A veteran of both stage and screen, Kamel El Basha shines with his sensitive performance in Curfew. Read our exclusive interview to get an idea about his role in the movie.
You have garnered awards and acclaim in your many performances, including The Insult. What have you learned, as a person and as an actor over these years?
I learn something new every day, I learn from the scenarios that are presented to me, I learn from the directors I work with, from the artists I share work with and from my students in the theatre. I have started to follow cinema more than before, and I am more keen on participating in work that meets my criteria. I realized that cinema today overlooks my generation, with roles written mostly for young characters, and scripts today focus on issues relating to the young.
After facing delays, Curfew is finally going to be screened at CIFF. Does this have a special emotional significance for you?
Emotionally and artistically, I yearn for the film, not only because it will be shown at the Cairo International Film Festival, but because it is my first experience in Egyptian cinema. I am very happy with the completion of the film and am excited to participate in the festival.
What can you tell us about your role in Curfew and the experience on set?
My role is Yahya Murad, Faten’s neighbor as played by Elham Shaheen. He is a loyal and loving neighbor who silences his feelings. He lives alone and endures suspicious glances from his neighbors. The experience was enjoyable, both in playing the role and interacting with the film team.
Where do you see the film industry in the Middle East heading in the next few years?
The Arab cinema is developing artistically and technically through the efforts of some prominent names from the Arab world, and filmmakers and distinct films, but they have not yet turned into a complete industry. The films produced in Arab countries depend on funding and their financial returns do not cover their expenses, with some very rare exceptions as in Egyptian cinemas.
So we are developing and competing technically, and we need a lot in order for our profession to turn into an industry. We need a Bollywood or Hollywood Arab city, and we need thousands of cinema theaters.
What type of roles do you most enjoy immersing yourself in?
I enjoy every role I play, convinced of its importance and the importance of the idea presented by the film. I think I am able to play all kinds of roles in all genres and enjoy them, I tried this as a stage actor and am trying it now in cinema.
What is coming up next?
The Corona pandemic has disrupted many of the projects that were supposed to be completed during this year, and I do not know what I can accomplish from them later. I wish that this pandemic would suddenly disappear as quickly as it appeared so that we can complete what we had planned. I was supposed to work in another Egyptian movie during April, also my agenda included another film in Palestine. The two films are waiting for life to return to normal, hopefully it will be soon.