One of the most interesting parts of El Gouna Film festival was the tribute concert to Youssef Chahine, one of Egypt’s, and the world’s, most talented directors, and considered a true genius among Arab filmmakers.
We attended the tribute concert and chatted up some of the biggest names there. At the event, we talked with a number of celebrities including Abu, Hend Abdelhalim, and Riham Abdel Ghafour.
They talked to us about their favourite Youssef Chahine movies, their impression of the festival this year, how they think it’s different from the first edition, as well as their hopes and dreams for next year’s festival.
Youssef Chahine was born in 1926 in Alexandria. He studied at a number of reputable schools in Cairo and Alexandria before continuing his education in the U.S., at the Pasadena Play House in Los Angeles, California. He died ten years ago, and as such, his history in filmmaking is being honoured at the festival. Thanks to his innovative films, starting with Baba Amin in 1949 and ending in 2007 with Heya Fawda, Chahine’s films were regular nominees at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and several others including the Berlin International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival to name a couple. In 1997, Chahine was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work.
Chahine had an undeniably successful career in the movie industry, his movies were known for their in-depth plots, subtle messages, and every piece he worked on was undeniably his own thanks to his unique style of filmmaking. He also made it a habit to appear in minor roles in a number of his films. He’s known for a whole lot of movies, but perhaps some of his most famous are El-Ard, El-Nasser Salah El-Din, Eskendereya Leih, El Mohager, or Hadoota Masreya.