Much anticipated premiere of "Halim" runs smoothly

Sarah El Sirgany
2 Min Read

Film premier is a tribute to Abdel Halim Hafez and Ahmed Zaki

CAIRO: As the tunes of Abel Halim Hafez’s songs echoed throughout the Cairo Opera House, the country’s most prominent actors and celebrities walked down the red carpet leading to the opera’s main theater, where the “Halim premier took place last Monday.

Although it is only Good News’s sophomore film, the production company has already made it a habit to hold lavish premiers at the Opera House, as opposed to regular movie theaters. The glamour of walking down the red carpet as camera flash away is coupled with the black-tie attire deemed essential in making the Good News premieres stand out among local counterparts. The receptions following the premieres have already become staples of their events.

But contrary to the company’s debut production, “The Yacoubian Building, Halim’s premier featured a more relaxed atmosphere. None of the congestion and traffic jams that marked the “Yacoubian premier last month surfaced during “Halim’s. There were even a surprising number of empty seats inside the hall.

Nonetheless, the night was a tribute to both Hafez and Ahmed Zaki, who played the title character in the film. Both the late singer and late actor are iconic figures in the history of the entertainment industry. It was Zaki’s lifelong dream to make a film about Hafez’s life. Even though he was able to attain this dream, he was unable to see it through.

Zaki, who started shooting the film after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, died before finishing his scenes. His son Haytham was brought to play the young Halim.

Throughout the over-two-hour screening of the film, the audience repeatedly applauded moments of brilliant acting by Zaki or scenes that documented interesting highlights of Hafez’s life.

Directed by Sherif Arafa and written by Mahfouz Abdel Rahman, the film features an ensemble of Egyptian and Arab actors including Mona Zaki, Ezzat Abu Ouf and Sulaf Fawakhergy.

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