Director Daoud Abdel Sayed reveals the reason for his retirement … and why is he thinking of returning now?

He has been absent from the film scene since 2015, since then he has written many scenarios and works ready for implementation, but is looking for a producer to present it to his wide audience, until he announced his retirement at the beginning of this year , a decision that was a thunderclap for all those who loved movies, and knew The value of this director, who presented works that are considered rare icons in the history of Arabic art.

He has made major films such as Searching for Sayed Marzouk (1990), Kit Kat (1991), Dreamland (1993), The Thief of Joy (1994), Land of Fear (1999), Citizen, Detective and Thief (2001) and Sea Letters (2010).

Abdel-Sayed confirmed at the time that being away from his lover made him lose his desire for art, so he decided to leave the scene voluntarily and declare his anger over all the sins that the film situation and the audience go through, until it was announced that he had received the “Nile Prize for Art”, which is the highest annual award presented by the Supreme Council of Culture in Egypt. This is the great director Daoud Abdel Sayed, who in his interview with “Al Arabiya.net” confirmed about his pride in being honored by the country that values ​​art and culture, and that he can think of returning to the directed hereafter. honor.

Director Daoud Abdel Sayed

How did you find this honor by receiving the State Prize for the Arts?

** The honor is different this time. My true happiness was the audience’s reactions to the award, and the echoes of it among the fans and followers. This is, in my opinion, the most important and precious appreciation. I’m proud to belong to a country that values ​​art and culture, and I consider it the most important in my artistic career, and it has whetted my appetite to return to work.

* Does this mean that you will launch a new business in the coming period?

** It opened my appetite for work, as I said, but at the moment I can not be sure of the extent of its impact on my film future. It is still accepted by young people, and I feel it through their interaction with them on social media The new generations are the most watched of the films I have made throughout my artistic journey, thanks to technology and its availability through the internet.

* With the new generations communicating with you, what’s the problem?

** Indeed, the new generations are eager to explore and access my movies compared to the older generations who do not have a space to watch my movies. For example, Egyptian television hardly likes to show my films, even if they do not have the rights, their role is to find and buy them, and I’m not just talking about my films, but about the generally we had programs like “Cinema Club” on Egyptian television that had to return again to provide a cultural ground for ordinary audiences who could not cope with the internet.

Was that the reason for your retirement?

** Not that, but I can not do anything that rejects the market, as it enforces or provides what he wants, but the real artistic idea for me is to create a real atmosphere that a republican and artistic cinema offer. But we are in trouble because production depends on very expensive commercial capital, and is displayed in expensive showrooms in places far from the middle class and the ordinary. Most of the producers are also young people looking for funding, which is not a shortage, but it puts the book under the guillotine to satisfy the financier, which has caused a change in moviegoers in movie theaters and galleries. In the nineties the cinema was completely full, and all cinemas differed, but today the situation changed and the private cinemas in the first place that come with a lot of money, the cinemas in the shopping centers shrank, while the neighboring cinemas became smaller. and disappears. The theaters in the mall are large and represent only the upper middle class, and therefore the quality and interests of the audience have become different, imposing a kind of commercial and silent films.

Director Daoud Abdel Sayed

Director Daoud Abdel Sayed

* I’ve been absent from movie theater since 2015, what’s the reason?

** There are artistic projects that have not been implemented as it took a long time to write them, in addition to that I am not responsible for delaying the production of some films because the industry is responsible, and therefore I do not consider myself the directorial journey is short even if it is not more than 9 films. The directing of 9 films was not limited to directing. I wrote the screenplays for 8 of them and directed 9, so I consider each work to be two works, and that’s a big reason for my happiness and I wish I could do more, but I’m not sad about it. I do not regard it as laziness on my part. Like I said, moviegoers have turned into movie theaters and galleries. In the nineties, the cinema was completely full of all cinemas of all kinds, first class and neighborhood, but today the situation changed as neighborhood cinemas shrank and disappeared. I’m a resident of Heliopolis, and I remember the large number of screens now disappearing in front of the mall cinemas, which began as a kind of promotion, as families flocked to them at the beginning of the last century with the beginning of talk about the clean cinema or the so-called family cinema.

* What is the solution to this problem from your point of view?

** The state has to support filmmakers because this support is different. The new generation of directors, which I consider very talented, apply for platforms or try to get support from festivals, and therefore the foreign financier is the one who chooses the film. and therefore films are offered that do not appeal to the Egyptian audience, Because the foreign financier who enforces his ideas, because the state is financed by taxes and it has to support the directors without enforcing their opinion. This is democracy, especially since the current institutional censorship is at its worst, and society is not one thing, there are the most conservative and the most liberal. But I do not think that social censorship is too narrow, because moviegoers are now an educated type who follow films from all over the world, and therefore the state should respect the content that the artist wants to provide and not specifically enforce it on him. content, there are generations who want to make good art movies.

* And if any platform offers you to present a movie to you, would you agree?

** If they offer me a movie without interference or change here or there, I will accept it immediately, but in reality it does not happen. If any party or system comes to you to produce a film, you must intervene to achieve their goals, I do not discuss the issue of alliances and issues of control over Cinema, these issues are too big to discuss, but I discuss the right of the artist; His right to freedom, his right to choose, and the right of the public to have their concerns presented and discussed through the films, and I am against the use of film as a political weapon; Cinema is an art, and we have to deal with it on this basis.

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