Martin Scorsese's The Irishman has been named as the opening film of the 41st edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), taking place in the Egyptian capital between 20 and 29 November at the Cairo Opera House.
The $160 million Netflix production, based on Charles Brandt's book 'I Heard You Paint Houses,' stars Robert De Niro in their ninth cooperation, in addition to Academy Award winners Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
“We are extremely excited to be raising the red curtain of the festival with the epic masterpiece from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, the genius that is Martin Scorsese," CIFF president Mohamed Hefzy stated Tuesday.
"The Irishman is a true cinematic experience with powerhouse performances that will thrill audiences in Cairo this November," the famous Egyptian director and producer added.
'The Irishman’ is among 150 films, from various genres and formats, from 63 countries due to screen during the 10-day festival that will host a gala premiere of 14 films, with around 30 world and international premieres and 90 Middle East premieres scheduled, in addition to the usual emphasis on Arab cinema.
The film, that took over a decade making, is a star-studded gangster epic using 117 different filming locations and 309 scenes which together add up to a runtime of three hours 29 minutes.
Former henchman Sheeran (played by De Niro) claimed to have killed more than 25 people on the orders of mafia boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and truck driver union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).
With De Niro, 76, playing Sheeran across several decades, from a 34-year-old in 1955 to his 2003 death aged 83, the film uses technology developed by George Lucas to digitally "de-age" actors on screen.
After the CIFF opening, The Irishman will screen again on 21 November, at the Cairo Opera House, six days before the film is released on Netflix.
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