Egypt: Filmmakers suffer from censorship and union restrictions

Those involved in the film industry in Egypt are subject to censorship and strict regulation from the state, which has led a group of filmmakers to work to establish a “parallel” trade union to protect their rights and support their interests, writes Al-Monitor.

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“Hala Lotfy, a film director, believes that the state is totally responsible for the deterioration of the film industry, since it has given up the legacy of Egyptian cinema to some companies. Egyptian films were then monopolized by certain satellite channels in the Gulf, which have tampered with the origin of these films and truncated parts of them under the pretext of censorship, or changed their names. Since the state has enacted laws that protect and strengthen monopolies, left many movie theaters closed, and allowed huge sums to be pumped into the Egyptian film industry by the Gulf, it has therefore controlled the form and quality of the cinematic product.”


“The biggest problem facing the parallel film industry comes from restrictions from unions and censorship bodies. For a filmmaker to become a member of the Cinematographic Union he or she must either work in the television industry or be a graduate of the Higher Institute of Cinema. In general, this institute does not accept more than eight people per year and there is nepotism involved in their selection, according to Naeem. Moreover, the state is responsible for this problem. “The state has implemented a package of measures, such as amending the Artists Trade Unions Act of 2005, which transformed artistic trade unions into governmental institutions. This meant that there were now a large number of government employees working in these unions, and the most important thing became the union voting blocs, not supporting cinema in a real manner,” said Naeem. In addition to censorship bodies, there are three unions that control the film industry, even for nonmembers…”



Read the full story here:

» Al-Monitor – 21 April 2014:
Egypt filmmakers suffer from censorship, bureaucracy

Original article:   اقرا المقال الأصلي باللغة العربية

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