Friday, September 09, 2005

Excuse us while we privatize :: Bloomberg

The Egyptian movie industry has been revitalized. How? Government subsidy and promotion of the arts? Not exactly. It was privatization and a tax cut:
The country's movie industry, which produced Omar Sharif, fell into decline during decades of state control, with just 13 releases in 1995 compared with about 80 in the 1960s, when Sharif starred in ``Dr. Zhivago.'' In the past five years, the sale of studios to private filmmakers and a tax cut on movie tickets has prompted a revival. Movie screens in Egypt have tripled to 428 in the period, according to the Chamber of Cinematic Industries.
. . .
``Excuse Us, We're Being Screwed Over,'' [Maalesh Ihna Bi Netbahdel (Alas, We're Being Mistreated) ] a mix of slapstick and satire that lampoons the U.S. and its allies, is among Egypt's most popular movies, according to the Egyptian Chamber of Cinematic Industries in Cairo. The film grossed 1.4 billion Egyptian pounds ($243 million) in its first week of release.

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