A movie accused of “audacity”.. The director of “My Girlfriend” reveals the scenes

She returned to the forefront of the news again, two years after she presented the movie “Yoko and Yasmina”, which was shown at the Luxor African Film Festival, after which she participated in many local festivals. Which is the first Egyptian film to participate in the “Orosenti” competition for short films at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, and it is the third film by director Kawthar Younes, who won the Special Jury Prize. The film was shown for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa as part of the activities of the Cairo International Film Festival, and she revealed, in her interview with Al-Arabiya.net, many scenes and details of the film.

From a movie poster "My friend"

Who is the poster for the movie “My friend”

How did you feel after the film won the Cairo Film Festival?

** I felt very happy, and I had never felt that before, and the truth is that all this success is due to my husband, editor Khaled Merhi, who helped me make the film appear in this way, and who qualified it to participate in the Venice Festival and the Cairo Festival. In fact, I am grateful to everyone who made me stand on stage to receive the award, especially my father and mother, who inspired all my work with their prayers.

* How did you feel when the film participated in the Venice Film Festival?

** I did not believe myself and doubted myself and thought that I was dreaming, as it was the biggest dream I ever had. I received an email from the Venice Film Festival on my birthday, and I could not believe it. I was not waiting for the film to participate, especially since I applied to participate in the festival at the last moment.

How was the film selected to participate in the Cairo Festival?

** Praise be to God, may God grant us success, and Professor Amir Ramses, when he was at the Venice Festival, asked to watch the movie “My Friend”, and chose it to participate in the short film competition at the Cairo Festival, especially since the events of the film revolve around stereotypical forms confined to the male and female.

Directed by Kawthar Younes

Directed by Kawthar Younes

* What are the challenges that occurred during the filming of the film?

** A lot of challenges, because I wanted the actors to appear real, and be able to believe it, which made me take a long time and a lot of effort to prepare. Also, writing the script took some time, because it was in the midst of Corona. And also the selection of the actors, and who among them is suitable for the role, because all of the film’s cast of actors were cast for them, and at that time we found some of them unsuitable for each other, but all of that we went through successfully until the cast was chosen. I was looking for a girl for the role with certain specifications, and we also have a production crisis in Egypt, and I was fortunate to have a film producer whose financial return was not his only goal.

In addition to the challenge I faced about my ability to create a different world and challenge the fixed patterns of youth in society, although I derive my work from reality and through a vision of events. I used to have my films based on real events and incidents that happened to me, but “My Girlfriend” started in a fictional way.

How was the director and editor Khaled Merhi contacted to participate in the film?

** In fact, Marei is the one who decided to edit the film, after he liked my previous film, and from here the montage began, and our love story began, and we decided to get married.

* Do you think that the film is characterized by daring, as described by some?

** I do not have the right to say whether or not this is the case, especially since this matter is the right of the audience and critics. My passion was to present a story that did not happen to me in reality, and to try this type of film, unlike what I previously presented of films that were based on true stories. I was excited about the story and its presentation in a film, and I am happy to support everyone who cooperated with me to bring it to light in this way, and everyone made a tremendous effort and great energy.

Through the film, I raised a hypothetical question, which is what if a love relationship arose between a young man and a girl, and the girl tried to face social restrictions, and “Ali” goes to visit his friend Sarah in her house, disguised as a girl, to spend a night with her while her family is at home, but without their knowledge. Without exaggerating the boldness of the idea and treatment.

* After your film participated in festivals, are you not afraid of being labeled as a festival director?

** I do not think about this issue, as I seek to present works of art according to the standards of international festivals, and the truth is that I do not stop at this term, as it does not impress me at all, because all I know is working in the field of directing and production, whether this film will compete in a festival or not. . When preparing for any film, I do not think about the issue of competition, but all I know is what I am doing and what I will present. At that time, I derive my energy to implement the film, and I do not know if it will be accepted in any festival or not.

What is new for you in the coming period?

** After the success of the movie “My Girlfriend”, I am preparing to present another film directed by Noha Adel, and I will take over the production task only, because I want to present an art that I adore, and my goal is not to present a specific message.

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