Between Culture and Artistic Dreams

aspak invation 1Many of us dream of becoming a famous actor or actress. Most of us wish they would be the next Brad Pitt or Angelina, or Al Pacino.

Some others follow the works of famous directors like James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, or Woody Allen, eagerly. They too dream of making a great movie that would win them an Oscar.

A few follow their dreams and go to Hollywood, hoping of being part of the cinema industry. However, they end up struggling for years between the hard work in cafes and restaurants; and the dream of turning those small parts into having a lead role, thus becoming the next super star.

In Egypt, where Egyptian youth has the same dreams of acting or directing, it is harder for them to study or work in the field due to cultural restrictions.

Most of Egyptian society does not accept the arts as a field of study or as a career; thus most of the graduates are enrolled in other majors such medicine, commerce or engineering.

They nurture their passion for directing or acting by doing small or personal projects.

Recently, El Sawy Cultural Wheel, opened in 2003, became a well known arts venue in Cairo. The cultural wheel, is a place where locals and foreigners hang out, and visit for the diverse art shows put on in this centre.

The Sawy Cultural Wheel is an important platform for well known actors, intellectuals and musicians, and new beginners and students alike.

Many students have benefited from this centre where they were able to join seminars and workshops that built their experience in the arts. Later they were able to produce their own projects and find a stage to perform on.

One of these students is a Mechanical Engineering Senior, in the American University In Cairo(AUC).  Amr Kilany has been studying engineering in (AUC) for the past 4 years and is expecting to be graduated this year.

Amr is interested in making movies and directing. He began this four years ago when he made a 10 second shots  with a very bad camera as he says and edited on unprofessional programs.

“I made a 1:30 minute movie, about a policeman and a criminal. There was actually no sound, but people saw it on my computer.” Kilany said.

Kilany explains that later he made a series of science fiction movies called “House of Death”.

“Its about a character that finds himself in a computer game and has to fight, I have already made House of Death 2, and have applied graphics in it.” Kilany said. “I learned how to apply graphics to the movie and used it.”

He explained that the use of graphics lacks in the Egyptian cinema industry due to its difficulty and the need of professional new technology, and that is why there are no science  fiction in Egypt.

Kilany is working now on the final part of the “House of Death” series, about alien invasion that is taking over humans minds.

“The movie will last for 12 minutes and by three of my friends and cousins. I have done the directing and editing on five different professional editing programs.” He explained.

“ I’m also planning to show the movie in the Sawy Cultural Wheel, in October in a two day festival.” Kilany added.

Kilany hopes that his small budget movie would later be shown in a festival for short movies in Cairo in December.

-By Mennatallah Fouad Youssef

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