Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cairo 678 (2010)

WHO: Mohamed Diab wrote and directed this.

WHAT: The all-time most successful Egyptian film in terms of international film sales, according to Jonathan Curiel's interview with Diab.

WHERE/WHEN: 7PM tonight only at New People Cinema, presented by the San Francisco Film Society.

WHY: The big news is that Ted Hope's resignation as executive director of the SF Film Society was made public yesterday, so the SFFS is once again on the hunt to fill the shoes left empty by the deaths of EDs Graham Leggat and (just a few months later) Bingham Ray. According to Variety, Hope told the board his decision last Friday, the very same day the SFFS Fall Season opened with a Hong Kong Cinema series at the Vogue. Next up in the season is Zurich/SF, also at New People, followed by Taiwan Film Days at the Vogue, French Cinema Now at the Clay, and Italian and local-filmmaker-focused series with as-yet-unannounced selections at the Clay and Roxie, respectively. I understand these programs are all set and will not be affected by Hope's departure from the organization. I wonder what his involvement in them might have been in the first place; he seemed far more interested in the SFFS filmmaker granting programs than the local film programming.

But the festival moves forward with tonight's screening, part of Diab's Artist-in-Residency in which he's visiting with local students and presenting a free Artist Talk Monday.

Tonight's screening is co-presented by the Arab Film Festival, which begins at the Castro tomorrow night and moves to other venues in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley (and even faraway Los Angeles and San Diego) over the next few weeks. Many filmmakers will be in attendance.

Another Arab filmmaker coming to Frisco Bay is Morocco's Moumen Smihi, who arrives at Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive October 20-27 to introduce screenings of four of his films. As a kind of preamble to his visit, the PFA screens his 1975 feature The East Wind and his 1999 Moroccan Chronicles tonight and next Thursday in 35mm prints.

HOW: Cario 678, though shot on 35mm, will be projected digitally tonight.

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