A retrospective at the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival is to honor the pioneering Egyptian film director, Khairy Beshara. The filmmaker is one of the key proponents of Neo-Realism in Egypt and the Arab World in the 1980s, and the originator of the 1990s youthful cinema and folk fantasy films.
Beshara will attend public screenings of his films in Historic Jeddah, alongside many Egyptian film stars and artists involved in his work.
The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation has remastered and restored nine of Beshara's films including, Floater Number 70 (1982), The Collar and the Bracelet (1986), Sweet Day, Bitter Day (1988), Crab (1990), Ice Cream In Gleam (1992), Strawberry War (1993), and Traffic Light (1995). Part of the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation’s key tasks is conserving the cinematic legacy of Arab and international cinema.
"Khairy Beshara is considered one of the main pillars of Egyptian cinema. His work has inspired countless directors of the new generation," says Festival Director Mahmoud Sabbagh. "Beshara's films portray deep human meanings and adopt bold and original techniques. With this celebration, we aim to express our gratitude towards Khairy Beshara for his incredible body of work, and to honour Egyptian cinema and its pioneering work." In addition to the remastering program, the festival will publish a biography about Khairy Beshara, including unseen archival photographs. The book is edited by film critic Mohammed Sayyed Abdel Raheem.
In 1967, Beshara graduated from Cairo Higher Institute of Cinema, where he studied under the guidance of highly-esteemed directors such as Salah Abu Seif, Youssef Chahine, and Tewfik Saleh. He made his debut film The Tanks' Hunter in 1974, and directed more than ten distinctive documentaries and short films during the 1970s, garnering him the title "Star of Documentary Cinema."
In the 1980s, Beishara directed Floater Number 70 (1982), which is considered the cornerstone of the "Neo-Realist" movement in Egypt. He worked on films alongside many well-known writers such as Abdel Rahman el-Abnudi for The Collar and the Bracelet (1986) and Fayiz Ghaly for Sweet Day, Bitter Day (1988), and collaborated with film stars such as Ahmed Zaki, Sherihan, and Faten Hamama.
In the 1990s, Khairy Beshara instigated folk fantasy films, including Crab (1990), into Arab cinema. The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival will take place March 12 -21, 2020. The Beshara retrospective will present many of his widely-acclaimed works for the first time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. "We shall present the local audience with the opportunity to watch films that have long been part of its collective memory," says Festival Director Sabbagh. He added “now shown in updated and remastered versions on fully-equipped cinema screens, enabling the public to gain a fully cinematic experience."