other countries do for their own festivals.” – Albawaba.com