Pro Tools
•Register a festival or a film
Submit film to festivals Promote for free or with Promo Packages

FILMFESTIVALS | 24/7 world wide coverage

Welcome !

Enjoy the best of both worlds: Film & Festival News, exploring the best of the film festivals community.  

Launched in 1995, relentlessly connecting films to festivals, documenting and promoting festivals worldwide.

Working on an upgrade soon.

For collaboration, editorial contributions, or publicity, please send us an email here

User login


RSS Feeds 

Martin Scorsese Masterclass in Cannes services and offers


Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



Gods of Egypt, Review: With Gods like these…


An Australia-United States co-production, Gods of Egypt was shot in Australia, predominantly on green screens, at Fox Studios, Sydney. Most ‘Egyptian’ Gods are played by Caucasian actors and the boundaries between earth, the sky, heaven, hell, man, god, ferocious bird, plasto-metallic creatures, life and death, are all blurred. CGI, forced perspective, shooting with two cameras side-by-side, motion control, are the flavours of the day.

Authenticity is conspicuous by its absence. Remember, it is mythology in the first place, so, at best, you would expect the film to stay true to the ancient myths, which is a contradiction in terms too. Gods of Egypt has plenty of high adrenaline action, well executed, except for the rare CGI or VFX glitch. Now do you want to look for histrionics and subtleties, or would you rather sit back and let the roller-coaster take you for that thrilling ride?

Magic, monsters, gods and madness reign throughout the palaces and pyramids of the Nile River Valley. With the survival of mankind hanging in the balance, an unexpected hero takes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, has usurped Egypt’s throne, by killing his father Osiris, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. With only a handful of heroic rebels opposing Set’s savage rule, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a bold and defiant mortal, madly in love with Zaya (Courtney Eaton) enlists the aid of powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Set’s brother, who has been blinded by his jealous sibling, in an unlikely alliance against the evil overlord. Their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes Horus and Bek into the afterlife, and across the heavens. Both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the spectacular final confrontation.

American writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless work as a team, and have to their credit Dracula Untold and The Last Witch Hunter. They should know a thing or two about neverland and the ‘third world’. It is a concoction that suspends your disbelief beyond belief. A God behaving worse than the greediest of men, killing his father and brother, and wreaking mayhem on a million hapless subjects, is enough to infuriate any God-fearing viewer. Having said that, now move on and look for the visuals: there are caves, caverns, towers, obelisks, space platforms, sphinxes, pyramids, underground passages, sword battles, spear battles, axe battles, machete battles, javelin battles, spike battles, transformations from man/god to beast and vice-versa, man/god to bird and vice versa, fire, fire, more fire, the dazzling light from the metallic shields carried by soldiers that blinds the opponent fighting in a one-to-one fight, eyes gouged out (mercifully covered by blue orbs), 100 clones of Thot in the same frame, some terrific top angles, some real precipice effects, all in 3D.

Director Alex(ander) Proyas (Dark City, Knowing, The Crow, I-Robot), 53, is an Australian born in Alexandria, Egypt. Is that where the inspiration came from? Proyas isn’t telling. This is what he told a publication, “The world of Gods of Egypt never really existed. It is inspired by Egyptian mythology, but it makes no attempt at historical accuracy, because that would be pointless — none of the events in the movie ever really happened. It is about as reality-based as Star Wars — which is not real at all ….Maybe one day, if I get to make further chapters, I will reveal the context of the when and where of the story. But one thing is for sure — it is not set in Ancient Egypt at all.” Australian, Scottish, French and American actors dominate the cast, with some of them having Maori, Chinese and Cambodian blood. Proyas has gone over the top in many places, and that can work two ways. It can destroy myths, or, it can take you on a joy-ride. Pace is unrelenting, but the goings on do get a little fuzzy and hazy from about half the film to about ¾ ths of it. Horus’ greed is never rationalised (can greed ever be?) and Hathor (Horus’s wife and later Set’s mistress)’s character remains ambivalent. Wise-cracking thief Bek is able to reach anywhere and penetrate any fortress with amazing alacrity. Why does Ra sit alone on the spacecraft needs to be explained, as does his killing by his grandson. Neither Ra, nor his son Osiris, have any idea of the kind of being Horus is, which is highly questionable. Humour helps the film along, whether it comes from Bek or Thot, though one would expect some more maturity from a god in his ministry.

Getting Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen, The Bounty Hunter, Law Abiding Citizen) to play the ungodly would appear a casting coup of sorts. He has the mean look and the crazy eyes, with a physique to go with them. The Scottish accent may be out of place, for this Canadian-Scot who trained to be a lawyer, but you cannot ignore his screen presence. The umpteenth actor to emerge from Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is Danish. On the big screen, his appearances include Black Hawk Down, Wimbledon, Kingdom of Heaven, Game of Thrones. Blinded, fought, humiliated, imprisoned, fought, humiliated, his is a case of survival against all odds. Not much acting required.

Elodie Yung (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, District 13: Ultimatum, The Girl with Dragon Tattoo) is a French actress of Cambodian descent. Her features look more Asian than any of the others. Playing Hathor, she offers to become Set’s mistress in return for sparing Horus’s life. Besides that major  sacrifice, there is little she has to do in the film. Abbey Lee Kershaw (Mad Max: Fury Road, Ruben Guthrie), an Australian model, plays Set’s consort, Anak, in a minor role. Australian, with Maori, Chinese and English blood, Courtney Eaton (debut Mad Max: Fury Road) wants to work with Baz Luhrmann. Portraying Zaya in Gods of Egypt is a good beginning, but she will need a wider portfolio.

Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, Oculus, The Giver), Australian, 26, looks much younger than his age on screen, and though he is 1.87m in height (5’10”), looks much shorter, according to his role. (All the mortals are normal height, but Horus, Set, Thoth, Anubis and Hathor are very tall and otherworldly). Thwaites is bouncy and excited, and it is a plum role. Coming to the bossman, or rather, Chadwick Boseman (The Kill Hole, 42, Draft Day, Get on Top) plays Thot, the only black character I can recall. Here’s another guy who can carry a joke. There is a complex scene of his own multiple images where he had to stand for hours and other actors had to be called for three days, because the shot had to be taken hundreds of times.

Rating: **1/2


On the casting ‘faux pas’

Alex Proyas: “The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”

Lionsgate (producers): “We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance, we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.”


The Bulletin Board

> The Bulletin Board Blog
> Partner festivals calling now
> Call for Entry Channel
> Film Showcase
 The Best for Fests

Meet our Fest Partners 

Following News

Interview with EFM (Berlin) Director



Interview with IFTA Chairman (AFM)



Interview with Cannes Marche du Film Director
 dailies live coverage from

> Live from India 
> Live from LA
Beyond Borders
> Locarno
> Toronto
> Venice
> San Sebastian

> Tallinn Black Nights 
> Red Sea International Film Festival

> Palm Springs Film Festival
> Kustendorf
> Rotterdam
> Sundance
Santa Barbara Film Festival SBIFF
> Berlin / EFM 
> Fantasporto
Houston WorldFest 
> Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
Cannes / Marche du Film 



Useful links for the indies:

Big files transfer
> Celebrities / Headlines / News / Gossip
> Clients References
> Crowd Funding
> Deals

> Festivals Trailers Park
> Film Commissions 
> Film Schools
> Financing
> Independent Filmmaking
> Motion Picture Companies and Studios
> Movie Sites
> Movie Theatre Programs
> Music/Soundtracks 
> Posters and Collectibles
> Professional Resources
> Screenwriting
> Search Engines
> Self Distribution
> Search sites – Entertainment
> Short film
> Streaming Solutions
> Submit to festivals
> Videos, DVDs
> Web Magazines and TV


> Other resources

+ SUBSCRIBE to the weekly Newsletter
+ Connecting film to fest: Marketing & Promotion
Special offers and discounts
Festival Waiver service

User images

About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


View my profile
Send me a message