Turkish film vetoed in Egypt
‘Lal Gece’ has been excluded from the Alexandria Film Festival in Egypt due to political reasons.Turkish director Reis Çelik’s film “Lal Gece” (Night of Silence), which was selected for the competition of the Alexandria Film Festival to start on Sept. 29, has been excluded from the festival program due to the Turkish government’s attitude to incidents in Egypt.
The film, which has so far won 35 awards at international festivals, was set to be included in the main competition of the Alexandria Film Festival. However, on the day that the film’s Arabic and English subtitled version was to be sent to the festival, the festival coordinator Abdel Latif sent an e-mail cancelling the films involvement in the festival.
“We are sorry to announce that your film has been excluded from the competition and festival program because of political tension between Turkey and Egypt,” the email stated.
Director Çelik sent a surprised letter to the festival president in response, expressing his disappointment. “States and governments may always have problems with each other, but art has always been the glue of ties between publics and it should always be. Moreover, in such a difficult environment, art helps to soften the atmosphere. Apart from that, the Turkish people wish democracy for everyone in Egypt,” the letter read.
Based on a true story, “Lal Gece” follows a traditionally arranged wedding in which the 60-something-year-old groom, recently released from prison after serving a sentence for two honor killings, is sent off to the bridal chamber with his 14-year-old bride, to consummate the marriage by sunrise the next day.