Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem announced that producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy has been selected as the President of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) while well-known critic and TV personality Youssef Sherif Rizkalla will serve this edition's artistic director.
Hefzy succeeds film critic Magda Wassef as CIFF president. Previously, he was on the Advisory Board of CIFF, was an advisor for the Cairo Film Connection (CFC) and a jury member of the 2010 edition.
“I have attended the Cairo International Film Festival as an audience member, a filmmaker, and then a member of the festival's team in recent years. To be chosen as president of one of the most important and oldest festivals in the Arab world; I've mixed feelings of happiness and responsibility," Hefzy stated on his official Facebook page.
"What I am thinking about now is how to develop the festival, solve the problems of the previous editions, and build on previous efforts and achievements," he continued.
"What makes me enthusiastic is the chance to cooperate with the prominent Youssef Sherif Rizkalla as he continues in his position as the Artistic Director of the Festival. I'm very thankful to the Minister of Culture, Ines Abdel-Dayem, for her confidence in me," Hefzy concluded.
He is also a former director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts.
Since 2013, Hefzy has been a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema, and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.
Hefzy has served as a jury member previously at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival in 2011, as well as several other local and Arab festivals.
Screen International named him as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production in 2013.
In 2016, he was chosen by Variety for the top spot on the list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry.
His films have been featured widely in major film festivals, including
Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto and have won more than 80 international awards.
In 2016, one of his latest productions, Clash, was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival.
Hefzy is the founder of Film Clinic, now considered one of the leading production companies in Egypt and the Arab world.
Aside from his work as a writer and producer, Hefzy is a film activist who offers workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with international organizations and institutes.
Mohamed Hefzy talks to Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem (Photo: courtesy of MAD Solutions Company)
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