According to Cairo 24, internationally acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad was so outraged by the way his latest film was screened at the opening of Cairo International Film Festival that he had to interrupt its showing.
Abu-Assad's recently released Hollywood film, "The Mountain Between Us" was selected to open the 39th edition of CIFF, which launched on Tuesday night.
Cairo 24 reports that as soon as the screening of the film began, people left the theater and headed out to the opening of a buffet.
In addition, Abu-Assad also complained of the low quality his film was being screened in.
"I find this incredibly insulting"
A video of the award-winning filmmaker, stopping the screening of his movie, has gone viral on social media.
In the footage, Abu-Assad is heard saying:
"I thank those of you who chose to stay and watch the film. I am truly so grateful that you did. However, in my opinion, the people who stepped out showed no respect for cinema and that is incredibly insulting to me."
"Another thing is that my film is screening in very low quality, this isn't what I was expecting and I refuse to allow it to be shown like this. I've asked that the screening be stopped here. Thank you again," he added.
Outrage on social media
"The theater was left completely empty when the film started screening. Even though it's a Hollywood film, directed by an Arab. This is by all means outrageous."
"What happened during the screening is unacceptable"
"Mr. Hany is a great filmmaker, what happened at his screening is unacceptable."
"They think film festivals = getting photographed wearing dresses and walking the red carpet"
Many apologized to Abu-Assad
"The people who love the attention that comes with being in this field, from money to power, to getting dressed up and showing off, are a majority in this industry. What happened during this screening is shameful and embarrassing. We truly apologize to the hugely talented Hany Abu-Assad."
"Dinner parties and buffets should take place after the screening... this is so embarrassing"
"This shows you that to some... the stomach is more important than the brain"
Festival representatives issued an apology
Amid the intense social media backlash, CIFF representatives, including Egyptian actress Yousra apologized to Abu-Asaad.
According to Shashat, the festival also hosted a private screening of his film.
However, people are still having none of it...
"It seems that all cinephiles who were attending the festival are now sharing apologetic social media posts over what happened to Hany Abu-Assad. Who were the ones who left the screening then?"