Monthly Archives: December 2012

Introduction to ‘This Sporting Life’

Mamoun was invited by David Somerset, education curator at the British Film Institute, to introduce a screening of Lindsay Anderson‘s ‘This Sporting Life‘ at the National Film Theatre in London on 6th August 2012.

The event wasn’t filmed, but we have created this short video to accompany the audio recording made on the day.

Lindsay Gordon Anderson was an Indian-born, British feature film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading light of the Free Cinema movement and the British New Wave. Wikipedia

Copyright©Mamoun Hassan 2012

 

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by | December 31, 2012 · 6:09 pm

Mamoun Hassan’s Cairo Film Festival vlog coming soon

35th Cairo International Film Festival 2012Mamoun will publish a video log on his experiences at the 35th Cairo International Film Festival which went ahead in late November amid disturbance and protests against the Egyptian President in Tahrir Square.  Mamoun accepted his invite to sit on the International Human Rights Film competition jury despite the instability of the situation. He said,  “It was absolutely the right thing to do.”

Paying tribute to the organisers of the event, he said; “Not enough praise can be heaped on the organisers from the president, Dr Ezzat Abou Aouf;  vice president Mrs Suheir Abdel Kader to all the other people – there was no weak link.”

Ezzat Abou Aouf opens  the 2012 Cairo Film Festival

Ezzat Abou Aouf opens the 2012 Cairo Film Festival

The major arts festival was almost postponed indefinitely by the Ministry of Culture because of the scale of the protests. There were last minute withdrawals of films from Egyptian and Syrian directors in protest against President Mursi’s Constitutional Declaration.

Mamoun says, “The whole schedule had to be put back one day – that’s a big deal for all the organisers but we didn’t even notice. I thought they were remarkable.  Suheir was terrific, the staff at the film office were absolutely first class and the young volunteers that were looking after us – not only were they good – they were so cheerful – in spite of everything. They had to avoid sending us to places where trouble might erupt. They were on their mobiles all the time.

“Before the last night, six people were killed in front of the Presidential palace. It was terrible. And again they made the right decision – they didn’t have a closing ceremony, they made a very quick press conference and gave proper weight to the awards – but it was all done very quickly.

“I think that in the midst of chaos it is heroic to say,  ‘Arts continue, cinema continues – and we will be part of it!’  I thought it was remarkable.”

Mamoun’s Movie Masterclass  on Pontecorvo’s 1965 hard-hitting Neo realist masterpiece the ‘Battle of Algiers” attracted a few students but he conceded, “The young men and women who had been to see the film at the Film Institute preferred to make history and go to Tahrir Square than to hear about history and I thought they did the right thing – I would have done the same.”

Mamoun’s vlog will highlight some of the best films and directors of this important festival of free expression which remained largely ignored by the international media.

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