Exclusive interview: Actor Abol Naga hires lawyer to fight treason charges

Actor Khaled Abol Naga says he has now hired a lawyer to take necessary legal measures after another lawyer earlier filed treason charges against him.
“We are all concerned about the country, but this doesn’t mean I should be accused of treason for expressing my views or telling the president to leave if he is unable to shoulder his responsibility without displacing people or our soldiers being murdered in Sinai or elsewhere. It’s unreasonable to be accused of treason for telling him to go,” Abol Naga told Al-Masry Al-Youm. “It seems that all of us will say it eventually.”
Abol Naga had earlier criticized the suspension of some film festivals and the displacement of Sinai residents for a security buffer on the Gaza border, saying that obsessing over security may put the country in danger, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring as people are no longer as afraid of authority as they used to be.
The actor also dedicated Best Actor award, for his role in the Palestinian film “Thieves of Our Eyes,” to the whole team. “I consider the award from the Cairo International Film Festival as an award for Soad Massi, which was her first role, and children Malak, Amir and Khaled Horany as well as all the cast of the movie,” Abol Naga told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
He also pointed to the excellent role of producer Hany Qert and thanked him for his insistence to make a movie under the occupation and get permissions for Abol Naga, Massi and all the cast to visit Palestine.
“The award is dear to my heart for its timing and being for a Palestinian, not Egyptian, film,” he said, adding that the movie has now been nominated for the Oscars. He said that the CIFF award was granted by an international committee.
Regarding the movie “D├ęcor,” Abol Naga said he experienced another kind of challenge while shooting the film, which is the second work with director Ahmed Abdullah. He said he was attracted to the film for being different. He did not express concern about filming a black-and-white film. He said he has confidence that the audience will like it adding that credibility in transferring emotions is the base for success of any work.
The film tackles polarization that Egyptians experience, he said adding that the movie is not directly a political one, as some expected. He added that all actors were honest about what they showed, which, according to Abol Naga, is one advantage of the Arab Spring, which he said caused every person to become politically-minded.
Abol Naga expressed happiness about reactions of the audience about his participation in the Emirati film “From A to B” directed by Ali Mostafa. Abol Naga played a role of a Syrian soldier. Although the film has three main characters of an Egyptian, Saudi and a Syrian. Abol Naga played role of a Syrian. He believes it’s a chance to break taboos, adding that the accent should not be an obstacle facing actors.
He indicated his movie “Extraordinary Abilities” has been officially selected for participation in Dubai festival next month.
Abol Naga addressed his absence from TV, saying he is trying to veer away from traditional TV appearances. He argued that commercials and other factors limit the ability to artistically express an idea, and though the film industry suffers more problems with finance, it tends to offer better works. He said that the slowdown in cinema and lean toward TV has actually benefited the film industry by allowing more room for respectful movie productions.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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