This week students had presentations, basing their topics on the Arab Media Outlook. Many choice to do it on the country they were from, giving an in-depth view on their chosen industry in terms of what was proven popular to the general public. This gave me a chance to see how someone from a region I was not familiar with viewed their potential future audience. In this case, many film students choose Egypt and looked at how comedy was the genre that resonated with the local population.
This made me look at in my own country, India and how romantic comedies are generally what people get invested in. However, I’ve noticed a huge shift towards movies adapting real life people and events and complex family and friendship dramas. What’s interesting is that the same can be observed in Egypt, where there is now room from controversial films and family drama.
With research, the shift in Egypt seemed to occurred after the revolution. CNN states that there is a new “Golden Age of Cinema in Egypt” (2016) and a young Egyptian filmmaker, Amr Salama acknowledges the the change, stating that “There is a new type of film-making…and I am very proud if I can consider myself one of the talented directors that formed the wave.” He is credited to a film about a young women fighting AIDS in Egypt, a film that may have never been produced there during the revolution. On the other hand not everyone share the same sentiment about this new ‘wave’ only time will tell if it truly is a New Golden Age.
The shift from familiar content to something that can be seen as ‘risky’ did not come out of nowhere. What I gather from this is that in India there may be a rise in a younger generation of film goers who can now afford to see films they want, and well as a rise of young film creators who are able to get their projects funded via crowdfunding (a topic I will dive into more next week) An example of this is a young Indian comedian Kanan Gill who started off with creating comedic skits on YouTube and has branched off into web series and short films. (Mathur & Patral, 2017) His work had inspired the Indian youth to become content creators that make work that reflect their real lives. Note that Kanan operates in the popular genre of comedy but still works with youth relevant topics like fighting with your parents or siblings.
Maetoot. (n.d.). The Evolution of Egyptian Cinema [Digital image]. Retrieved December 14, 2017, from http://www.auccaravan.com/?p=3571
Monks, K. (2016, December 06). A new golden age of Egyptian cinema? Retrieved December 14, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/06/middleeast/egypt-revolution-cinema/index.html
Patra, A. M. (2017, January 27). Kanan Gill: We don’t upload some of our funniest videos because of censorship – Times of India. Retrieved December 14, 2017, from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/Kanan-Gill-We-dont-upload-some-of-our-funniest-videos-because-of-censorship/articleshow/52205789.cms