Egyptian filmmaker Ahmad Abdalla's film Microphone, about rock music, graffiti and underground youth culture in Alexandria, was widely cited as a harbinger to some of the unrest that bubbled up in Egypt during its January 25 revolution, which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and it reflects the cultural change in the region in which many countries have disproportionately young populations. Abdalla screened the film at the Toronto Film Festival in 2010, which preceded the Arab Spring uprisings by months.
Abdalla is in New Orleans to present two of his films are being screened at the New Orleans Middle East Film Festival at Zeitgiest. Heliopolis screens Thursday at 8 p.m.; Microphone screens at 8 p.m. Saturday. And Abdalla is one of the directors who worked on the film 18 Days, which features a collection of stories about Egyptians during the January revolution. It screens at 8 p.m. Friday. For a full schedule, visit the Zeitgeist website. Trailer for 18 Days below.
Update: Abdalla cancelled his trip at the last minute. Zeitgeist director Rene Broussard hopes to reschedule his visit at a later date.