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Ayten Amin wins Cairo Film Connection

The winner of the LE100,000 prize was announced yesterday, as a jury selected one of ten competing projects.

Menna Taher, Thursday 9 Dec 2010
Cairo Film Connection
Cairo Film Connection jury as they pronounce the winner
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The filmmaker Ayten Amin was announced winner of the Cairo Film Connection (CFC), 7 December. Amin won the prize thanks to her comedy project 69 Medan El Mesaha (69 El Mesaha Square). The film is about a 62-year-old man who faces a terminal illness. As he nears his death, people from his past invade his isolation and change his view about life. “The project was chosen because it is ambitious and represents the vitality of the new Egyptian cinema,” said Samir Seif, head of the CFC jury.

Seif, who announced Amin’s victory, also commended Lebanese filmmaker Hesham Berzy for the originality of his project, Hatta el Sabah (Until Morning), which revolves around the lives of several individuals during an ordinary day in Beirut. Among the characters in Berzy’s project are Mouris and his American wife Helen, who are dealing with the anniversary of their son’s death, and Youssef, a cynical photojournalist, who tries to overcome his own set of obstacles.

Prior to the jury’s announcement, Guiliana Bruno, a professor of visual arts and film at Harvard University, lectured on new approaches to film, enabled by the digital aget. The lecture was monitored by Marianne Khoury, director and producer Milad Bessada, and director Victor Okhai.

This was the Cairo Film Connection’s debut with the Cairo International Film Festival and it had ten scripts compete for a LE100,000 prize. The scripts were discussed by the filmmakers and experts on production, funding, distribution, marketing, broadcasting and sales for three days, from 5-7 December.
The winner of the Cairo Film Connection was announced on 7 December after a lecture by Guiliana Bruno, a professor of visual arts and film in Harvard, about the new approaches to film that the digital age has enabled like vide art. The lecture was monitored by Marianne Khoury, Milad Bessada, a director and producer as well as the director Victor Okhai.

The filmmaker Ayten Amin was then announced as the winner of the Cairo Film Connection. The head of the Jury Samir Seif started by commending the Lebanese filmmaker Hesham Berzy for the originality of his project, Hatta el Sabah (Until morning), which revolves around several individuals during an ordinary day in Beirut. Mouris and his American wife Helen suffer because the day coincides with their son’s death anniversary, while Youssef, a cynical photojournalist, tries to overcome obstacles facing him. The events take place through Beirut’s narrow streets and alleyways and depict the characters’ daily lives.

Ayten Amin’s winning project 69 Medan El Mesaha (69 El Mesaha Square) is a comedy about a 62 year-old-man facing death. Several people from his past venture into his isolated life and change his vision about life. “The project was chosen because it’s ambitious and represents the vitality of the Egyptian new cinema,” said Seif.

The competition for the two post-production projects was denied, for the project The Last Days of the City proved ineligible. One of the conditions of the competition was having the film’s premiere in Egypt, something that the filmmaker couldn’t fulfill.

The Cairo Film Connection this year is the first in the Cairo International Film Festival. Ten scripts were competing for a LE100,000 prize and were discussed by the filmmakers and experts on production, funding, distribution, marketing, broadcasting and sales for a period of three days from 5-7 December.

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