one of the Lumiere photographers, came to make shorts films and showed
them in Egypt in January 1896.
1908 Egypt had 10 movie houses with 5 in Cairo and 3 in Alexandria.
As Egyptians watched the films made by outsiders who were using Egypt
as a location, more and more interest developed.
1912, Egyptian producer Abdel Rahman Salheya hired outside technicians
to make the first Egyptian short films.
1917, the industry had grown to about 80 theaters throughout Egypt.
An Italian photographer living in Alexandria, Omberto Doris, built
a studio and produced films like "The Bedouin's Honor",
"Poisonous Flowers" and "Towards the Precipice".
These were still not considered pure Egyptian films.
greatest one achievement was in 1925 which was the initiation by royal
decree of "Misr Company for Acting and Cinema, " as one
of Bank Misr establishments.
in 1927 the first full length silent movie, Layla was produced. Then
Awlad al-Zawat, or High-Class Society, came out as the country's first
talking film starring theatre moguls Yusuf Wahbi and Amina Rizk.
dubbed Egypt's Sir Lawrence Olivier, was one of several leading theatre
actors who enriched the cinematic industry in its early years.
real move forward in the field establishing cinema studios in Egypt
was realized by the great Egyptian economist, Talaat Harb, who founded
Studio Misr in 1935.
studio undertook production depending on its existing cinematic facilities
and direct financing from "Misr Company for Acting and Cinema"
. The studio made these facilities accessible to other producers,
just as it distributed films it produced, and other people's films.
Misr and its school became a solid foundation for the cinema industry
in Egypt. It had been planned with this intention in mind as expressed
by Talat Harb, in his speech at the inaugural ceremony on 12 October
1935. He said it was one of the industrial economic projects of Bank
Misr aiming to make available all the requirements of making films
to all workers in the field.
studio's policy was to hire foreign experts in the different cinematic
specializations and appoint Egyptian assistants who could learn from
them. It also sent Egyptian missions to study cinema abroad even before
building the studio itself. And the first mission was sent in 1933
and included Ahmad Badrakhan and Morris Kassab who studied film direction
in France, and Mohammad Abdel Azim and Hassan Murad who studied photography
success of the part played by Studio Misr was an incentive for other
studios to be established. Five were built, and all contributed to
the continuation of the cinema industry in Egypt although they were
different in both their function and the nature of their production
July 1952 Revolution:
Revolution leaders headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser took in the Cinema
culminated in the state recognizing the cinema as "a cultural"
or rather "a guidance industry. This resulted in issuing laws
to support the Film industry.
High Cinema institute established by the Government only seven years
after the July 1952 Revolution. The first batch graduated in 1963
and it still produces young people who graduate from it annually in
all cinema specialisations. This revolution produced the emergence
of a new bright generation with names like Omar Sharif, Suad Husni
and comedy giant Ismail Yasin.
the beginning of the sixties, the cinema was nationalized in Egypt,
meaning that big companies and studios were owned by the state. As
all other nationalized businesses, it belonged to what was known as
the "public sector".
the Cinema and putting it under the control of the public sector administration
had both positive and negative impact.
the early 70s, the production sector was denationalized with the exception
of the studios sector and the two film distribution companies and
capacity has gone down from an annual average of 80 movies in the
1980s to less than 20 a year, but they believe that, more than anything
else, Egyptian films have contributed to spreading their country's
culture and its famous Arabic dialect across the region.
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Expanded Egyptian History