Leading Egyptian Filmmaker Mohamed Khan Dies at 73

Factory Girl

Khan, whose last film 'Before the Summer Crowds' was released in Egypt in April, died after a short illness.

Renowned Egyptian director Mohamed Khan died Tuesday in Cairo after a short illness, according to news reports and posts on the Facebook pages of Khan and prominent Egyptian cinematographer Said Shimi.

The 73-year-old director's last film Before the Summer Crowds was released in Egypt in April and his penultimate feature, Factory Girl, was Egypt's submission for the best foreign-language film Oscar in 2014.

Khan's funeral was set to take place Tuesday in Cairo, according to English-language news portal Ahram Online, part of the Middle East's oldest daily newspaper, Al-Ahram.

Khan, who was a British national born to a Pakistani father and Egyptian mother and only gained Egyptian citizenship by presidential decree in March 2014 after years of bureaucratic struggles, made films that "tackled social issues that often revolved around female central characters," Ahram Online reported.

A key figure in the Egypt's "neorealist" cinematic movement, Khan's films included The Street Player (1984), The Wife of an Important Man (1987) and Dreams of Hind and Camilia (1988) — all of which were named among the "100 Greatest Arab Films of All Time" by the Dubai International Film Festival.

His most recent awards include best director honors for Factory Girl at the Cairo National Festival of Egyptian Film in 2014 and the FIPRESCI prize for Best Arab Feature for the same film at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2013.

Palestinian director Najwa Najjar told the Hollywood Reporter that it was "a sad day, losing one of the Arab world's prominent filmmakers."

Khan was, she added, "a leading figure of the 1980s realist wave of filmmaking in Egypt. He, with other directors, were pioneers of that time, capturing the everyday life of ordinary Egyptians with plots that focused on class hierarchy, women's labor and a corrupt patriarchal system."

Khan leaves behind a wife, Wessam Soliman, who wrote the script for Factory Girl; a son, Hassan; and a daughter, Nadine.