SEE News interviewed renowned Tunisian actor Jamal Laroui who is currently in Cairo participating in his latest cinema appearance “A Second Life” (Gadha) at Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF). The actor is currently the Tunisian Acting Professions Syndicate.
Starting with his thoughts about the film’s main theme which is illegal immigration, he said: “illegal immigration crisis is not only in Tunisia, but it is common in the whole Arab and African world. It is really miserable to see all those men and young people sacrificing their lives for the sake of searching for a better future. Ironically, the western world is still making use of our fortunes, however, they refuse the presence of those immigrants and refugees.”
Laroui continued: “The unstable political status in Tunisia not only impacted the lives of the people economically, and socially, but also culturally. There is a huge problem of awareness, in addition, the budget dedicated to the cultural institutions is radically reduced; the budget to back artistic and cultural activities are somehow poor, and not capable of supporting a fine number of projects.”
Analyzing the situation from his stand as the head of the Syndicate of Acting Professions in Tunisia, he said: “All cultural institutions are making their best to support artists as much as possible, attempting to find good financial resources, especially for the cultural support funds. Unfortunately, dozens of theater artists couldn’t cope with the harsh economic crisis in the country now, especially after the surge of COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, so they shifted to other professions.”
Laroui commented on the successful experiences of Tunisian artists in Egypt, saying: “Egypt welcomes all artists from the Arab world, and it the reason for the success of several Tunisian artists such as Dhafer Al Abdeen whose star shines well in Egypt, the same goes with Dorra, and Hend Sabry.”
He added: “The cinema industry in Egypt is wonderful, strong, and every day there is a new improvement. The doors are open for new experiences, and projects. There is a real industry here. Unlike, Tunisia which faces very hard crises.”
Moving to his participation in the film, Laroui revealed: “The film’s director Anis Lassoued visited me at my private cultural space, and he told me several remarks about the casting, and the selected actors. He discussed with me several names. Ironically, my name is not listed. After that, half of the selected names were changed and I was selected after that. It is a great chance.”
He added that he also participated in the process of preparing the children for their roles in the film, especially, dealing with children is different in terms of controlling them, giving them instructions, keeping them in good temper, and teaching them how to deal with their emotions.
Finally, he expressed his since happiness for being in Cairo, and with the festival’s support to the film, and its team, asserting that Egypt is always welcoming all creative ideas, and projects.