With a flood of love, the name of the late Egyptian director, Samir Seif, echoed through the walls of the Scientific and Cultural Renaissance Association (Jesuit Cairo) during the graduation ceremony of the 11th batch of the association's Film School, after choosing the name of the late director of this year’s graduates, “Samir Seif graduating class.” The Film School, located in the Faggala neighborhood in the center of the Egyptian capital, is one of the most prestigious institutions founded by the Al-Nahda Association (Cairo Jesuit).
The film school offers full scholarships to accepted students, and it provides them with the opportunity to learn filmmaking and film production using alternative methods. The school was established in 2005 as one of the components of the project "Supporting freedom of artistic expression" in Cairo and Upper Egypt. In addition to the Film School, the Jesuit Association also has established a number of programs aimed at film education. Including the establishment of the Documentary Film School in Upper Egypt, and Stories of the South workshops, which provide a set of workshops on film-making in the south.
The school takes a holistic approach to filmmaking, so that trainees can become well versed in all fields and stages of filmmaking. The program consists of lectures, training, activities and group discussions with filmmakers and specialists in various artistic and intellectual fields, in addition to a set of practical workshops in the fields of cinematography, scenario writing, photography, sound, editing, production, distribution, and directing.
According to Dr. Marwa Abdullah Al-Sayed, director of the Jesuit Film School, this year’s graduating class was named after the late Samir Seif in honor of the role he played teaching this class’s students the fundamentals of filmmaking in the months leading up to his sudden death. Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, she says, “As soon as we contacted him, he expressed readiness to support the film school, despite his great commitments and preoccupations during that period, and he believed in supporting the film school and its students. So, we named this year’s graduating class after him, in an attempt to express our gratitude and our recognition of his generosity to students, noting that this is the first time in the history of the film school that a class of graduates is named after a filmmaker."
Samir Seif died in December of last year, at the age of 72, and many of his movies are considered milestones in the history of Egyptian cinema; including The suspect, A stranger in my house, Pleasure market and His Excellency the Minister. In addition to directing, the late director was also taught at several universities.