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CAIRO, June 21, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt will have a holding company for investment in the fields of culture and the film industry upon a decision issued by Culture Minister Enas Abdel-Dayem.

The decision comes in light of the state's keeness to support culture and the film industry, the Ministry of Culture said in a press release on Wednesday.

"It comes also in view of efforts exerted to promote the artistic and professional levels; to revive the film industry ; to restructure the system of preserving the country's cultural legacy;  and to enrich the work of the cultural and cinema community," added the statement.

The decision has been welcomed in the cultural and cinematic communities as it will promote the cultural movement at large in Egypt as part of the country's 2030 vision for sustainable development.

CANNES, May 10, 2018 (News Wires) — At last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Jessica Chastain noticed the paucity of female-led action films at the movie marketplace. This year, she brought a corrective.

Chastain and her co-stars yesterday promoted plans for “355,” a James Bond-like spy thriller led by female stars. Along with Chastain, the film is to star Marion Cotillard, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz and Fan Bingbing.

The quintet touted the project at a presentation in Cannes. Cruz called Chastain “Santa Claus” for assembling the film, which she called “very emotional to be part of.”

“355,” which has franchise aspirations, is one of the hottest properties at Cannes, the world’s largest film market.

Chastain last year served as a jury member in Cannes, and was critical of the female representation in the festival’s main slate.

CANNES, May 8,2018 (News Wires) - The most political Cannes film festival in years opened Tuesday with female stars vowing to protest on the red carpet against industry sexism, two top directors barred from attending and bans hanging over some movies.

With Hollywood still reeling from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and Cannes under fire for its dearth of women directors, jury members Cate Blanchett, Ava DuVernay and Kristen Stewart said they would join other actresses and female filmmakers on Saturday in a protest in support of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.

Blanchett, who heads the jury, did not hide her unhappiness that only three of the 21 directors in the running for the top Palme d'Or prize are women.

"There are many women on the jury but I wish there were more in competition," she told French radio Tuesday.

The star hammered the message home with her wardrobe, wearing a suit earlier in the day -- like four of the five female jury members -- before donning a long black Giorgio Armani Prive gown for the opening ceremony, which she had already worn to the Golden Globes in 2014 to strike a blow against throwaway consumerism.

Cannes' patchy record on female directors, and Saturday's red carpet protest, may generate the most heat in a festival packed with political hot potatoes -- even if the launch of the new "Star Wars" spin-off, "Solo", should lighten the mix.

CANNES, May 8, 2018 (AFP) — A long-awaited biopic of the notorious New York mafia boss John Gotti starring John Travolta is slated to premiere at Cannes, the film festival said on Tuesday.

The movie — which is to be shown at a “private presentation” on May 15 — traces the epic rise and fall of the Gambino crime clan, one of America’s most powerful mafia gangs in the 1980s.

The film is very much a family affair, featuring Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston as Gotti’s wife Victoria, and his daughter Ella Bleu as Gotti’s daughter Angel Gotti.

“We’re hoping to use Cannes as our launching pad,” the film’s marketing and distribution chief Dennis Rice told the Hollywood Reporter.

The project first took root in 2011 when John Gotti Jr. signed a deal with a little-known producer to make a film about his father.

But soon after Travolta agreed to play the lead role, the movie ran into obstacles, triggering a seemingly endless exodus of directors.

Shooting finally began two years ago under the direction of Kevin Connolly of Entourage fame.

But the highly anticipated planned release in December 2017 was cancelled at the last minute.

However this time producers are confident that it will at last hit the screen, with indie distributor Vertical Entertainment having announced the US release for June 15.

Paris, May 6, 2018 (AFP) - From an African-American detective infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan to Kurdish female fighters battling jihadists, here are the movies that will battle it out for the top Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes film festival this week:

- Everybody Knows -

Iranian master Asghar Farhadi kicks off the festival with a psychological thriller about a family reunion going awry, featuring Spanish stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. While Farhadi, 45, won an Oscar and the Golden Bear at Berlin for his 2011 breakthrough film, "A Separation", he is yet to take home the coveted Cannes prize.

- BlacKkKlansman -

US director and activist Spike Lee's drama is based on the real-life story of an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1978. John David Washington plays him with Adam Driver as his Jewish police partner. The film will open in the US on the first anniversary of a white supremacist march in Charlottesville where an anti-racism activist was killed.

- Under the Silver Lake -

Four years after giving Cannes audiences nightmares with his thriller "It Follows", David Robert Mitchell returns with another spine-chiller, this time about the mysterious murder of a billionaire.

- Dogman -

Italian director Matteo "Gomorra" Garrone's new work is not for the faint-hearted. Dubbed an "urban Western", the film is inspired by the gruesome murder by dog groomer and cocaine addict Pietro De Negri in the late 1980s.

- Three Faces -

Little is known about this portrait of three women by the Iranian dissident Jafar Panahi, who is banned from travel by Tehran. The festival and US director Oliver Stone have pleaded with the authorities to let the director, who has faced years of harassment and arrest, to fly to Cannes to show his film.

- Leto -

Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov is another director who may not be able to present his work at Cannes. Under house arrest over highly disputed allegations of embezzlement, his film focuses on Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi and the birth of Russian underground music in the 1980s.

- At War -

As France grapples with rail strikes and student protests, French director Stephane Brize's gritty drama about factory workers battling to keep their jobs may hit a timely nerve.

- Cold War -

Amazon Studios is pinning its hopes on this tender black-and-white period romance set among the members of a touring folk group in the Eastern Bloc in the 1950s from Oscar-winning Polish-British director Pawel Pawlikowski.

- The Image Book -

Cinema's oldest and most enigmatic rebel, French-Swiss legend Jean-Luc Godard, has let little slip about his new film other than this enigmatic synopsis: "Nothing but silence, nothing but a revolutionary song, a story in five chapters like the five fingers of a hand."

- Girls of the Sun -

Kurdish women fighters battling the Islamic State are at the centre of French actor-director Eva Husson's new film. Iranian star Golshifteh Farahani plays Bahar, the leader of the Yazidi Sun Brigade, who hunts down the extremists who had earlier captured her.

- The Wild Pear Tree -

Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Palme d'Or four years ago for "Winter Sleep", is back with another Anatolian talkie, this time about a young provincial writer raging at his father.

GENEVA, April, 26, 2018 - In a Swiss workshop, eight skilled craftspeople labor to transform a very big block of crystal and some ethically sourced gold into the world’s most sought-after cinematic award.

The Palme d’Or, a golden palm tree branch on a crystal base, is the top prize at next month’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival and has been made by the same jewelers, Chopard, for the last 21 years.

The design has been tweaked down the years. After it is decided, a blue wax Palme is created and buried in plaster. It is heated in a furnace overnight to melt the wax away and leave a hollow plaster mould.

The 2018 edition is made from 118 grams (4.16 oz) of 18-carat yellow gold. The molten metal is poured into the mould, which is then dipped in cold water to break the plaster and leave behind a golden Palme.

Extensive sanding, cleaning and polishing take place before the Palme is deemed fit to sit on the crystal base created by stonemasons.

“We really wanted this Palme, apart from being a simple trophy, to represent the savoir-faire of different craftsmen,” Marc Couttet, director of Chopard, told Reuters.

Two trophies are made, in case there are two top prizewinners at the May 8-19 festival. Five smaller ones have also been commissioned this year for other categories.

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