Award winning Egyptian film In The Last Days of the City will compete in the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) as the second film representing Egypt in the festival's official competition.
The other film is Kamla Abouzekri’s Yom Lel Setat (A Day for Women) which was announced as the festival's opening film.
Tamer El-Said's first feature sees his alter-ego, actor Khalid Abdalla, star as a Cairo-based filmmaker struggling to make a film about the city, which is in a state of uproar.
The film is written by El-Said and Rasha Salti, and features Egyptian actors Khalid Abdalla, Laila Samy, Hanan Youssef, Maryam Saleh, Ali Sobhi, Iraqi actor Basim Hajar and Lebanese Bassem Fayad.
In The Last Days of the Citywon the Grand Prix at the Polish MFF T-Mobile Nowe Horyzonty Film Festival in Wroclaw, after premiering at the Berlinale where it won the Caligari film prize and was the only entry by an Egyptian director to take part in the 46th annual Berlinale Forum.
El-Said also won the Best Director award at Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI), one of the most important independent film festivals in Latin America.
The film was selected to screen at many international festivals this year, including the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia, the Pesaro Film Festival in Italy, Olhar de Cinema - Curitiba International Film Festival in Brazil, and Valletta Film Festival in Malta.
A graduate in film direction from the High Institute of Cinema in 2008, El-Said is an Egyptian filmmaker, writer and producer who lives and works in Cairo.
The 38th CIFF is headed by Magda Wassef, with Youssef Cherif Rizkallah as its artistic director, and Mahmoud Hemeda as its honorary president.
Shakespeare will be this edition’s "special guest," with screenings of local and international films either inspired by the playwright's dramaturgy or that are cinematic adaptations of his plays.
The committee responsible for film selection was announced in May and comprises a number of prominent Egyptian critics, including Essam Zakaria, Magdi Tayeb, Magda Khairallah, Magda Morris, Hanan Abu Diaa, Khaled Mahmud, Amal El-Gamal, Mohammed Atef, Nihad Ibrahim, Andrew Mohsen, Safa Laithi and Mahmoud El-Ghitani.
The festival’s advisory committee includes actress Yousra, lawyer Mona Zulficar, screenwriter and producer Mohamed Hefzy, scriptwriter Mariam Naoum, director Mohamed Diab, director Mohamed Qaliouby, and critic Tarek El Shennawy.
In July, Magda Wassef announced in a press release that five halls would screen the festival’s films this year-- three in Odeon Cinema and two halls in Cinema Karim.
With Cairo Opera House’s five screening halls, the total number of screening rooms will be 10, expanding the festival’s audience capacity.
This decision comes four years after the festival halted screenings in Downtown Cairo for security reasons and has since been confined to screening films within the Cairo Opera House grounds.
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