Soft opening of the National Cinema Festival with an exhibition (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic news site)
The 22nd edition of the National Cinema Festival in Egypt opened on Monday under the slogan "Unforgettable Moments", the festival will run until 13 November, with a closing ceremony at Manesterly Palace where competition winners will be announced.
The festival, which is organised by the Cultural Development Fund, has four main sections: feature length films, short films, documentaries, and animation. Each section includes a large number of directorial debuts.
The festival will feature 17 feature films, six of which are in the First Work Competition; 48 short fiction films, including 16 directorial debuts; 19 short documentaries, with 10 debuts; 16 documentaries over 15 minutes, 10 of which are debuts; and 21 animation films, with seven debuts.
Each day will have three screenings, followed by an audience discussion with a critic, or a film director.
In Cairo, screenings will be held at Cinema El-Hadara Hall for feature films, and in Hanager Cinema for short fiction, documentaries and animation films.
To decentralise the festival and reach audiences outside of Cairo, screenings will take place at cultural palaces across 12 Egyptian cities; Alexandria, Assiut, Minya, Ismailia, Port Said, South Sinai, Aswan, Luxor, Shelatin, Tanta, Marsa Matrouh and Beheira.
Additionally there will be screenings at the National Egyptian Library, and three Cairo sports clubs: Ahly Club, El-Sayd Club, and El-Tawfeqeya Club.
The festival will honour several Egyptian cinema stars: actor Hussein Fahmy, actress Nadia El-Guindy, director of photography Mahmoud Abdelsamea, film editor Enayat El-Sayes, and director and critic Sayed Said.
For the festival’s El-Khaledoun (The Immortals) book series, it will release a book on pioneering Egyptian-Palestinian producer and director Ibrahim Lama (who worked in the 1930s and 1940s).
It will also honour two others known for their work behind the camera, scenographer Mahmoud Maghraby, and photographer Mohamed Bakr.
On the fringes of the festival is an exhibition titled Shahat El-Gharam (Love Beggar), showcasing film stills, posters and interviews with late stars Laila Morad and Mohamed Fawzy, to celebrate the centennial of their births.
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