Slow summer season to see few major movies

The limited number of Egyptian films to hit theaters this summer has been anticipated since last year. The season, which usually sees the highest number of new releases, is still suffering from the global economic crisis. And that the fasting month of Ramadan will cut the season short this year is sure to make Egyptian producers think twice about releasing any new films at all this year.

The Egyptian Chamber of Cinema Industries announced that production dropped in 2009 to only 12 films, down from 60 in 2007, and 57 in 2008. Only a small number of these films will be screening this summer as producers are not willing to take their chances on uncertain projects that might put them out of business.

What’s more, Ramadan will begin on August 11 this year, and movie-goers prefer to stay at home on Ramadan evenings to watch television dramas. This includes the highly-coveted younger demographic, which will also be following the month-long World Cup, which will kick off in South Africa on June 11.

Shereen Samir, senior editor at Good News 4 Media, says it will be a short season.

“Only the actors who are well known and successful are releasing films this season,” she says, although she believes the summer will regain its status in subsequent years. “It’s the only season suitable for releasing big blockbusters, when young people aren’t busy with school and families and are looking for entertainment.”

The following is a list of major films expected to hit theaters this summer:

El-Dealer (‘The Dealer’): Starring Ahmed el-Saqa in his favorite genre: crime, action and drama. The story follows a young man who travels abroad looking for new opportunities in life and finds himself entangled in the affairs of a drug-dealing mafia before becoming one of their most trusted dealers. Khaled el-Nabawi co-stars as a police officer pursuing el-Saqa and willing to break the law to capture him. The movie is due to hit theaters in mid-May.

Assal Esswd (‘Molasses’): Ahmed Helmy is back with yet another comedy, playing an American-born Egyptian who decides to visit his mother country. He finds that all doors are opened wide the minute he shows his US passport. When he loses the precious document, however, he is faced with multiple problems, which serve as an eye-opener for the young man. The film, co-starring Emmy Samir Ghanim, is expected to be released on 2 June.

La Tarago’ Wa La Estislam (‘No Retreat, No Surrender’): Ahmed Mekki has managed to prove himself a box-office force in the last couple of years, and this year he’s back with new “inspiration” from Hollywood. Like last year, when he copy-catted Brendan Fraser’s Bedazzled (2000) with his film Teer Enta, the poster of his new release was reportedly inspired by the poster of Robert Downey Jr’s Tropic Thunder (2008). Will his new film be an Egyptianized version of the American hit? No trailer has been released yet, and the film’s release date is still to be announced.

Nour Eini (‘Light of my Eyes’): El-Sobkey productions focus this year on Tamer Hosni’s latest project, Nour Eini. Hosni held the box-office top spot last year with his sequel to Omar we Salma (‘Omar and Salma’) and Hosni-mania might well continue this summer. His latest film, co-starring Menna Shalabi, follows Tamer Hosni’s character, Nour, as he falls for a blind girl who he later discovers to be his best-friend’s love interest as well. The movie should hit theaters on 19 May.

Ellimby 8 Giga: After trying his luck with multiple new abstract characters, Mohamed Sa’d goes back to his roots with his stuttering persona Ellimby. Ellimby works as a lawyer and Sa’d’s character this time falls in love with a schoolteacher (Mai Ezz Eddin), who he manages to marry against all odds. The black comedy follows their journey as they try to make ends meet with the little money they have. The film is slated to be released in June.

Related Articles

Back to top button