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Egyptian actor to boycott Cannes screening

Amr Waked cites filmmaker ties to Mubarek.

Controversy has kicked off ahead of next week’s planned Cannes screening of film 18 Days on Wednesday to honour the Egyptian revolution.

The omnibus film comprises short films from 10 Egyptian directors, 20 actors, six writers and a crew based on the revolution.

But leading Egyptian actor Amr Waked (who acted in one film and coproduced another) has revealed that he will be boycotting the Cannes Egyptian event.

“The presence of certain artists in this event who previously hailed the old regime and have not reconciled with the people yet, though artistically speaking their presence would be appropriate, makes it difficult for me to attend as I cannot ignore the implications of embracing such a political statement. Thus, I wish that you would accept my apology for not being able to attend,” the actor wrote in a letter to Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux.

The festival and other filmmakers could not be reached for comment at press time.

Readers' comments (3)

  • I am the producer of one of the short films of "18 Days" and could not refrain from replying to the above article.
    It seems Mr. Waked's words strongly contradict with his own actions. Did he not play the starring role in one of the short films of '18 Days'; the same short film that was directed by one of those "certain artists" he is referring to.
    He is accusing these film-makers of making a political statement. Then may I ask what is HIS motive from boycotting the screening of his own film? Because it surely is not a social welfare statement. He is very well aware that these film makers have no political ambitions. To the contrary, he is also aware that all the revenues of "18 Days" will be going to a non-profit NGO who's work will be focused on social awareness. He is not only aware, but was even one of those who attended the meeting to discuss setting up of this NGO (video proof of his attendance available).
    As for his accusation of 'hailing the old regime', it is completely baseless and incomprehensible. Their history speaks for itself, having made many films that spoke out against the corruption of the old regime and against the social state of the country under that regime, at a time when few were willing to speak out. Having directed a program or a commercial for the ousted president or his party years ago, at a time when most would have jumped at the opportunity or at least could not refuse such a 'request', does not mean in any way or form that they 'hailed the old regime'. Where was Mr. Waked back then? Why did he not speak against these film makers back then? Or is it because now he is not afraid to speak out? Or is it even, because now he has other motives or agendas that only he is aware of?
    Finally, it is so disappointing that at a time when all truly patriotic Egyptians are doing what they can to help their country make it through these difficult times, Mr. Waked seems to be focusing his efforts on the country's past and on his own future.
    By Amin El Masri

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • @Amin Al-Masri; could not have said it better. @Mr. Waked; your position is very disappointing to say the least.
    @The Film Makers of "18 Days"; best of luck to you. You see, you think, you get inspired and you give us something to be proud of.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • @Amin Al-Masri; could not have said it better. @Mr. Waked; your position is very disappointing to say the least.
    @The Film Makers of "18 Days"; best of luck to you. You see, you think, you get inspired and you give us something to be proud of.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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