POSTED BY YASMIN REDA
It’s a regular day at the eniGma office. I came in this morning, sat at my desk and checked my email and Facebook while having my coffee. Everything seemed to be normal; people talking politics. As I scrolled down my Facebook newsfeed, trying to avoid reading anything about our (apparently) two new Presidents, I came across a Youtube link that one of my friends shared saying that it’s a “must see!”. I’m easily persuaded so I thought to myself, this I must see! The link took me to a Youtube page called YourFilmFestival and the 11-minute movie I was watching was called ‘This Time’ by Ramy El Gabry, an Egyptian Film Maker.
The movie showed a neglected son, a hopeful mother, and a kind stranger. I must admit I cried at the end. And I assure you, you will too. I started navigating through the website and found a total of 50 short movies from all parts of the world. It’s an online worldwide film competition where anyone can vote for their favourite movie. El Gabry was the only Egyptian. I started watching some more and soon enough I was hooked. This might sound a bit biased but I thought El Gabry’s was by far the best one I’ve seen.
I couldn’t stop there… I just had to talk to this guy and find out why everyone in Egypt isn’t talking about this. So I used my super journalistic powers and dug deep till I got his contact info. (That’s not actually true it was pretty easy to get his number…everyone knows everyone in Cairo.)
El Gabry is a 25 year-old struggling film maker. He entered this competition in the hopes of achieving his life long dream; going global. YourFilmFestival was put together by Youtube and award winning film director and producer Ridley Scott, in search of the best storyteller. Ramy’s movie ‘This Time’, along with 49 others, was chosen from a total of 15,000 films from around the world. The 10 finalist will be the ones with the highest amount of votes and will be showed at the Venice Film Festival. And from those, a group of judges, along with Mr. Scott, will choose the story teller of our generation. The winner will receive a fund as well as the opportunity to produce his/her movie in Hollywood.
El Gabry understands that Egypt is going through a lot and people have no time for the arts, however he believes that we need to balance things. “You can’t neglect the arts, because it’s a great way to get our voices heard throughout the world”, says El Gabry. “Many Egyptian directors and film makers have struggled all their lives to show their movies to the world, such as Youssef Shahin, and now we have a great opportunity to start from here”.
Not only is El Gabry the only Egyptian in the competition, his is the only Arabic language film. “Voting takes about 10 seconds, and each vote takes an entire cast and production team of Egyptians one step closer to Hollywood”, says El Gabry. So go to YourFilmFestival and vote for our local storyteller. Because let’s face it… the arts is the best we’ve got.