In a bid to compete with
Film industry veterans led by producer Khaled Alkhamissi are drafting aletter to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture recommending the governmentstreamline its procedures for dealing with foreign producers, following asymposium on foreign film shoots in
Alkhamissi said foreign producers face obstacles such as censorship, a heavyburden of paperwork, complicated approvals procedures and customs tariffs thatare imposed on filmmaking equipment brought in from outside the country.
Despite coveted Pharaonicscenery such as the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the
Mohamed Lotfi,vice director of the Moroccan Cinema Centert, wasexpected to attend the symposium, but instead sent a message with a list ofrecommendations that included a fast-track authority for permissions and zerocustoms duties on incoming equipment.
Proponents of these measures face an uphillbattle, if the reactions of many of the panelists that took part in last week'ssymposium are any indication.
Mamdouh El Leithy, head of the syndicate ofEgyptian filmmakers, railed against foreign "crooks" seeking Egyptianco-productions so they can stay at five-star hotels.
Arguments also broke out about where within