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Ahmed Magdy: I ​​prefer participating in festival films

He seeks to present himself in an unusual way about the youth of his generation, whether in the content he presents or the roles, and even the works that he produces or directs, and sometimes in his appearance, clothes, and other details that he searches for carefully without the influence of anyone around him, including his father. Recently, he participated in the jury of one of the official competitions at the Cairo International Film Festival for the first time, after his films were participating in it, which opened up other perceptions for him, so that the artist Ahmed Magdy confirmed that the year 2022 was one of the different years in his artistic career, during his dialogue with Al Arabiya.net. , through which he also announced his new business.

Artist Ahmed Magdy

Artist Ahmed Magdy

* Tell us about your experience in the jury of the Cairo Festival this year?

** It was an important experience for me. I was on the jury of the Best Arab Film competition, which included 13 films. We watched them over the course of 8 days. There were days when one film was shown, and other days when two films were shown, and sometimes 3 films. We had films from Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, and a great variety of stories presented by those films from different countries of the Arab world. Some of these films are purely Arab productions, while there are films by Arab directors, but foreign productions. In fact, I would like to thank the programming team for their strong choices of well-made films, and I am happy to be participating in the committee with such stars as the artist Nour and the programmer Dorota Lech.

Did you have any preparations for that task?

** My presence on the jury of the Cairo Festival was not the first time for me, and I admit that it was not an easy task at all, and there were already special preparations for it by isolating myself from any external pressures so that my mind would remain devoted to the details of the task. And I remember that the first experience in arbitration was during the Abu Dhabi Festival.

Ahmed Magdy

Ahmed Magdy

How did you find the films that were shown? What are the criteria for selecting films?

** We are always looking for films that present something new, and the competition criterion lies in presenting a new, non-repeated cinema, which means that it was not an expected film and its events and language must be new and not presented before at the level of events, story, directing and dramatic treatment. Stories, if repeated, turn into boredom for the viewer, so we look for new and cinematic films that include photography, directing and creativity.

* What are the most developed Arab countries in cinema through what you saw in the festival?

** A difficult question, because the efforts are not related to the state but to the filmmakers, and they have become diversified and there is no longer the usual local situation. And because there were many good films, we were able to convince the festival management that there were two awards, not just one.

Ahmed Magdy

Ahmed Magdy

* You have previously announced your love to participate in your films to represent Egypt in international festivals.. right?

* Indeed, I prefer to participate in distinctive and different artistically or popular films, and films that add to the Egyptian cinema, and that these films be present and participate in international festivals and represent Egypt in a manner worthy of it. These are the films that I would love to be a part of, such as “Nobody There”, in 2014 and shown in 2018 at the Cairo Festival and many other festivals. I also recently produced the movie “It Happened in 2 Talaat Harb”, directed by my father, Magdy Ahmed Ali, which is what I try to present in the production, by adding a very small addition to this great industry. The Egyptian art and mass film industry presents something unique, different and daring, and all this effort is worth the suffering.

* You sought to show the movie “2 Talaat Harb” in film festivals before it was shown to the public?

** The film was not easy, as is the case in the works of my father, director Magdy Ahmed Ali, who seeks to present works outside the box. Also, this movie is closest to my heart because it was produced by me and directed by my father. The reason for the delay in showing the film is that the preparations took a long time due to the Corona pandemic, and its many details, of which I consider myself a part. The film revolves around 4 stories in different times, and my character belongs to the seventies of the last century, with the participation of the artist Sahar Al-Sayegh and the Syrian artist Wassim Al-Daqaq.

Artist Ahmed Magdy

Artist Ahmed Magdy

* Wasn’t that the first time you worked with your father, director Magdy Ahmed Ali?

**His lens makes me feel safe, as he will not put me in an embarrassing situation while filming. I remember standing in front of his lens in “Birds of the Nile” in 2009, and at that time it was different. Then I began to feel reassured in the movie “Mawlana”. The dread is gone now, as I used to memorize his instructions very much, but as a director he loves surprises on set, and he has amazing and inspiring wisdom in directing.

*Many people feel that you have a responsibility towards cinema?

** Indeed, I feel a great responsibility towards the Egyptian film industry, as my beginning was in directing and writing films. The movie “Nobody There” was written and directed by me, and it is the product of many transformations, and it put me on the right path. After I finished it, I started writing my second movie, “The Crow,” which is very similar to my first movie. Acting also took me away from writing for a while, but I consider my roles as divine gifts that put me on the right path. Good acting projects took me away from writing greatly because the artist usually waits for the role, unlike the writer, director and artist who searches for himself and others.

After acting and participating in productions, aren’t you looking for an opportunity to act abroad?

** I certainly have dreams and aspirations to act abroad, and I strive to achieve them, but I do not push myself towards anything, because work is a livelihood. I try to always strive to achieve what I desire, and make enough effort to be ready when the opportunity arises.

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