Cairo International Film Festival unveils dates for it’s 43rd edition.

Cairo International Film Festival unveils dates for it’s 43rd edition.

By Ajit Rai

New Delhi: The management of the Cairo International Film Festival  announced that 43rd edition of Cairo International Film Festival will be held from December 1st to 10th 2021.  The closing ceremony is to be held on December 9th, followed by a screening of the prize winning films the following day (Dec 10th). 

Festival president Mohamed Hefzy stated that “The festival’s programming team and management are thrilled by the challenge that this upcoming edition offers, and we are eager to present a diverse and rich lineup of films and a selection worthy of the festival’s audience that has come to expect more in terms of quality and surprises year after year.  During the last three years we did strive to realize our fullest ambitions and utmost success in our offering of programming, and in the various support platforms offered to professionals by Cairo Industry Days, including the Cairo Film Connection which last year offered prizes valued at nearly 250,000 US Dollar to 15 very different quality projects”.

Hefzy said that " India and Egypt are sharing great civilization of around five thousand years and a long tradition of filmmaking too. We will try to get more Indian films in 43rd edition of Cairo International Film Festival this year. "
He reminded that many Indian films, specially Hindi films did very well in cinema theatres in 60s and 70s. We will try to reconnect our lost relationship in cinema."

"Despite the challenges of COVID”  Hefzy said, “Film Festivals have found a way to adapt and survive, acting as a lifeline for films and filmmakers that have been affected and challenged by the pandemic, including such threats as disrupted productions, and the closure of theaters throughout much of the world.  Very few festivals managed to hold a physical edition, and we are proud to say that Cairo was one of them, setting the bar for an even more successful physical edition this year”.

The 42nd edition witnessed the participation of 95 films from more than 40 countries, including 20 world and international premieres, and 10 new Egyptian films for the first time in the festival’s modern history.  Despite the fact that social distancing was applied and capacity was reduced by 50%, the festival’s ticket sales reached 30,000, and despite travel restrictions, CIFF received nearly 200 foreign guests during it’s 42nd edition.  Many more were able to participate in online panels, workshops, masterclasses, and Q&A’s.

Some of the highlights of the 42nd edition include Golden Pyramid lifetime achievement awards to Egyptian screenwriter Waheed Hamed, as well as the British playwright, screenwriter, and Oscar winner Christophe Hampton.  Last but not least, Egyptian superstar Mona Zaki was honored with the Faten Hamama prize for excellence. 

The Cairo International Film Festival remains the oldest annually running international film festival in Africa and the Middle East, and is one of only 15 film festival worldwide recognized as ja competitive category A festival by the International Federation of Film Producers FIAPF. 

Ajit Rai is a cultural jurnalist,theater and film critic.he is also a guest editor in Rang Prasang national School of Drama,Delhi.