The Cairo International Film Festival revs its engines

– The presence of European films will once again be particularly strong during the 44th edition of the Egyptian A-list meeting, which will start on November 13

The astronaut by Nicolas Giraud

The only premier film event in Africa and the MENA region, the Cairo International Film Festival will take place from November 13 to 22 and will present 97 films from 52 countries, 29 of which will be world or international premieres. While the Honorary Golden Pyramids for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded to the Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr and Egyptian actress Leblebaknown for her work in the 1970s (which also partly influenced the films featured in the Cairo Classics retrospective section), and the Faten Hamama Excellence Award will be given to the Egyptian filmmaker Kamla Abou Zekrythe seven-member jury chaired by the Japanese director Naomi Kawase will have to decide which of the new titles and contemporary filmmakers will win their gold, silver and bronze pyramids, as well as other awards.

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This year’s international competition features a total of 14 film titles, five of which will have their world premieres. The European presence in the large competitive category is once again strong: nine of the films in competition are European productions or co-productions, and two of them will have their world premiere in Cairo. These world-first European titles are Nicolas Giraudit is The astronaut (France) and Eleonora Veninovait is things left unsaid (North Macedonia/Serbia), while three others come from other regions, such as Ahmad Abdallahit is 19B (Egypt), I don’t want to be dust (Mexico/Argentina) by Ivan Lowenbergand Ridha Behiit is The Island of Forgiveness (Tunisia/Lebanon/USA). Other European majority productions include Damien Kocurit is bread and salt [+see also:
film review
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interview: Damian Kocur
film profile
]
(Poland), Maksym Nakonechnyiit is Butterfly Vision [+see also:
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interview: Maksym Nakonechnyi
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]
(Ukraine/Czech Republic/Croatia/Sweden), Pierre Foldes‘ animated feature film Blind willow, sleeping woman [+see also:
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(France/Canada/Netherlands/Luxembourg), Ali DearrIit is The dam [+see also:
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interview: Ali Cherri
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]
(France/Lebanon/Sudan/Qatar/Germany/Serbia), Firas Khouryit is alam [+see also:
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(France/Palestine/Tunisia/Saudi Arabia/Qatar) and Emmanuelle Nicotit is Love according to Dalva [+see also:
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interview: Emmanuelle Nicot
interview: Emmanuelle Nicot, Julie Esp…
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]
(Belgium/France). There is also a minority co-production, Something you said last night [+see also:
film review
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interview: Luis De Filippis
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]
(Canada/Switzerland) by Luis DeFilippis.

European productions and co-productions will also be represented in two other parallel sections of the competition. Franco-Lebanese co-production Mother Valley will have its world premiere as part of the Horizons of Arab Cinema competition, while Mounia MeDaustereThe Franco-Belgian copro of Houria [+see also:
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]
will have its first MENA in the same section. In the Critics’ Week competition, European-backed titles will dominate the list. The Oasis of Frozen Waters (Morocco/France) by Mohamed Raouf Sebbahi will celebrate its world premiere, christian suhrthe documentary light on light (Egypt/Denmark) will have its international film, while the list of European films is completed by Valentina Maurelit is Tengo sueños eléctricos [+see also:
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interview: Valentina Maurel
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]
, Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchukit is Pamfir [+see also:
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interview: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
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]
and Michal Blaskoit is Victim [+see also:
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interview: Michal Blaško
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]
.

The Main Selection – Out of Competition will also feature some well-known European titles from the festival circuit, such as carla simonit is Alcarras [+see also:
film review
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interview: Carla Simón
interview: Giovanni Pompili
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]
, Lucas Dhontit is close [+see also:
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interview: Lukas Dhont
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]
, Maryna Er Gorbachit is Klondike [+see also:
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interview: Maryna Er Gorbach
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]
, Jerzy Skolimowskiit is eo [+see also:
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, mario martoneit is Nostalgia [+see also:
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interview: Mario Martone
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]
, Florian Zellerit is The son [+see also:
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and Christian Mungiuit is NMR [+see also:
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interview: Cristian Mungiu
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]
. The same goes for the Special Sessions program, the non-competitive International Panorama and the gender-focused Midnight Sessions.

As for the industry aspect of the festival, the fifth edition of the Cairo Industry Days will take place from November 17 to 22, with a selection of master classes (given by, among others, the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award Béla Tarr and the president of the jury Naomi Kawase), workshops (again, Béla Tarr and the director american photography Irvin Liu, to name a few), and a number of panels and discussions with two other honorary award winners, Kamla Abu Zekry and Lebleba. In addition, 15 film projects in various stages, from development to post-production, from ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region will be pitched at the ninth Cairo Film Connection.

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About Monty S. Maynard

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