During the official press conference held on 26 September, organisers of the annual Panorama of European Film (3-9 October) introduced this year programme. An initiative of Misr International Films-Youssef Chahine, the five-year-old Panorama aims to bring the gems of European cinema to Egyptian viewers. The fifth edition includes four sections: the European Film Selection, Eye on Films (First Feature Films Selection), Documentary Rendezvous /Animation, and a section commemorating the French filmmaker Jaques Tati. During the press conference, the head of the festival Marianne Khoury said she was proud to present yet another year of the Panorama. “It was made possible thanks to our young and dedicated team,” she added.
Among the highlights are the Berlinale Golden Bear winner, Caesar Must Die, and two films from the Cannes official selection: the French film De Rouille et d'Os by Jaques Audiard, whose Un Prophete participated previously, and the British film The Angel's Share by Ken Loach. The former revolves around a love story between a whale trainer and a single father, while the latter centres on a group of young men who become embroiled in the whiskey business. Loach is celebrated for his social realist style, which he combines with humour in this film. Four of the participating films were among the selection of Un Certain Regard selection at the 2011 and 2012 Cannes Film Festivals. These include Djeca (Children of Sarajevo), Three Worlds, Elena and Oslo. Djeca won the Special Jury Award in Cannes 2012, while Elena won the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize in Cannes 2011. Tati's Les Vancances de Monsieur Hulot, the gift of the French Cinematheque, is a rare treat.
A wide variety of topics are tackled in this year's documentary section, yet most evident are documentaries on music: Marley, El Gusto and Searching for Sugar Man. For the first time this year the programme includes a large selection of animated films and a master-class for professionals and students of animation. The master-class will be taught by the animation specialist Alexis Hulot. The project manager of cultural affairs at the European Union delegation Alejandro Ramilo asserted the willingness of the EU to encourage the access of different types of films in Egypt. “We have been supporting the Panorama since its beginning,” said Ramilo, adding that the event is not only important in terms for audience members but also for professionals in the film industry. “We would like to work more and more with the cinema industry,” he said.
The head of the Egyptian National Film Centre Kamal Abdel Aziz asked Khoury to make the Panorama a platform for young independent filmmakers to market their films and find producers. He also suggested holding lectures to discuss Egypt's film problems in depth. This year several guests working in the cinema industry will be participating. These include the French-Algerian director Rachid Djaidani, who made Red Heart Halkawt Mustafa, Estelle Larrivaz and Turkish director Safinaz Bousiba. The producer of Children of Sarjevo Francois d'Artemare will also be present.
Five daily screenings and three midnight screenings will be held throughout the week and each screening will offer 50 free tickets. The Panorama will publish a detailed programme soon.
Ahram Online is the official media sponsor of Panorama of the EuropeanFilm