Egyptian actor-producer Amr Waked - serving this week on the Venice Film Festival’s Orrizonti Jury - has revealed that he received death threats because of his outspoken criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Waked, the producer and star of Arab Spring-themed drama Winter Of Discontent, told ScreenDaily in Venice: “I am just openly critical of the Muslim Brothers’ actions, especially recently in the past year.
“They have not been in line with any of our expectations or any of the demands of the revolution…I believe that (deposed President) Morsi came to dismantle democracy and that people democratically removed him.”
Such opinions have infuriated Morsi’s followers, who Waked said had issued threats to him on Facebook, Twitter and by SMS.
These messages have said: “If I see you, I will kill you” and “I will blow myself (up) in your face.”
In spite of these threats, Waked said he was continuing to work as normal.
In Venice, one of his new productions, El Ott (The Cat) has just won post-production support through the Festival’s Final Cut programme. Like Winter Of Our Discontent, it is directed by Ibrahim El-Batout.
This action-thriller centres on a small-time gangster fighting against an organ trafficking boss who kidnaps street kids in Cairo. The film should be completed early next year and is likely to surface at a summer festival.
Waked’s production company Zad is also continuing to prepare The Exile by Atef Hteta. The aim now is to cast a French actress and begin production in Luxor in early 2014. Waked is also set to star.
Winter Of Discontent is being screened in Toronto by sales agent Double Dutch. The film was released recently in the UK to positive reviews by New Wave. A sale has also now been made to HBO Europe.