THE PRESS conference of the 41st Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) (20-29 November) took place last Monday at the Semiramis InternContinental Hotel. Dedicating this edition of the festival to the late Artistic Director of CIFF Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, in the presence of a number of keynote speakers; CIFF President Mohamed Hefzi, Deputy Artistic Director Ahmed Shawki and Executive Director Omar Kassem revealed the details of the upcoming round. year’s edition.
The festival will open with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, written by Steven Zaillian based on a book by Charles Brandt, in its MENA premiere. Its sections include the International Competition, Official Selection – Out of Competition, Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition, International Critics’ Week Competition, Cinema of Tomorrow International Competition for Short Fiction Films, Special Screenings, International Panorama, Focus On Mexico, and Panorama of New Egyptian Films 2018-2019.
For the first time in the history of CIFF, the festival features 30 world or international premieres.
The international jury members include American writer Stephen Gaghan, Belgian director Marion Hansel, Mexican director Michel Franco, Italian director Daniele Luchetti, Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid and Chinese actress Qin Hailu.
The Faten Hamama Honorary Award will be given to American-British director Terry Gilliam and Egyptian filmmaker Sherif Arafa, while the Faten Hamama Excellence Award will be given to Egyptian actress Menna Shalabi.
Among the films participating in the International Competition is Marianne Khoury’s documentary Let’s Talk, A Certain Kind of Silence directed by Michal Hogenauer and the Romanian film Zafera, directed by Andrei Gruzsniczki.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 7 November, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.