The Luxor African Film Festival has dedicated its seventh edition to late film critic Samir Farid, who passed away last year, by publishing a book by one of his prodigies Amal El-Gamal.
The book engages with the relations that Farid had with his students and fellow cinema enthusiasts.
During a conference to introduce the book, critic and journalist Tarek El-Shenawi said, “people had the idea that a culture journalist is someone who follows the news of filmmakers and actresses. But I believe journalists are people who report on the reality of society, and Samir Farid was this person.”
He added, “Samir was not just a journalist, but was also a jury, an organiser, and a critic. He was very connected with the Luxor film festival. He is one of few journalists who received the all-access press card at the Cannes Film Festival, which means he is one of the few persons who helped in the development of the festival.”
His son, Mohamed Samir Farid, said, “one of the important aspects about my father was his interaction with younger people. What I heard about him from young people is amazing to me. I thought I was the closest to my father.”
The last decoration for Samir Farid—one of the Arab world’s leading film critics and historians—was during the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival, where he received the Berlinale Camera Award. The award honoured his achievements as a critic and cinema historian. Farid, originally a journalist, was among the first critics to introduce Egypt to the scene and coverage of international film festivals.
He started his journalistic journey with Al-Gomhuria newspaper in 1964 and was awarded the Cannes Film Festival Gold Medal in 1997 and 2000.
He assisted in the publishing of three magazines specialising in cinema and was honoured for distinguished work by the Supreme Council of Culture in 2002.