US representatives at the Aswan Film Festival: We seek to strengthen our commitment to supporting talented filmmakers

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The first day of the workshop and creative production began at the Aswan Festival under the auspices of the American Embassy in Cairo and in partnership with Film Independent.

According to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Cairo, the workshop began under the supervision of two American filmmakers, Avril Speaks and Kelly Thomas.

The workshop aims to support and enhance the creative expression of Egyptian filmmakers through short films. This workshop is open to emerging female filmmakers from Aswan and the surrounding governorates who have an idea for a short film.

Kate Walker, from Film Independent, said, “Film Independent has been working in cooperation with the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Cairo for nearly ten years, to provide education, guidance, and mutual cooperation between filmmakers in the United States and Egypt.”

She added: “We could not be more excited to continue working with our friends and colleagues at the US Embassy in Cairo to kick off this creative workshop with veteran American producers Avril Speaks and Kelly Thomas at the Aswan International Women’s Film Festival, and we look forward to strengthening our commitment to supporting and collaborating with talented filmmakers.” Here in Aswan.

While Avril Speaks said, “Some of the world’s greatest stories and talent are right here in Egypt,” she continued, “I look forward to seeing these workshop projects develop into full-length films and continuing to empower new voices here in Egypt that the world needs to know and hear.”

On the opening day, Kelly Thomas expressed her happiness at being at the Aswan Festival and meeting new filmmakers. She said in television statements that she would teach a workshop to some female filmmakers who came to participate and develop their artistic projects further. She added that they have diverse voices and interesting stories.

She said it was great to showcase the work of women, by women, as well as give a space for women to collaborate and communicate at a global festival like the Aswan Festival.

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