The EU has signed an agreement with Egyptian distributors and screening venues under which European films will be regularly screened as of next September.
The agreement ends the American film monopoly on the cinema market in Egypt, which will be open to various European cultures, and movies that were never screened except through the cultural centers and festivals.
Critic Wajih Khairi, advisor to the company which signed the agreement with the EU, told the daily al Ahram, “Indeed, the company signed an agreement with the EU in its capacity as the concerned agency for supporting the European and Mediterranean countries films. Earlier the company organized a commercial week for the French film in 1995, which achieved a big success. The idea was kept in our memory until the recent Cairo International Film Festival was held when representatives of the EU came to attend it. We agreed with them that the screening of the films should begin next September after the summer vacation and the Arabic film-screening season is over. The films will be subsidized by the EU after we purchase them from the distributor.”
“The new experience is not easy as we are turning towards an audience who are used to American films and their style. We have plans to begin with the schools of the foreign communities in Egypt and their families and launching an intensive publicity campaign. We will start with comedy and action films, as they are more attractive to the Egyptian audience. The EU films are not real competitors for the American films because such films suffer in their own countries. The aim of screening the European films is to spread various cultures and see new type of movies, which the public is not used to. We will also organize European film weeks and invite directors and artists to hold conferences in order to discuss the artworks seen. These weeks will not be of cultural nature only, but also of commercial nature. Through this agreement we will be able to screen Tunisian, Lebanese, Syrian and Moroccan films in addition to becoming able to screen our films in Europe -- Albawaba.com