Cinematic Education in Egypt—Who Will Fill the Gap?

By Maged Atef

(In 1959) a decree nationalizing the film industry was issued, resulting in the transfer of both the cinema industry and cinematic education, in their entirety, to the Egyptian state. Today, after more than fifty years of government-run cinematic education in Egypt, and at a time when Egyptian cinema finds itself facing competition in an Arabic market that it has come close to monopolizing for decades, a comprehensive look at the state of cinematic education in Egypt—its present and future directions and its most important impediments, as well as the relationship of these to the political authority and the labor market—is required.

When we speak of “cinematic education” in Egypt, we usually mean “film industry studies,” a discipline concerned with the teaching of the practical cinematic skills with the aim of producing specialized cadres, including directors, cameramen, and screenwriters, and so on. Such teaching takes place mostly at the Higher Institute but also at private universities and specialized workshops. Maged Atef writes an overview of the situation of cinematic education in Egypt and prospects for the future as Arab cinema production increases day by day and the demand for professionals in the field increases. This article discusses the history of cinematic education in Egypt, the changes in the sector when the Egyptian authorities transferred the film industry and the Higher Institute of cinema under their control.


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