The second Luxor Egyptian and European Film Festival, running from 19 to 25 January 2014, has announced the participation of 62 films from 19 different European countries, in addition to Egypt, in its final line-up.
Egyptian director Amr Salama’s latest film, La Moakhza (Excuse My French), which tackles issues of sectarianism in Egypt and was produced after numerous struggles with censorship, will open the festival.
Magda Wassef, president of the festival, which was to open in September but was postponed due to political instability, also announced the festival would be paying tribute to German cinema, especially films made after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the country's reunification, by screening eight contemporary German films, including Run Lola Run (1998), Goodbye Lenin! (2003) and The Lives of Others (2006).
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism Hesham Zaazou and Governor of Luxor Tarek Saadeddin, who attended the press conference where details of the festival were revealed, said they hoped the festival would show the world that Egypt is safe for tourists.
The festival’s feature competition will include 12 films, including La Mo’akhza, while the short film competition will include 23 films.
Meanwhile, a number of films will be screened out of competition, including by acclaimed Egyptian actor Nour El-Sherif, who the festival will be honouring, and by renowned Russian actor Vladimir Menshov, who will be heading the festival’s jury.
Acting as honorary president of the festival this year is prominent Egyptian poet Abdel-Rahman El-Abnoudy. Two Egyptian classics that El-Abnoudy wrote for the screen will be showing at the festival: director Hussein Kamal’s Shai Men Al-Khawf (A Touch of Fear, 1969) and director Khairy Bishara’s Al-Toq Wal Eswera (The Collar and the Bracelet, 1986).
Wassef also stressed the festival’s support for independent Egyptian cinema, and that eight digitally shot films representing the new wave of Egyptian cinema will be screened, including director Mohamed Khan’s Klephty (2003) and director Yousry Nasrallah’s Al-Madina (The City, 1999), which he co-wrote with French filmmaker Claire Denis.
The festival is organised by the Noon Foundation for Culture and Art, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Youth, Luxor governorate and the European Commission in Egypt.