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Congratulations to Andrés Wood: ‘Machuca’ listed as top 20 Latin American film

Still from Machuca - Matias Quer

‘A stunning film’ Film Journal International

‘Machuca’ the 2004 feature I co-wrote and co-produced with Andrés Wood has been selected for the CasAmerica, Madrid season of ‘Twenty great films of Latin American cinema” which celebrates the most notable films of the past 20 years.

I am delighted for Andrés because this lists him up there with the greatest Latin American directors of his generation.

Machuca was my first proper collaboration with Andrés – although I had helped him with the editing on his previous film Loco Fever.  Working with Andres was very enjoyable, challenging and educative.  Andrés’s next film, La Buena Vida, (my credits: screenplay and co-producer) was less straightforward and the film was affected by the limitations of the budget. Still, it won a Goya amongst many other awards. Our next collaboration has already started. La Lutte Continua:

Mamoun Hassan

Machuca will be shown at CasAmerica, Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid on Wednesday, 25 September. For the full listing visit the CasAmerica website.

Cine poster

Buy Machuca on DVD

Machuca ART302DVD

 Machuca / Chile-Spain-United Kingdom-France 2004 / Directed by Andres Wood. Distributed in the UK by Artificial Eye

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Passport to Cinema: ‘La Ronde’ and ‘Persona’ at the BFI Southbank

I will be giving introductions to two great films at the National Film Theatre at the British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank next month:

LaRondeDVDLa Ronde: Monday 2 September
France 1950
Max Ophul’s masterpiece – an adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial play Reigen.


persona05Persona: Monday 23 September
Sweden 1966
Ingmar Bergman’s highly influential minimalist work. Considered by some as one of the 20th Century’s greatest works of art.


Passport to Cinema

The films appear as part of the National Film and Television School’s Autumn 2013 ‘Passport to Cinema’ season – the theme of which is Masquerade! Cinema and its Masks.

The screenings are open to the public and National Film and Television School students.

For current ticket prices, reservations and further information visit the BFI website –

The Passport to Cinema schedule and accompanying essays are published on the NFTVS website.

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Movie Masterclass: Pather Panchali

Indian child - scene from Pather PanchaliExplore Satyajit Ray’s masterwork scene by scene

Date: 17 August 2013

Place: National Film Theatre, Southbank, London

Time 1.00pm – 4.00pm

You are invited to come and join Mamoun Hassan for a stimulating afternoon at the NFT where he will be leading a scene-by-scene exploration of Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray’s extraordinary and acclaimed debut.

Mamoun’s trademark Movie Masterclass technique is a uniquely engaging way of teaching the art and craft of filmmaking, suitable for filmmakers and film-lovers alike.

His accessible approach evolves from a practical analysis of the whole filmmaking craft, a technique he established for the Channel 4’s Movie Masterclass series.

This participatory seminar will require prior viewing of Pather Panchali.

DVD cover: The Apu TrilogyYou can book tickets to view Pather Panchali at a NFT screening in August or you can purchase the DVD as part of The Apu Trilogy box set in the UK.

Seminar tickets cost between £8.50 and £11.00. You are strongly advised to book in advance at the BFI website – places are limited!

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Introduction to Kurosawa’s ‘Stray Dog’ at NFTS

Stray Dog DVD CoverDominic Power,  the  Head of Screen Arts at the world- leading National Film and Television School (NFTS) has asked Mamoun Hassan to introduce Stray Dog – directed by Akira Kurosawa – to NFTS students on Monday 17 June.

The Japanese police thriller is set in the gangster underworld of 1940’s Occupied Tokyo.  It was the film that catapulted the dynamic Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune to world fame. 

Kurosawa’s contemporary subjects (including Stray Dog, Ikiru and High and Low) have been shaded by his Samurai films although they stand comparison. Stray Dog influenced Dirty Harry in which Clint Eastwood’s character also has his gun stolen and used for murder.

Mamoun has previously introduced Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood at British Film Institute (BFI), and led his Movie Masterclass on The Seven Samurai at films schools around the world.

View the movie details online at the BFI Shop.



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Wojciech Smarzowski’s “Rose” at BFI Southbank

Roza posterMamoun Hassan will be taking part in a panel discussion following the screening of Wojciech Smarzowski’s ‘Rose’ as part of Refugee Week at BFI Southbank, London, June 18th.

The film was awarded the Tahrir Square prize for a human rights film at the Cairo Film festival in December 2012. Mamoun was part of the judging panel for the competition and believes Rose is a worthy winner of this important prize which stands for revolution, resistance and human rights:  He says, “Films about history are really films about today. There is a kind of cruelty and mindlessness countered by an obstinate fight for humanity through one or two characters who hold on to an idea of civilisation and kindness.”

‘Rose’ dramatises the value of human rights in a tragic tale of war from a little-known period of Polish history: the post-WW2 persecution of the Masurians, indigenous residents of the region that is now Poland.

The screening was organised by David Somerset of the BFI as a complement to Refugee Week: it explores the universal condition of war which remains the main cause of refugees. It also marks a period of history that gave rise to the 1951 Convention relating to Refugee Status. 

The other members of the panel are Roland Schillin (UNHCR, UK representative), and Anita Prażmowska (historian). Chair: Tim Finch (Dir. Comms IPPR, Pol. Journalist)

Book tickets online at the BFI website.

A scene from Rose - villagers dancing

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Cairo Film Festival video log postponed

In light of the ongoing violence in Egypt,  Mamoun has decided that it would be insensitive to publish his comments on December’s Cairo Film Festival. To be discussing a Festival when the situation is so grave seems inappropriate. We hope to bring you this video log at a later date.

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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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