The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) board of directors has decided to postpone the festival's 36th round, which was set to take place in November, to September 2014, provided the CIFF continues to organise various activities throughout the upcoming year.
The festival was also canceled in 2011, following the uprising which led to the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak. Last year, the closing ceremony - scheduled to be held at the Cairo Opera House - was cancelled because of the Opera's close proximity to Tahrir Square, where massive protests were taking place against the controversial constitutional declaration issued by ex-president Mohamed Morsi on 21 November, 2012.
The 7th Alexandrian Festival for Arabic Music, which was supposed to open on August 15th, was also cancelled, due to instability following the forceful dispersal of two Cairo sit-ins, which were staged by supporters of Mohamed Morsi, who the army deposed on 3 July following widespread protests against policies during his presidency.
The Egyptian Ministry of Culture declared in a statement last Wednesday that the CIFF board of directors - headed by film critic Samir Farid (CIFF president) - unanimously agreed to lay new foundations for the festival, including organising cinematic activities throughout the year, as well as participating in the Venice Film Festival, set to take place by the end of the current month, the Berlin Film Festival in February and the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The statement also added that the 36th round of CIFF will be postponed to September 2014, in order for it to be organised "in a manner befitting an international festival that carries the name of the Egyptian capital".