×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Egyptian orgs up plex building, production

Zaky plans comeback with 'Haleem'

CAIRO — Emerging Egyptian “movers and sheikers” are poised to kickstart Egyptian production into greater numbers in 2005 from the 25 films produced in 2004.

New multiplexes will provide increased space for debut films made by up-and-coming directors in startup companies catering to a growing young film audience.

Recently established Good News 4 Me group started the year by greenlighting “Haleem,” a comeback vehicle for star Ahmed Zaky. Zaky, overcoming a critical health condition, will portray iconic singer Abdel-Haleem Hafez in a biopic that took writer Mahfouz Abdel-Rahman eight years to finish.

Director Sherif Arafa has gathered a top Egyptian and Syrian cast. Budgeted at 18 million Egyptian pounds ($3 million), the movie is part of a seven-pic deal between Good News and Zaky.

Also in production for Good News is “Imaret Yacoubian” (Jacobean Building), based on the controversial bestselling novel by Alaa El-Aswani that featured Egyptian gay characters. It stars an ensemble cast of vet Egyptian actors including Adel Imam and Nour El-Sherif. (Homosexual activities are illegal in Egypt.)

Popular on Variety

Good News also says it plans to acquire more theater chains in addition to its three screen multiplex at Cairo’s Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The re-established Founoon film company, which was bought by Rotana Group and Kingdom Holdings in March, will also venture into film production in the Egyptian market. General manager of production Ayman El-Halawany and marketing general manager Glen E. Clack project a total of 12 Egyptian films for the Mideast market this year.

“Founoon plans to become a leader in entertainment, providing more than 55% of broadcasting content in the new year,” Clack says. He adds that Founoon plans to co-produce under the flag of free-to-air, 24-hour Rotana Channel, telecast throughout the Mideast.

In the multiplex world, bigger fish are now swallowing smaller neighboring plexes. The new City Stars 13-screens multiplex in Cairo suburb Nasr City, opened in November, has affected surrounding multiplexes, with El-Arabia’s Genina and Wonderland plexes reporting box office declines.

American films at the City Stars multiplex have brought in box office bounty, with “National Treasure” and “Ocean’s Twelve” each grossing $184,000 after only five weeks.

But City Stars must brace for two more Nasr City multiplexes opening soon. Egyptian Media Investment (EMI) and Genina (which will compete with its old Genina multiplex) plan multiplexes for this year.

Sherif Awad contributed to this report.

More Film

  • Martin Scorsese'The Irishman' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Set for Italy Release Via RAI Cinema

    Martin Scorsese’s next film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” will be released in Italian cinemas by RAI Cinema’s 01 Distribution unit, the company said Wednesday. The period murder mystery is based on a real-life incident and will star Leonardo DiCaprio. Robert De Niro is also believed to be on board the project. Shooting is expected [...]

  • Universal Music U.K. Poaches BBC’s Alice

    Universal Music Poaches BBC’s Alice Webb to Run Eagle Rock

    Alice Webb is moving from the BBC to Eagle Rock, the Universal Music U.K.-backed producer and distributor of music programming. Webb has held several senior roles in a 15-year career at the BBC including head of its kids unit and COO of its BBC North division, overseeing the relocation of key departments from London to [...]

  • Bombshell Charlize Theron Nicole Kidman Margot

    'Once Upon a Time,' 'Bombshell,' 'Irishman' Top SAG Awards Nominations 2020

    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Bombshell,” and “The Irishman” led the nominations for the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, picking up four nods apiece. All three films will compete for the top prize, best ensemble, along with “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit.” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is an ode to the golden age [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Award Nominations: The Complete List

    Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were announced Wednesday morning, with Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Jay Roach’s “Bombshell” dominating nods on the film front. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” with Rachel Brosnanhan led the pack among TV shows. “Superstore” star America Ferrera and “Black Panther” actress Danai Gurira were [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker,' 'Irishman,' 'Parasite' Receive ACE Eddie Awards Nominations

    The American Cinema Editors has nominated “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “Parasite” for its ACE Eddie top feature film drama award. “Dolemite Is My Name,” “The Farewell,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Knives Out” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” received nominations in the feature comedy category. Nominated animated films include “Frozen 2,” [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    How to Watch the SAG Awards Nominations Live

    America Ferrera and Danai Gurira will announce the nominations for the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., beginning at 7 a.m. PT. The announcement will air live on TNT, TBS and truTV, and stream on YouTube, tntdrama.com/sag-awards, truTV.com and sagawards.org. The SAG Awards nominations [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content