The 41st edition of Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), held from November 20 to 29 under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, kicked off on Wednesday evening in a festive red carpet ceremony at Egypt’s Cairo Opera House, with attendance of movie stars and filmmakers from different parts of the world.
President of the Cairo International Film Festival Mohamed Hefzy said, at his opening speech at Cairo Opera House Grand Hall that the festival is marked by the participation of “153 films from 63 countries this year, with 35 films being international and regional premiers for the first time, which is unprecedented in the CIFF and any other Arab film festival,”
The films that will be displayed at the Opera House and downtown cinemas come from China, Egypt, France, Britain, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and tens of other countries.
“The Irishman,” directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, is the festival’s opening film.
The festival’s international jury will award seven prizes for the best film, director, screenplay, actor, actress, artistic contribution and the second work of a director.
The ceremony started at 8 p.m with the Cairo International Film Festival’s tribute to late Egyptian film critic and historian and the festival’s artistic director Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, with the screening of ‘Rizk El-Cinema’, a documentary about the late critic, who passed away on July 12, 2019, directed by Egyptian director and producer Abdel-Rahman Nasr and produced by the CIFF.
In turn, Artist Khaled El Sawy said: “For me Cairo Film would prefer a youth festival and has a special meaning because it takes place in the same month of my birth November, but the difference between us is 13 years; I am the biggest, so the Cairo Film Festival will remain young”.
After a short video about Egyptian cinema lovers and pioneers; Aziza Amir, Asia Dagher, Mary Quinny, Bahija Hafez, Fatma Rushdie and Amina Mohammed, young artist Asmaa Abou El Yazid presented a song before Hend Sabry stepped up to surprise her attendance by celebrating her birthday before presenting the Faten Hamama Award for Excellence to her fellow artist Menna Shalaby, noting that she is proud of the career of Menna Shalaby, a friend of her age, and she deserves to be commended for her artistic career.