Artists from across Africa gathered in Luxor on Monday evening, 18 March, to celebrate the inauguration of the Luxor African Film Festival on its second session.
The festival opened with the screening of Saheret Al- Harb (Witch War), a joint Congolese Canadian by director Kim Knjuan. Prior to the screening, festival head Sayed Fouad said, "The message of the festival is to support and encourage the production of African films and provide an opportunity for achieving a sustainable partnership between the countries of the continent."
During the opening, Fouad along with Governor Ezzat Azab honoured a number of prominent Egyptian and African artists including Egyptian actress Youssra, film critic Samir Farid, director Showikar Khaifa, and the late Atef El-Tayeb.
Among the attendees, 17 Egyptian artists, including Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz, and Leila Elwi, Mahmoud Hamida, Elham Shahin, Hala Sidqi, Khaled Youssef, and Khaled Saleh have joined the festivities, in addition to more than a dozen from across Africa.
In an interview with MENA, Elwi expressed her excitement with this year's festival, "It is a proof to the world that Egypt is still alive, safe, and well," she said. "We must all join this festival to support the county's ailing tourism and economy," Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz told MENA as well.
Also, Nigerian animation filmmaker Mustafa Hassan, Tunisian critic and founder of Carthage Film Festival Tahir Sharia, and Mali director Solimon Seyyaere were honoured. Furthermore, film director Othman Semini held a special seminar on Wednesday 20 March, dicussing his participating film Sehr El-Ganoub (The Charm of the South), which captures the life and career of Seyya.
The Luxor African Film Festival runs until 24 March and features a competition of a total of 100 films from 35 countries, including ten films shown outside the official competition and eight films about the Arab Spring revolutions of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen,and Syria. The festival includes 20 animation films from nine countries and over 30 feature films and documentaries.