Egyptian filmmakers and critics denounced authorities Monday for blocking the screening of a “taboo” film about a love story between a Christian woman and a Muslim man.
“We denounce the fact that censorship authorities have prevented the screening of Hesham Issawi’s ‘Cairo Exit’ at the Luxor African Film Festival,” dozens of filmmakers and critics said in a signed statement.
They charged the censorship authorities had failed to respond to festival organizers on whether they could screen the movie even outside the main festival.
“The festival organizers suggested to the censorship authorities that the film be shown only to members of the jury, critics and journalists but they never replied,” the statement said.
“The censorship authorities stalled,” preventing the film from being screened as planned Monday at the event which opened on Feb. 21 and closes Tuesday.
Under Egyptian law, films must obtain a written permit from censorship authorities in order to be screened. Anyone violating the procedure could be sentenced to jail.
“Cairo Exit” screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last year and at festivals elsewhere in the Middle East.