With the release of Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starer Chennai Express Bollywood returned to Egypt this Wednesday after 25 years. The news came when the film industry is celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri speaking at a media function in Cairo said that he was amazed at the love and affection Egyptians had for Indian cinema even when these did not play in theaters.

“It was an odd situation. India is the world’s biggest producer of feature films; Indian films are screened in over 90 countries; Egyptians clearly love Indian films. And yet, they couldn’t find their favorite Indian films on the big screen!” said Suri.

“That’s where we intervened to connect Egyptian distribution channels with Indian film producers. I am delighted that they have come together to meet the demand of Egyptian audiences,” he added

“Indian cinema has a long tradition and that was reflected in its global influence.” said Samir Farid who is the president of Cairo International Film Festival. He also said that “It was the right of Egyptian audiences to have the opportunity to see Indian films in theaters.”

The lead actress Ship of Theseus Aida al-Kashef was happy that Bollywood films will run in her country. She also said that collaborating with an Indian director for a film was a great experience for her. According to her, return of Indian cinema in Egypt will lead to more exchange of talent in the film industries of the both the countries.

Maiosh Khafagi the coordinator of the Discover Indian in Egypt group expressed that young Egyptians had been attracted to Indian culture and cinema. He believes that Bollywood would definitely challenge Hollywood in Egypt as the youth in Egypt love Indian cinema.

Egyptian artist Sameera performed a Bollywood dance celebrating this event which was a part of the programme. A short film was screened in celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema. The film also highlighted cinematic links between India and Egypt.

Lubna Abdel Aziz who is an Egyptian actress was seen at the event.

Chennai Express is being released in Cairo and Alexandria by United Motion Pictures, facilitated by Gaurang Films and the Indian embassy in Cairo. The movie will primarily screen with Arabic subtitles in eight theaters which includes major theaters and multiplexes in Cairo and two in Alexandria.