Some organisers, jury members and winners on the stage at the closing of the Alexandria Film Festival for Mediterranean Countries 38th edition, Monday 10 October, Alexandria
The 92-minute road-drama production is directed by Salah Issaad who wrote the script in cooperation with Soula Bahri, portraying the lead character.
The multi-award film premiered at the Red Sea Film Festival and is inspired by a true story of a single mother who faced tremendous social pressures.
Soula’s Arthur Fanget has also won best direction of photography award.
The White Fortress wins big
Best script, best actor, and best actress awards went to The White Fortress (Bosnia and Herzegovina), directed by Igor Drlikaca and starring Sumeja Dardagan and Pavle Cemerikic.
Dardagan was named best actress while Cemerikic shared the best actor award with Dylan Turner of the Conversation (Croatia).
Director Matteo Tortone’s Mother Lode (France, Italy, Switzerlan) won the jury award.
Amalia Ulman’s The Planeta (USA, Spain) won best script for first work.
With 14 films competing, the jury of the Narrative Competition, headed by Egyptian director Khairy Beshara, gathered Bosnian director Miroslav Mandić, French director Brice Cauvin, Italian director Giuliana Gamba and Syrian actor Ahmed Al-Ahmed.
In the short film competition Nour Khair Alanam’s Fun Fair (Syria) was named best short film, Rok Bicek’s Penalty Shot (Croatia, Austria, Slovenia) won the jury award, and Alexandra Matheou’s A Summer Place (Cyprus) received a special mention.
With 21 films participating, the jury of the Short Film competition is headed by Montenegrin critic Maja Bogojevic and includes Greek director Maria Lafi, Italian director Enrico Cerasuolo, Egyptian director Hala Khalil, and Tunisian director Chaqra Rammah.
Held from 5-10 October at the coastal city of Alexandria, the AFFMC screened a total of 90 films from 29 countries in its official competitions, unofficial competitions, and parallel programmes.
Named after Egyptian actor Mahmoud Hemida, the AMCFF's 38th edition paid tribute to many artists. Each work was discussed in separate talks, master-classes, and seminars.
The festival was attended by dozens of Egyptian, Arab and international filmmakers, casts, crews, and cultural personas.
The honorees included Egyptian director Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, Egyptian actress Donia Samir Ghanem, Egyptian historian Emam Omar, Egyptian producer Wageeh El-leithy, Egyptian director Said Hamed, French actress Marriane Borgo, Greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti, and Egyptian actress Nora Armani.
Special tributes were made to late Egyptian artists. The list included director Fatin Abdel-Wahab, musician Ali Ismail, cinematographer Abeya Farid, editor Said El-Chiekh, as well as actors Samir Ghanem, Dalal Abdel-Aziz, Ismail Yassin and Samir Sabri.
The festival also paid a special tribute to Spanish director Carlos Saura and celebrated Tunisian cinema.
The AFFMC is organised by the Egyptian Association of Cinema Authors and Critics, headed by its president El-Amir Abaza who celebrated 10 years as manager of the festival.
The AFFMC is sponsored by the Egyptian ministries of culture, tourism, and social solidarity, as well as Alexandria governorate and many private companies.