The Alexandria Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries will draw its curtains on its 30th edition on Monday 15 September.
The closing ceremony is set to kick off with a short film showcasing some of the most important scenes in Egyptian cinema including excerpts from Al-Karnak (named after governorate in Luxor), Sawwa Al-Autobees (“The Bus Driver”) and Shay Men Al-Khouf (“Something from Fear”).
The ceremony will also a feature a song highlighting the importance of maintaining movie theatres. The song also calls for the return of family movie nights, which traditionally saw families going to see movies together on the weekends.
Following the award ceremony, Before the Spring, a feature film directed by Ahmed Atef will be screened. The film stars Ahmed Tawfik, Hanan Metawe and Hana Shiha, who is expected to win the best actress award for her role.
The festival faced some issues this year, particularly regarding the schedule of films and locations of screenings. The schedule was not followed and many among the audience, even those who followed the festival closely, felt lost throughout its operation.
On the other hand, discussions led by silver screen magnates Nour El-Sharif and Nadia El-Guindy were well-attended, by audiences and press alike.
Palestine was at the center of the festival with the screening of Omar, a film nominated for an Oscar last year in the Best Foreign Film category. During a discussion about the film, director Hani Abou Asad said that Omar reflects a rising awareness of the occupation. While Palestinian director Layali Badr was among the guests that attended this year's edition, the festival's organisers were unable to secure a copy of Villa Touma by Israeli-Arab filmmaker Suha Arraf, which follows the lives of three women who trap themselves in their home, refusing to acknowledge life post 1967.
The 30th edition of the Alexandria Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries is celebrating the 125th birthday of legendary English actor Charlie Chaplin and screened two of his classic movies, as well as feature films from 27 countries between 10-16 September.