The 37th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) opened on Wedensday 11 November, bringing a selection of 120 films from around the world while commemorating a number of late Egyptian stars.
The Cairo International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the Middle East, as is mentioned on its website. The festival, headed by Magda Wassef, will run until 20 November, in an edition honoring late actress Faten Hamama.
The festival's opening film will be Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. Directed by Jonathan Demme, the film recounts the story of Ricki, a rockstar who chased her dreams of fame and abandoned her family. Ricki gets a chance to set things right and faces her estranged daughter and two sons.
Wassef announced that CIFF’s main competition brings 16 films to the screen from 14 countries.
One of the festival’s sections titled Festival of Festivals, will present films that participated in international film festivals in 2015, while another programme will focus on restored films, with a seminar on the topic of film restoration and the importance of preserving the history of cinema.
Upon the initiative from Faten Hamama’s family, an honorary prize entitled Faten Hamama Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Egyptian star Hussein Fahmy as well as Italian actress Claudia Cardinal. A number of Fahmy’s iconic films, as well as a book on his career will be part of a retrospective of the actor at the festival.
The prize itself will be designed by sculptor Adam Henein.
Another prize in Hamama’s name will be granted to actress Nelly Karim and director Farah Khan.
Hamama, Omar El-Sherif, and Nour El-Sherif will all be commemorated with screening of their films during the festival, in addition to the release of books on each of their lives.
This year's jury includes nine names from the cinemascape, including American actor and author Paul Auster, Moroccan director Laila Marrakchi, Egyptian director Marwan Hamed, Egyptian actress Dalia El-Beheiry among others.