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KHOJ International Artists’ Association in collaboration with Sharjah Art Foundation presented the Indian premiere of The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni, a film by Rania Stephan. The film was awarded a Sharjah Biennial prize in 2011.

The film was open for public view on 2 August, 2013 at 5:45 pm, followed by a conversation between Rania Stephan (Artist), Hoor-al-Qasimi (Director, Sharjah Art Foundation), and Reena Mohan (Filmmaker).

The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni is an attempt to tell the story of Soad Hosni, one of Egypt’s most famous film stars who starred in eighty-two feature films between 1959 and 1991. From the age of 19 to 49, she played in 82 feature films directed by 37 directors. Comedian, tragedian, singer, dancer, the “Cinderella of Arabic cinema” was the daughter, sister, friend, fiancée, lover, wife of the most famous Egyptian actors when Egypt was the purveyor of fiction and the imagination factory of the Arab world.

Using the technique of filmic montage, Rania Stephan creates a moving portrait of the iconic actress, in which the rumours surrounding her life and death are translated through her image as a projection of the Arab imaginary and its evolution over thirty years. According to Stephan, “the entire film is made from images and sound taken from Hosni’s films. It is built like a tragedy in three acts that ends in death. The film operates like a kind of pre-vision on the tragic destiny of this actress”. Stephan’s film is also a celebration of popular Egyptian cinema, historically sidelined by both Arab critics and the West. “I wanted to give popular culture its credence, its value”, says Stephan.

The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni is co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Produced by Joun Films. Co-produced by Arab Fund for Art & Culture (AFAC), The Post Office and Forward Production. With the support of CNC (Paris), FID LAB (Marseilles), Serpentine Gallery, London.

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