Egypt Independent

Gouna Film Festival to screen Egypt’s first animated movie



Abbas ibn al-Abbas, producer of the Egyptian animated film “The Knight and the Princess”, said that the film will be screened in more than one Arab and international film festival in the coming period, including at the El Gouna Film Festival.

Al-Masry Al-Youm said that the film will be screened at the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival in coordination with the film’s commercial screening in Arab countries during the month of October.

Abbas said that a special screening of the film will be held at the Cairo Opera House and will be attended by the movie cast.

In a related context, El Gouna Film Festival announced that the screening of the first premiere of “The Knight and the Princess” will come during the film festival’s third session, scheduled to take place from September 19 to 27. The festival aims to showcase a wide variety of production types.

The plot is inspired by a true story from the seventh century. The movie tells the story of a character named Mohammed bin al-Qasim, who heard that pirates were robbing and kidnapping women and children from vessels at sea.

He decides to leave Basra and embark on an exciting adventure with his old friend Zeid and his mentor Abu al-Saud to fight the oppressive King “Dahir” who is involved with pirates and profits from their loot.

During his journey, Qasim gets to know Princess Lubna and begins another journey in which he faces his fate.

The film was dubbed by many renowned Egyptian actors and actresses including Mohamed Henidi, Medhat Saleh, Donia Smir Ghanem, Maged al-Kedwany, Abdel Rahman Abu Zahra and Abla Kamel, as well as the late Saeed Saleh, Amina Rizk and Mohamed al-Defrawy. The script was written by Bashir al-Deek, who also directed the film. The illustration was done by the iconic late cartoonist Mostafa Hussein, and the soundtracks were composed by Haitham al-Khamisy.

“We are pleased to present ‘The Knight and the Princess’, whose importance lies in the fact that it is the first Arab animated film to be composed by a fully Arab crew,” Director of El Gouna Festival Enteshal al-Tamimy said.

Amir Ramses, artistic director of the festival, said that the screening of the film at the third session of the El Gouna Film Festival is a step that the cast, artists, tech and crew are proud of as it breaks the ice in a field that has been difficult for Egyptian and Arab production.

Deek told Al-Masry Al-Youm that what attracted him to the experience is the fact that the film is the first of its kind. All the factors that could make it a successful experience were present including an attractive story, varied personalities, interesting events and an ambitious and auspicious atmosphere.

“We worked for two years–at the beginning of the work–with the late Mohamed Hassib and the producer Abbas ibn Abbas, and we stopped because of production obstacles before resuming again,” he said.

He added that he was inspired by historical references to temples that were spread in the land of Sindh before its invasion by Mohammed bin Qasim, a young man of no more than 17 years of age.

He expressed his pride in the experience and in presenting it at El Gouna Film Festival.

Deek said that the movie addresses the good side of children and adults and mingles drama, comedy and adventure with a romantic touch.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm