Celebrating the Birth of the Seventh Art in Alexandria

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Alexandria— The BA will celebrate the centennial of the Alex Cinema on Tuesday, 31 July 2007, with the launch of a book entitled "the Birth of the Seventh Art in Alexandria" and the inauguration of "Alex Cinema" Exhibition. The Celebration is organized by the BA Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center, in cooperation with the European Union.

The Egyptian cinema was born in Alexandria, as a port city and a point of entry into Egypt and a link with the world. The city was characterized by an ethnic plurality and tolerance, thus it was targeted by many foreigners including the Lumière brothers, who were among the earliest filmmakers. Their first cinema projection in the Arab world took place in Alexandria in 1896. They also sent a mission in 1897 to take shots from the city and the capital.

In 1907, the first shooting of an Egyptian film took place, when the two photographers: Umberto Dores and Aziz Benderly (Syrian origins) shot the visit of Khedive Abbas Helmy II to the Scientific Institute, Abou El-Abbas Mosque.

Alexandria pioneered the cinema industry in Egypt and the region, the first projection of film, the first cinema hall, the first cinema institute in 1932, the first specialized cinema magazine, the first chamber of cinema industry, and the list goes on.

Alexandria was the capital for cinema and a melting pot for cinema works in Egypt and the Middle East. In the late thirties, cinematic works moved from the city to the capital for many reasons including the II World War and the escape of many foreigners from the city, in addition to the huge capabilities in Cairo at that time, and the establishment of Studio Misr (Egypt's Studio).

On the occasion of the centennial of the first Egyptian movie shot and produced in Alexandria, the BA celebrates the event, attended by Minister Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture, General Adel Labib, Governor of Alexandria, Mamdouh El-Lethi, Chairperson of Cinema Syndicate, Ali Abou Ahady, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Culture, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria, and a group of artists, critics and media men.


© Bibliotheca Alexandrina