Yafa El Guiwily? Anything But Traditional

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Yafa, aged 23 years, is a recent graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts and is truly a multi-talent. Coming from an artistic family Yafa was a genetically predestined to carry on the legacy.  “My father is a writer; my mother is a jewelry designer, so you could say I have an artistic background. At the age of 7 my mother made me join the chorus, furthermore I attended many painting and sculpturing workshops which was more interesting to me than singing”, Yafa tells us. After high school she applied at the Faculty of Fine Arts as well as the Higher Institute of Cinema, yet she chose to join the Faculty of Arts and pursued in parallel independent studies in filmmaking.


In spite of her young age Yafa is an active member in many NGOs and clubs engaging in charity and social work, such as art projects with less privileged children, human rights programs as well as street children’s development projects. “I work with uneducated children on the streets. I’m teaching them how to express themselves through painting. What’s amazing is that they have more potential of becoming artists than other children with normal circumstances. I love my job. I’m somehow contributing to a better future”, Yafa passionately comments.


It is amazing that Yafa finds enough time to pursue her other passion of filmmaking as she has made already 4 independent films. After getting married she moved to Alexandria, where she joined the Jesuit Center for a 2 year course in filmmaking. “This where I learned every thing about cinema” we were told, “During this workshop I made my first movie "They have Tongues" a documentary about writing on walls which is considered an art, but those who do it just do it to express themselves. It was shown in Ismailia Festival and in many cultural events”.


After completing her studies, she made her second film named “Imaginary Puppets”. “It dealt with the ‘death’ of the puppets art, the next one was called “Salsa” a documentary about dancing in Arab World” Yafa modestly states. Currently Yafa is making her fourth film. The controversial story of the film has caused her some hassle with the local censorship and it is still being revised by the authorities. “The story is set in the ladies room where we take an intimate look on the girls inside without their make up, or veil or any form of constraints” Yafa explains, “I think part of the problem lies in the fact that there is a veiled woman, but the veil is an Islamic symbol we all respect, but I’m talking about a veiled woman socially and not religiously, it’s becoming a social form rather than a religious form”.

“I am willing to fight for what I want”


When being asked about her opinion about Egypt’s commercial cinema, Yafa states that she is willing to fight for what she wants, being the respectable character that she is. “I’m thinking about doing long feature films with digital cameras if possible because it’s very difficult for me to do the types of films I want in commercial cinema, you have more freedom in doing independent films”.


Yafa is definitely a talent and personality that will make herself heard.












“I’m somehow contributing to a better future”

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