The High Cinema Institute in Cairo (HCI) has its esteemed status as being the patron of arts in Egypt and the Middle East. Established in 1957, it is the first and oldest institution in Africa and the Middle East that specializes in cinema arts. With a long history of notable alumni, and a promising future of young talents, HCI students have the potential of shaping the emerging cultural scene, both locally and regionally.
High Cinema Institute: Between now and the golden days
From Faten Hamama to Ahmed Zaki, many titans in the world of cinema have walked the institute’s halls and left an unforgettable sizable impression on Middle Eastern artistic heritage. Till today, alumni continue to enrich cinematic legacy. HCI is not just the launch pad of actors, though. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even include a specialized course in acting. Most students study direction, editing, sound design, script-writing, animation, production, photography, and set design. The most notable alumni working today are landmark names in cinema, such as directors Kamla Abou Zekry and Marwan Hamed, with iconic actors like Karim Abdel Aziz and Ahmed Mekki.
Numerous creative endeavors sprouted from previous and current generations of artisans, but with the age of new media, all eyes are poised and peeled on young talent. Many Arab and Egyptian youth are embracing their creative talents and artistic expression. What was once brushed to the sidelines, now steadily seeps into the personalities of the new generation. Students at HCI are front and center when it comes to this new wave of expression, and still at the start of their young careers, they are shaping up to become game changers. Straight from the High Cinema Institute, here are 6 upcoming young artists carving their way up.
Kareem Soltan is an illustrator and visual artist, who graduated from HCI. Already writing a name for himself at such a young age, Soltan is the creative behind an impressive collection of cover art for many formidable names in the industry. This includes well-established artists, such as The Synaptik and Felukah. His efforts on the animated music video for Shabjdeed’s Kteer Ktar, speak volumes for his talent. You can check his extensive library of artwork via his Instagram account or Vimeo.
Rahma Adel is a multi-talented young artist. Having directed her very own short film “One Frame, ” she is also an established young visionary in art direction, set design, and graphic design. A testament to her incredible potential, Adel has her own art gallery called Pour It, which enables her to continue to experiment and explore the full breadth of her aesthetic abilities. Support this pioneer and follow her Behance and Instagram.
Sara R. Mourad
Also a student majoring in animation, Sara R. Mourad is a formidable graphic designer and visual artist. Having worked on major branding campaigns and cover art, like her design for Egyptian rapper’s Lege-Cy’s newest EP, and Plan B, the young artists shows significant artistic range in her work. From personal and insightful illustrations, to full on campaigns, you should keep an eye out for her future projects. Follow her Behance account and Instagram for more.
Mahmoud (Badmood) Bahgat
Mahmoud Bahgat, or Badmood, is a music producer joining the impressive roster of multi-talented artisans. Although he majors in editing at HCI, his audio creations are clearly passion projects. His beats are bops, and his energy is as versatile and original as his sonic vision. Creating immersive, cinematic, and often times eerie yet sentimental beats, Badmood is a name you will certainly see around a lot in the future. Check his SoundCloud, Spotify, and Instagram for a memorable listen.
Majoring in script writing, the young filmmaker took his first steps when he wrote his series of short comedy skits. Full of wit and social satire, the project shows ambition and potential. Doing all this on limited resources and budget, we can only be excited for his future projects, when given the chance to work on full-scale, more refined features. See the skits yourself on his Instagram.
Still continuing his studies at HCI’s animation department, Hassany Mahmoud is a visual artist with a keen eye for the unusual. Originally an animator motion designer and VFX artist, he has worked with multiple notable entities and continues to build an impressive visual resume. You can find his work on Instagram, Vimeo, and Behance.