Chinese film fest draws fans in Egypt

The Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo held the opening ceremony for a film festival to display popular Chinese movies to an Egyptian audience as part of the cultural exchange between China and Egypt on June 30.

Attended by the Chinese ambassador to Cairo, Liao Liqiang, as well as Chinese and Egyptian cultural officials, the China Film Festival is being held in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

The festival displays six popular homegrown movies that promote Chinese culture among Egyptian audiences.

The Chinese ambassador highlighted the deep-rooted relations between China and Egypt that have recently been elevated to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, stressing the importance of cultural exchanges and interaction in fostering friendship.

"Egypt was the first Arab and African country to establish diplomatic relations with China, about 63 years ago. Regardless of any changes in regional and international conditions, the deep friendship and solid partnership between China and Egypt will not change," Liao said in his remarks during the opening ceremony.

China produces 900 feature films annually and the total revenue of films in China has reached about $9 billion a year, the ambassador added.

The festival is one of several Chinese-Egyptian cultural activities being held throughout the year.

Zhang Xin, director of the Cultural Exchange Center of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, says this event is being held for the first time in Egypt and will also be held in many other countries to promote cultural exchanges.

The event is held in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, which has used its Cultural Development Fund to provide two venues-El Hanager Arts Center in Cairo and El Horreya Center for Creativity in Alexandria.

"Egyptian-Chinese diplomatic ties are strong. I would like also to assert that filmmakers and movie stars are always ambassadors for their cultures, such as Chinese actor Jackie Chan and many others," says Fathy Abdel-Wahab, head of the Cultural Development Fund.

Magdy al-Shahry, general manager of the Cinema Culture Center, which belongs to the Egyptian Film Center, says that cooperation has recently been growing quickly between the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo.

"This festival is an important event to introduce aspects of Chinese cinema to an Egyptian audience, as Chinese movies now take part in international film festivals," the Egyptian official says.

The China Film Festival in Egypt will continue until July 18.

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