The online journal Sada, affiliated with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, published an article about the development of independent cinema in Egypt amid censorship and bureaucratic obstacles facing indepndent filmmakers.
“There’s a new wind blowing in Egyptian cinema, with filmmakers working outside the commercial industry and audiences looking for films and characters that they can relate to,” according to filmmaker Mona Lotfy.
The article, prepared by Cairo-based writer Angela Boskovitch, lists a number of obstacles that hinder independent filmmaking in Egypt such as the lack of well-equipped cinemas, social norms, and legal and censorship restrictions.
Movies must be approved by the censorship authority causing its obstruction in several cases.
Beside the censorship authority's approval of the script, scenes, and theme, filmmakers have to obtain permits from the Cinema Professions Syndicate, and the Interior Ministry in case of shooting on streets or in a public area. If the crew was arrested during shooting, they could face criminal charges.
The independent cinmea in Egypt has been facing as well social constraints on sensitive issues related to sexuality and religion.
Interest in this trend is growing though among youth who seek to explore political and social topics away from the mainstream cinema, according to the article.