Daoud Abdel Sayed calls for restoration of the rapidly deteriorating Egyptian cinema heritage

Tue Dec 07,2004

Celebrated Egyptian director and writer Daoud Abdel Sayed called for the restoration of Egypt’s cinema heritage that, according to him, is in danger of disappearing from the face of the earth. He acknowledged that many of the films from the silent era are now irreparably damaged while the films from the 60s and 70s are deteriorating at an alarming rate.

In a relaxed question and answer session at the Dubai International Film Festival, Daoud spoke at length on a number of topics including his movies and his creative process, international recognition and regional cinema. He expressed his happiness at being in Dubai and being recognized and felicitated at the inaugural film festival.

Daoud is recognized as a leader in the ‘New Realism’ movement in Egyptian cinema. His feature films include Al-Sa’Alik (The Vagabonds), Al Bahths an Al Sayyid Marzouq (The Search of Sayyid Marzouq), Kit Kat and Ard Al Ehlam (Land of Dreams). The films that brought him particular recognition are Sarek Al Falah (The Stolen Joy), Ard-al Khof (Land of Fear) and Mowaten We Mokhber We Haramy (A Citizen, a Detective and a Thief).

Responding to questions about his multiple roles as writer, scriptwriter and director for many of his movies, Daoud said: “Even though I began my career as a director, I have developed my writing and scripting. It is not that I do not trust other writers but I love being part of the creative process as much as possible. I feel that the finer details of my vision can be best portrayed on screen if my involvement is at its maximum. As a film maker, I am sometimes compelled to write to express and capture my vision and creative insight in its truest form on film.”

Commenting on his movie Kit Kat that is being showcased at the festival, Daoud said: ”Kit Kat is my only movie inspired by a novel which I read and re-read several times. It has a universal theme revolving around a blind man transcending his disability, gaining human insights and unveiling universal truths. It has seen commercial success and critical acclaim wherever released.

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