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“Loneliness and fear of the unknown”.. Sayed Ragab opens his heart to “Al Arabiya.net”

He charmed everyone with the sweetness of his presentation of the role of the old real estate guard who lives alone, isolated from the outside world, accompanied by a number of pets, and his ability to deal with them within the events of the film that participated in the international competition of the 44th Cairo Film Festival, being the only Egyptian film that competed in the competition, and until it got He won 3 awards from the festival at the closing ceremony: the Best Arab Film Award, the International Federation of Critics Award, and the Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution. It is the artist, Sayed Ragab, who confirmed in his interview with Al-Arabiya.net that the story of the movie “19B”, which won all these awards, affected him very much, and he felt the importance of the idea that we all live with, which is loneliness and fear of the unknown.

From the poster of the movie 19B

From the poster of the movie 19B

What motivated you to participate in this work?

** I am happy to participate in this film, which participated in the activities of the Cairo International Film Festival. I was hoping to cooperate with director Ahmed Abdallah, and I was very impressed by the script. As soon as I read it, it was a bet between me and myself that I could express those feelings in a large way, and I felt the importance of the idea that we all live with, which is loneliness and fear of the unknown. I was very happy with my ability to express all the feelings that I present through the film, and I accepted to participate in the film very quickly. I was keen to participate because I saw the details of the real estate guard’s personality that I embodied while reading, as the scenario is more than wonderful and full of feelings.

* And what did you find in the character of the real estate guard?

** What the character presents in terms of revealing the different worlds, and the relationship with the other world, because I have a problem with the other, to the point that I do not like to travel a lot. The movie put me in a parallel world far from me, so I wanted to see myself in this movie or this world. The dimensions in the film were not important to people, which allowed every viewer to imagine the dimensions alone, but the main idea was the loneliness, isolation, and cowardice that the estate guard suffered from. I also discovered many aspects of the personality related to kindness, that he is a peaceful man who fears the other world, and solves his problems in different ways. He may be stupid or a liar or act against what he wants to do. In order to expel people from the house, he leaves the water to ruin the house, and he may lie to another man until his affairs are straightened.

Syed Ragab from the festival

Syed Ragab from the festival

How did you find the relationship between humans and animals in this film?

** I was happy that the film presents the relationship between humans and animals. I used to raise dogs and cats, and my father loved to raise animals. Animals, I have always been looking for a script that highlights the role of pets in people’s lives, given my great love for them.

Was the dog trained for the scenes that brought you together?

** The work required a great effort, especially since “Antar”, the dog that appeared with me, was trained and dealt with us for a long time until it appeared in this way in the movie.

*But didn’t it surprise you that your character in the movie has no name?

** I was not surprised that my character in the work was without a name, as the character is marginal like the one we see a lot in our lives. There are no completely good and bad characters. Even the “politician” had his own circumstances and motives. In life, he is a marginalized and socially oppressed person, so his violence and ferocity in dealing with others stems from weakness, and therefore judgments cannot be made on him from that narrow angle.

Hussein Fahmy and Sayed Ragab at the end of the festival

Hussein Fahmy and Sayed Ragab at the end of the festival

How did you feel when the film won three awards at the festival?

** I felt so proud and happy that I won the three awards, and the film’s participation in an event the size of “Cairo Film Festival” suffices, which is one of the oldest and most regular festivals in the Arab world and Africa. It suffices that it is the only festival in the Arab and African region, registered under Category A in the International Federation of Producers in Paris “FIAPF”, and this is the best proof that Egyptian cinema will remain a pioneer in the world.

* And what is your assessment of the 44th session in light of the return of the great artist Hussein Fahmy to head the festival?

** The festival is in development and renewal every year, and it leads the scene in the world, as it has proven year after year that it still represents a meeting point for filmmakers, critics, writers, thinkers and artists, and the importance of the festival lies in the presence of international films within its programs outside the competition. Certainly, these films will constitute an important cinematic meal, with time and stability and the great development that Egypt is witnessing in the last stage, and I believe that they will be a platform for world stars to come again, as Hungarian director Bella Tarr came this year. As for the great artist Hussein Fahmy, he is of great stature and artistic value, and he has a great balance in leading festivals. He is the best successor to Muhammad Hefzy, who made a great and important shift for the festival, and Hussein Fahmy is considered one of the pioneers who contributed to the brilliance of this event, especially since he was presiding over it since 21 years old, and it continued to develop for four consecutive cycles during his tenure as president, starting from 1998 until 2001.

What about your new one?

** I am currently filming the second part of the series “Ramadan Kareem”, five years after showing its first part, which achieved great success. I am happy to return to presenting the new part of the work because it is a social drama that expresses the Egyptian street and life in popular neighborhoods, as it is a diary for its characters. .

I also started filming my scenes in the movie “Ibn Al-Haj Ahmed” with Chico, during which I embody the character of Chico’s father. The work takes place in a comic framework and carries many surprises. It is the idea of ​​Amr Salama, and the script and dialogue by Muhammad Al-Mohammadi and Ahmed Mohi, directed by Moataz Al-Tuni.

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