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Youssef Chahine

by Rana from Alexandria

Youssef Chahine
Youssef Chahine

Youssef Chahine was born on January 25th, 1926. He was born to a Syrian lawyer in Alexandria, Cairo. Ever since he was young he was fascinated with the spotlight of the theater. He studied at Victoria College, then, when he was 17 years old, he decided to take off for California. There, he studied drama at the Pasadena Playhouse.

"Guided by the extraordinary stage director Leonore Shanwise and the friendships of Victor Jory and Robert Preston at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse, he received his diploma in 1948 and returned to Egypt where he apprenticed with the Italian documentary filmmaker Gianni Vernuccio."

"He began his own directing career in 1950 at age 21 with his first feature film, BABA AMIN, directed in Cairo. But it wasn't until his controversial 1958 feature, CAIRO STATION, that Chahine's international reputation was established. In 1956, he just had to become as great a Hamlet as John Gielgud had been to his era."

After BABA AMIN, he directed IBN El NIL, then directed SIRA'A FEL WADI in 1954 and SIRA'A FEL MINA in 1956. He directed BAB EL HADID and also played a role in it opposite HEND ROUSTOM and FARID SHAWKY. The EPIC SALAH EL DIN was his most famous piece of work (1963).

AL ARD was released in 1969 and featured famous stars like EZZAT AL ALLAYLI and MAHMOUD AL MELEGY. AL EKHTEYAR was next to come. The film was released in 1970. It was written by the renowned writer NAGUIB MAHFOUZ. Three years later, AL ASFOUR saw the light and proved once again that Chahine had plenty of talent that would take him much further ahead in life.

In 1976,he released another of his masterpieces: AWDET AL IBN AL DAL. ISKINDERIAH LEIH amazed the audience in 1978, but people were pretty much used to his talent that continued to unfold over the years. ALEXANDRIA KAMAN WE KAMAN followed with the same amount of success and publicity that Chahine's movies always managed to stir up.

In 1994, AL MOHAGER was released. The film was a major hit at the box office. AL MASSIR was up next in 1997. Two years later, it was time for AL AKHAR. The film came armed with not only Youssef's talent, but a star-studded cast that included NABILA EBEID, HANI SALAMA, MAHMOUD HEMEDA and HANAN TURK.

When 2001 came, the brilliant director was ready with his next masterpiece, SOKOOT HANSAWAR. This film brought the famous Tunisian singer LATIFA to the silver screen for the first time. Chahine's latest film was the 3rd installment of the Iskindriah Leh trilogy (ISKINDRIAH…NEW YORK).

Youssef Chahine has won many awards for his movies, including a lifetime achievement award on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival. He is a loved, well-known and respected film director around the world. A lot of actors in the world wish to work with him. I hope to follow in his footsteps in the future.

Page created on 3/13/2013 10:59:20 AM

Last edited 1/4/2017 10:11:03 PM

Related Links

Youssef Chahine - - Egyptian filmmaker and director
Arab Cinema: Youssef Chahine

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