Cairo International Film Festival

The Cairo International Film Festival is an annual internationally accredited film festival held in Cairo Opera House.[1] It was established in 1976 and has taken place every year since its inception, except for 2011 and 2013, when it was cancelled due to budget limitations and political instability.[2][3] It is the only international competitive feature film festival recognized by the FIAPF in the Arab world and Africa, as well as the oldest in this category.[4][5]

Cairo International Film Festival
مهرجان القاهرة السينمائي الدولي
LocationCairo, Egypt
Founded16 August 1976
AwardsGolden Pyramid Award, Silver Pyramid, Bronze Pyramid, Naguib Mahfouz Award, Henry Barakat Award, Faten Hamama Award
Artistic directorAmir Ramses
No. of films97 in 2022
Festival date13-22 November

History edit

The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) is one of only 15 Festivals accorded as a category "A" status by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations FIAPF. It is the oldest internationally accredited cultural feature film festival in the Arab World, Africa and the Middle East.[6]

The history of CIFF goes back to 1975, after a visit to the Berlin Film Festival the late writer-critic Kamal El Mallakh and a group of like-minded cinema critics wondered why such a world-class festival could not take place in Egypt. The country was still in Egyptian cinema's "Golden Age" and contained a formidable film industry, still the biggest in the Arab world. The Cairo International Film Festival was launched in 1976.[7][8] The 1976 festival featured around 100 films from 33 countries, with 14 films from 14 different countries in competition.

The Egyptian Association of Film Writers and Critics headed the festival for the first seven years until 1983. In the following year, the Union of Artist's Syndicates supervised the festival, and after that point, several associations mustered their resources to run the festival. The Egyptian Association of Film Writers and Critics joined with the Ministry of Culture and the Union of Artist's Syndicates to form a joint committee in 1985 to improve the quality and financial state of the festival.[9]

In 2023, The Cairo International Film Festival’s 45th edition was canceled due to the Israel–Hamas war.[10][11]

Awards edit

  • Silver Pyramid and Bronze Pyramid Awards go to the Best Director and Best New Director respectively.
  • The Best Screenplay award is named after the Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz.
  • The festival also offers career achievement awards named after Egyptian actress Faten Hamama.

The festival offers awards in specialized categories as well:

  • The Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition, presented by the Egyptian Filmmakers Syndicate (EFMS), offers the Saad Eldin Wahba Award for Best Arabic Film and the Salah Abu Seif Award for Best Arab Artistic Contribution.
  • The International Critics Week Competition for Feature and Documentary Films, presented by the Egyptian Film Critics Association (EFCA), offers the Shadi Abdel Salam Award for Best Film, awarded to the Director, and the Fathy Farag Award for Best Artistic Contribution, both awards.
  • Cinema of Tomorrow, International Competition (CTIC) for Short Films offers the Youssef Chahine Award for Best Short Film, and The Special Jury Award.
  • The Special Jury Award.

CIFF cash awards edit

  • Youssef Cherif Rizkallah Award (Audience Award): 20,000$ (shared between the producer of the film and the Egyptian company distributing the film in Egypt). The Award will be granted to one of films selected in the International Competition
  • Best Arab Film Award: 15,000$ presented to the producer of the film. The Award will be granted by a special jury to the best Arab film selected in either the International Competition.

The International Federation of Film Critics edit

  • The FIPRESCI Award is decided by a jury composed of a president and two members, and is awarded to a film in the international competition. The Award is announced during the CIFF closing ceremony.

Cairo Film Connection edit

The Cairo Film Connection is the latest co-production platform aiming at maximizing networking to induce coproductions for films originating from the Arab world. The first year, around 10 projects will be selected by a team of experts. Directors and producers will be invited to the Cairo Film Connection to pitch their projects over a period of 3 days to key industry professionals whether international or from the region. Circulation of the selected project in Arabic and English as well as, individualized meetings scheduled in advance should maximize exposure of the projects and optimize all the participants' experiences. Guests will be carefully selected to cover all stages of development of film production, funding, distribution, marketing, broadcasting, sales, festivals. In addition to the exposure offered to filmmakers during the Cairo Film Connection, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture is offering a special award amounting to $10,000.[13]

Other festival sections edit

  • Festival of Festivals – Screening the most important, reviewed and awarded feature and documentary films that participated in other renowned prominent international film festivals as Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and others.
  • International Panorama – Screening different variety of international movies from all over the World.
  • New Egyptian Cinema – Screening new Egyptian Movies produced and premiered in 2016/17.
  • Feature Film Classics – Screening tens of international film Classics.
  • Film Tributes – Giving tribute and honoring international and local film icons.
  • Guest of Honor Film Week, from World Cinema – Screening films of a guest country, chosen annually in honoring World Cinema.[14]

Notable awards and honorees edit

Major award winners edit

Year Best Film (Golden Pyramid) Best Director Best Actor Best Actress
The Object of Beauty Michael Lindsay-Hogg
for The Object of Beauty
Joaquim de Almeida
for Family Portrait
Christiane Heinrich
for Suspicion
Those Left Behind Michael Apted
for Thunderheart
Ole Lemmeke
for The Naked Trees
Xiu Jingshuang
for Those Left Behind
Curfew Nabil Maleh
for The Extras
Andrzej Seweryn
for Amok
Marina Neyolova
for You Are My Only One
Colonel Chabert Yves Angelo
for Colonel Chabert
Nour El-Sherif
for A Hot Night
Laila Elwi
for More Love, Less Violence
The Flor Contemplacion Story Sergei Masloboischikov
for Josephine, the Singer and the Mice People
Stephen Rea
for Citizen X
Nora Aunor
for The Flor Contemplacion Story
A Girl Called Apple Pantelis Voulgaris
for Akropol
Abu Bakr Ezzat
for The Woman and the Hatchet
Julia Jäger
for Outside Time
The Chambermaid on the Titanic Bigas Luna
for The Chambermaid on the Titanic
Davor Janjić
for Outsider
Reem Al-Turki
for Ceremonial Wedding Dress
Malli Santosh Sivan
for Malli
Paschalis Tsarouhas
for Vasiliki
Mei Ting
for A Time to Remember
{A Major Inconvenience Martin Šulík
for Prague Stories (Segment: "Pictures from the Visit")
Mahmoud Abdel Aziz
for Pleasure Market
Pegah Ahangarani
for The Girl in the Sneakers
Sigh Roch Stéphanik
for Stand-by
Zhang Guoli
for Sigh
Xu Fan
for Sigh
Dominique Blanc
for Stand-by
Pauline and Paulette Sinișa Dragin
for Everyday God Kisses Us on the Mouth
Paul Freeman
for Morlang
Niki Karimi
for The Hidden Half
The Last Blues Mrinal Sen
for My Land
Ahmed Zaki
for His Excellency the Minister
Nandita Das
for My Land
Katayoun Riahi
for The Last Supper
The King Liang Shan
for The Father
Song Guofeng
for The Father
Sandrine Kiberlain &
Sylvie Testud
for Sole Sisters
Guardians of the Clouds Héctor Olivera
for Ay Juancito
Adrián Navarro
for Ay Juancito
Sofocles Peppas
for Dust
Eszter Bagaméri
for Guarded Secrets
Nelly Karim
for My Soul Mate
Mother of Mine Klaus Härö
for Mother of Mine
Bujar Lako
for Magic Eye
Maria Lundqvist
for Mother of Mine
The Road Khosro Masumi
for Somewhere Too Far
Nicolás Mateo
for Speed Begets Oblivion
Zhang Jingchu
for The Road
Intimate Enemies Florent Emilio Siri
for Intimate Enemies
Albert Dupontel
for Intimate Enemies
Marina Magro
for Opera
Tatyana Lyutaeva
for Full Scope
Return to Hansala Pernille Fischer Christensen
for Dancers
Juan Diego Botto
for El Greco
Yolande Moreau
for Séraphine
Letters to Father Jacob Mona Achache
for The Hedgehog
Fathy Abdel Wahab
for The Nile Birds
Subrat Dutta
for Madholal Keep Walking
Karolina Piechota
for Splinters
Lust Svetoslav Ovtcharov
for Voice Over
Amr Waked &
Alessandro Gassman
for The Father and the Foreigner
Isabelle Huppert
for Copacabana
Sawsan Badr
for Lust
Rendez-vous in Kiruna Marian Dziędziel
for The Fifth season of the Year
Vanessa Di Quattro
for Breach in the Silence
Melbourne Khaled Abol Naga
for Eyes of a Thief
Adèle Haenel
for Love at First Fight
Mediterranea Dagur Kari
for Virgin Mountain
Koudous Seihon
for Mediterranea
Louise Bourgoin
for I Am a Soldier
Mimosas Licínio Azevedo
for The Train of Salt and Sugar
Shakib Ben Omar
for Mimosas
Nahed El Sebai
for A Day for Women
The Intruder Laura Mora
for Killing Jesus
Raouf Ben Amor
for Tunis By Night
Diamand Bou Abboud
for Insyriated
A Twelve-Year Night Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
for Manta Ray
Sergei Loznitsa
for Donbass
Sherif Desoky
for Night/Ext
Zsófia Szamosi
for One Day
I Am No Longer Here Bas Devos
for Ghost Tropic
Juan Daniel Garcia Trevino
for I Am No Longer Here
Judy Ann Santos
for Mindanao
Limbo Ivan I. Tverdovsky
for Conference
Yulian Vergov
for German Lessons
Elham Shahin
for Curfew
Natalya Pavlenkova
for Conference
The Hole in the Fence Laura Samani
for Small Body
Mohamed Mamdouh
for Abu Saddam
Swamy Rotolo
for A Chiara
Alam Emmanuelle Nicot
for Love According to Dalva
Maher Elkheir for The Dam
Mahmoud Bakri for Alam
Zelda Samson
for Love According to Dalva

International actors awarded include Marcello Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich, Elizabeth Taylor, Morgan Freeman, Sivaji Ganesan, Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Leslie Caron, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Ornella Muti, Victoria Abril, Shashi Kapoor, Alain Delon, Nicolas Cage, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Greta Scacchi, Julia Ormond, Mira Sorvino, Khalid Abdalla, Alicia Silverstone, Priscilla Presley, Stuart Townsend, Yolande Moreau, Christopher Lee, Irene Papas, Nora Aunor, Bud Spencer, Tom Berenger, Salma Hayek, Lucy Liu, Juliette Binoche, Dominique Blanc, Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank and Adrien Brody.

Internationally renowned directors awarded include Robert Wise, Elia Kazan, Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Stone, Roland Joffe, Carlos Saura, Ismail Merchant, Moustapha Akkad, Gadalla Gubara and Michelangelo Antonioni.

The CIFF 2004 Best Arab Film Award was given to an Egyptian film, Inas El-Degheidy's Searching for Freedom. In 2005 the CIFF honored its two star guests, American actor Morgan Freeman and French actress Leslie Caron. There was a screening of American actor and director Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby starring Freeman, Eastwood and Hilary Swank; and American director Vincent Minnelli's classic musical An American in Paris (1951), starring Caron and Gene Kelly. CIFF's other 2005 honorees included Mohamed Mounir and Hanan Turk for their roles in Lebanese director Jocelyne Saab's Dunia (2005 film), a controversial film focusing on censorship and the oppression of women in Egypt. The Syrian-American producer and director Moustapha Akkad, who died in a 2005 terrorist attack in Amman, Jordan, was also honored that year. He is best remembered for Mohammad, Messenger of God (1976) (U.S. The Message) about the early days of Islam, and for the spine-chilling Halloween movie series.

References edit

  1. ^ "44th Cairo International Film Festival kicks off on Nov. 13". EgyptToday. 13 November 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  2. ^ "The trouble with the Cairo International Film Festival". Daily News Egypt. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  3. ^ "36th Cairo International Film Festival postponed to 2014". Euromed Audiovisuel. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Roundup: 43rd Cairo Int'l Film Festival opens, attracts about 100 films from over 60 countries". Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Cairo Int'l Film Festival to host 11 film premiers during 43rd edition - Film - Arts & Culture". Ahram Online. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Cairo's Festivals& Fairs details". Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  7. ^ Muhammad Y. Gamal (May 2008). "Egypt's audiovisual translation scene" (PDF). Arab Media & Society: 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  8. ^ s.r.o, Appio Digital. "Cairo International Film Festival | DOKweb". Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  9. ^ "Cairo's Festivals& Fairs details". Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  10. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (18 October 2023). "Cairo Film Festival Canceled Due to Israel-Hamas War". Variety. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  11. ^ Rosser, Michael (18 October 2023). "Cairo film festival cancels 2023 edition due to Israel-Hamas war". Screen Daily. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  12. ^ "Awards – Cairo International Film Festival". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Cairo Film Connection – Cairo International Film Festival". Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  14. ^ "Filmmakers, movies from six continents participating in 44th Cairo Int'l Film Festival - Screens - Arts & Culture". Ahram Online. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Klaus Haro's film, Mother of Mine, wins Golden Pyramid". Screen Daily. 13 December 2005. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Chinese film defies critics and wins the Golden Pyramid". Daily News Egypt. 10 December 2006. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  17. ^ "French war movie sweeps film festival awards". Daily News Egypt. 9 December 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Spain and Belgium winners at Cairo film fest". Al Arabiya. 29 November 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Cairo festival hands main prizes to Letters To Father Jacob and The Hedgehog". Screen Daily. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Egypt sweeps top awards at Cairo International Film Festival". Daily News Egypt. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  21. ^ "35th Cairo International Film Festival closes on a sad note". Al Ahram. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  22. ^ "36th Cairo International Film Festival: Iranian film Melbourne wins Best Film". Al Ahram. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Prizes of the 39th Cairo International Film Festival (21st- 30th Nov.2017)". Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Prizes of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival (20- 29 Nov. 2018)". Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Mexico's 'I Am No Longer Here,' Tunisia's 'A Son' win at Cairo Film Festival". Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  26. ^ Salwa, Ola (15 December 2020). "British film Limbo tops the Golden Pyramid at the 42nd Cairo International Film Festival". Cineuropa. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  27. ^ Omar, Eslam (6 December 2021). "All the winners of the 43rd Cairo International Film Festival". Ahramonline. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  28. ^ Vourlias, Christopher (23 November 2022). "Fiery Palestinian Coming-of-Age Drama 'Alam' Wins Top Prize at Cairo Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  29. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (18 October 2023). "Cairo Film Festival Canceled Due to Israel-Hamas War". Variety. Retrieved 6 February 2024.

External links edit