Despite the ongoing coronavirus scare, the great Egyptian city of Luxor is still seeing artistic activity as the ninth edition of the Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) opened on Friday at Luxor Temple with dozens of Arab, African and international artists, filmmakers and critics attending its various activities.
Monday activities were halted for a few hours early in the day for checking and examining the hotel guests as part of an ongoing campaign in the city.
The culture ministry, one of the mega sponsors of the event, launched last week an awareness campaign for the coronavirus and other viruses.
The festival, running until 12 March, is catching the attention of many Egyptian celebrities, including the event's honorary president Mahmoud Hemida as well as Lebleba and Elham Shahin.
Alongside the screening of dozens of films from Africa, various workshops are being held in addition to tribute ceremonies to artists including actors Amr Abdel-Gelil, Zeina and Mostafa Sha'aban.
The festival is also paying tribute to Senegalese actress Maimouna N'Diaye, Malian actor Sotigui Kouyaté, Egyptian actress and singer Akila Ratib, Tunisian producer Ahmed Bahaeddine Attia and Egyptian director Usama Fawzi.
Senegalese actress Maimouna N'Diaye
Eleven films are competing in the full-length feature competition, eight in the full-length documentary competition, 17 in the short film competition, and seven in the diaspora competition, a new category which looks at the creations by Africans from outside the continent.
Under the helm of writer Sayed Fouad and director Azza El-Husseiny, the 2020 edition is named after iconic Egyptian actor Farid Shawky, whose family members, including his daughter and actress Rania, attending the event.
Kenya is this year’s country of honour and the festival will focus on the younger generation of Kenyan filmmakers.
The opening film of the event will be Wonder Box, which is directed by Emad El-Bahat and features Khaled El-Sawy, Rania Youssef, Salah Abdallah and Bassem Samra.
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