Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) President Mohamed Hefzy announced that the 41st edition, opening in November, will host the world and international premiere of 20 feature and seven short films, making it the first in the history of the festival to boast so many. With the figure likely to increase before the opening, Hefzy added, this is an indication of the festival’s standing as an international platform for new voices in cinema.
Hefzy reiterated his commitment to making progress in this department, activating CIFF’s role as a way for cinephiles in Egypt to discover otherwise unknown great films and supporting Arab cinema. Among the premiers in question are two films that took part in the Cairo Film Connection: the Lebanese film “Beirut Terminus” (participated in 2016), and the Tunisian film “Before It’s Too Late” (participated 2018).
CIFF’s delegated artistic director Ahmed Shawky insisted that an event of CIFF’s size and significance cannot remain a “festival of festivals”, screening only films that are already known, but needs besides this role to present new titles to the world. That is why the programming team sought to obtain as many quality premieres as possible to stand out among the 150 films being screened, most of which are having their MENA region premiere in Cairo.
The world and international premieres in the 41st CIFF are variously distributed among the festival programme, with the International Competition including three world premieres: “Zavera” by Andrei Gruzsniczki from Romania, “The Borders” by David David from Colombia, and “Between Heaven and Earth” by Najwa Najjar, a Palestinian-Jordanian co-production. The International Competition also includes two international premieres: “The Fourth Wall” by Zhang Chong and Zhang BO from China and “The Friendly Man” by Iberê Carvalho from Brazil.
There are three world premieres in Horizons of Arab Cinema competition: “Beirut Terminus” by Ellie Kamal, a Lebanese-UAE co-production, “For The Cause” by Hassan Benjelloun from Morocco, and “The Women in Block J” by Mohamed Nadif, also from Morocco. There is also one international premiere: “On the Crossbar” by Sami Tlili, a Tunisia-France co-production.
The International Critics’ Week competition features the international premiere of “Before It’s Too Late” by Majdi Lakhdar, a Tunisia-France co-production, while the International Panorama includes five world premieres: “Gasman” by Ame Körne from Germany, “Mosh” by Juan Antonio Bisonó from the Dominican Republic, “Porcelain” by Jenneke Boeijink, a Netherlands-Italy-Belgium co-production, “Yib Roots” by Ozan Mermer, a Mexican-German co-production, and “Unlocking Doors of Cinema: Mohamed Malas” by Nezar Andary, a Lebanese-UAE co-production.
The International Panorama also features five international premieres: “The Shape of the Hours” by Paula de Luque from Argentina, “Mozart Recycled” by Victoria Piczman and Britta Schoening from Germany, “The Hypocrites” by Carlos Ignacio Trioni and Santiago Sgarlatta from Argentina, “The Pencil” by Natalya Nazarova from Russia, and “Us Among the Stones” by Dictynna Hood from the UK.
Finally, in the Cinema of Tomorrow competition, there are five international premieres: “A Tune of None at Noon” by Carols Adriano from Brazil, “Castaway” by Simon Koudela from the Czech Republic, “Home Far Away” by Dimitar Kutmanov from Bulgaria, “Gusts of Wild Life” by Jorge Cantos from Spain, and “My Dead Father: A Comedy” by Roberto Porta from Argentina. There are also two world premieres: “Amin” by Ahmed Abuelfadl from Egypt and “Here is Not There” by Nelson Yeo from Singapore.
TunisianMonitorOnline ( CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL)