The 36th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) set off last night for the first time at the 10th century Saladin Citadel on Muqattam Hill in Cairo. The Minister of Culture, Gaber Asfour and CIFF President, Samir Farid presided over the ceremony which was widely attended by Egyptian and Arab cinema makers, amid an absence of international figures.
The ceremony started with showing a documentary that captured scenes of previous editions of CIFF, depicting Egyptian veteran actors such as Nadia Lutfy, Ahmed Mazhar, Omar al-Sherif and Youssef Chahine.
The 36th round of CIFF which lasts till 18 November pays tribute to the prolific director Henry Barakat, in celebration of Barakat’s 100th birth anniversary.
Sixteen films compete for the festival’s International Award, representing 14 countries. The award’s jury is headed by renowned Egyptian actress Yusra.
Egypt is represented by the film Bab al-Wadaa (The Farewell Door), a silent feature film directed by Karim Hanafi.
This year’s edition is dedicated to the late veteran actress Mariam Fakhreddine, who passed away earlier this month at age 81.
According to the CIFF administration, with more than 200 films and TV series to her credit, Mariam Fakhr Eddine’s name will always stand out as a significant landmark in the history of Egyptian and Arab cinema.
This round’s festival includes several sections besides the international competition. Among these is the Festival of Festivals which includes 14 films that have garnered awards from international festivals; Special Presentations which includes 17 films; Films on Films which will show eight films that discuss cinema.
Greece is this round’s guest of honour, participating with 11 films. CIFF this year is releasing 13 books, starting today with the release of a book on the late journalist and writer Khaled al-Sergani, who passed away earlier this year. The book was compiled by the journalist Ibrahim Mansour.
The German film The Cut, directed by Fatih Akin is the opening film of the 36th edition of CIFF. It is a melodramatic film that depicts the massacres of the Armenians at the hands of the Turkish.
10 November 2014