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Egypt's 1930s Cartoons to be Honoured at International Animated Film Festival

Mickey Mouse who?

Mish Mish Afandi

Egyptians have long been making moves in the film industry (we know, we know we’re amazing) but it seems like there is a whole other side of our local film history we had no idea existed. Egypt has been asked to participate as a guest of honour in the 19th edition of Meknes International Animated Film Festival in Morocco— kind of odd considering we have, like, one animated production. Or so we thought.

The festival's 19th run will commemorate the 85th anniversary of Egypt’s (and Africa’s) first animated work called 'Mich Mich Effendi;, which was produced throughout the 1930s and 40s. The production was created in 1935, along with more 35mm productions like 'Mafish Fayda' (1936), 'National Defence' (1939) and 'Bilhana Oua Chifa' (1946). Who knew?

The majority of these cartoon oldies were produced by a sibling trio known as the Fenkel Brothers, who rose to fame for their cartoon productions. Interestingly though, none of the Fenkel’s works were long enough to be considered a feature-length film; Egypt’s first animated feature 'The Knight and the Princess' just came out in Egyptian cinemas this year and took a staggering two decades to make. 'The Knight and the Princess' will also be screened at the festival as part of the tribute. We don’t know about you, but we’ll be gathering round some popcorn and sitting down for some vintage goodness. Mickey Mouse, eat your heart out.

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