The 19th edition of the Egyptian National Film Festival kicked off on 7 October at the Cairo Opera House under the title ‘Aflamna, Meraatana’ (Our films: a reflection of us) and runs until 16 October.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Culture Helmy El-Namnam, head of the Culture Development Fund Mohamed Abu-Seada, as well as an array of filmmakers and artists.
A film carrying this round's same name and directed by Egypt’s Shady Srour was screened at the opening ceremony.
This was followed by screenings of five films under the title The Suez Canal: A People’s Story. The screened films included: 72 Kilometre (Haitham Khalil, 2015), Mosafer Lel Shamal, Mosafer Lel Ganoub (Travelling North, Travelling South, 1973) by Samir Ouf, and Shafika Wa Metwaly (Ali Badrakhan,1978).
The festival honoured five Egyptians who have left a mark on the cinema industry: actor Yehia El-Fakharani, actress Laila Elwy, screenwriter Mostafa Moharram, cinematographer Essam Farid, and set designer Mahmoud Mohsen.
Meanwhile, the head of the festival, director Samir Seif, stated that Egyptian cinema lost many of its icons in 2015.
He added that this year’s edition will organise an array of lectures about some of the late Egyptian icons, including Faten Hamama, Omar Sharif, Nabeeha Lotfy, Raafat El-Meehy, and Nour El-Sherif.
El-Namnam also opened an exhibition titled Fetawwa Wa Shabab (Springtime and Youth), organised by the festival and celebrating Egyptian director Salah Abou Seif’s one-hundredth birthday. The exhibition is currently running at El-Hanager Theatre, and is under the supervision of film critic Safaa El-Leithy.
Egyptian writer Youssef El-Qaeid heads this edition's jury on feature films and film director Ahmed Fouad Darwish heads the jury on shorts, documentaries and animation films.
The festival’s screenings will be held at the Cairo Opera House’s Small Hall, El-Hanager Theatre, in addition to Alexandria's Freedom Centre for Creativity.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture