The Great Challenges

By Rasha Hosny (Egypt)

It is great to be a film critic but it is so difficult to be a good one. The challenge is how to make your work noticed. Cinema: watching, reading and writing about it; this is my passion in life.

Movies have always interested me since I was five years old. It leads me to know a great deal about other people, other countries, and other cultures. Cinema is my window to the whole world. After completing my bachelor’s in Egyptology, I applied three times to study filmmaking in the Egyptian High Institute of Cinema and the Egyptian High Institute of Film Criticism, but they did not accept me. That’s when I decided to study cinema and film criticism through online open sources and private workshops.

Since I was very young, I enjoyed reading about films. I had a particular interest in film reviews because I assumed writing about movies required great talent, which I hoped to have someday. When I wrote my first article – which was published in a specialized cinematic publication – I experienced great feelings as I broke down the movie and shared my thoughts about it on paper. This incident was the trigger for me to change my career path and start a film criticism career.

My biggest dream is to discover that some people started their day with reading my article and based on what I wrote they researched the movie online before watching it. To be able to let people decide whether they watch a movie or not, is really a challenge, especially with the numerous film-specific blogs and online magazines as well as the personal blogs where cinephiles find an outlet to publish their writings. This gave great opportunities to freelance film critics to express themselves, but unfortunately, it made it hard to make a living as a professional film critic.

Egypt is over a hundred years old in the history of the film industry. Even with that, the industry still suffers from the same problems that came up years ago. In the beginning of the 1990s, the Egyptian cinema crisis started. It was also accompanied by the concept of focusing on producing commercial movies to overcome the economic crisis. However, during the last fifteen years, the Egyptian film industry became acquainted with the independent concept of low-budget movies, which refreshed the atmosphere and worked as a bridge between commercial and artistic filmmaking.