Egyptian critic Essam Zakaria named artistic director of Cairo Int’l Film Festival

Ati Metwaly , Monday 22 Apr 2024

Essam Zakaria, one of the most important Egyptian critics and researchers, has been appointed the artistic director of the upcoming 45th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).

Essam Zakaria


Zakaria is the head of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts (IIFFDS), whose 25th edition was last February.

He wrote hundreds of articles on literary and film criticism, authored 10 books about Egyptian and international cinema, and translated several publications about cinema from English and German to Arabic.

Zakaria served as the editor-in-chief of Nazra Magazine, as an instructor at the Film Programme at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and as a supervisor of the Jesuit Film School in Alexandria.

He has worked with numerous festivals in various capacities, including joining as a jury member.

Zakaria will replace Amir Ramses, an Egyptian filmmaker who served as the festival’s artistic director in its 44th edition in 2022, with actor Hussein Fahmy serving as the festival's president.

This upcoming edition was originally scheduled for 15-24 November 2023. However, Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilany postponed it shortly after the start of the Israeli war on Gaza on 7 October, amid numerous cancellations of cultural events across the Arab world in solidarity with Palestine.

The dates of the 45th CIFF are yet to be revealed.


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