Panorama of the European Film challenges Egyptian cinema industry

Rowan El Shimi, Monday 18 Nov 2013

Running in three cinemas across the capital from 27 November – 7 December ‘Panorama of the European Film’ brings over 50 award-winning films to Egyptian audiences

Panorama Press Conference (Photo: Courtesy of Misr International Films - Youssef Chahine)

In its sixth edition – running from 27 November to 7 December – the Panorama of the European Film brings to Manial's Galaxy Cinema, Sheikh Zayed's Americana Plaza and Nasr City's Starts Cinema, an array of Arab, European and international films previously featured in the most prestigious festivals worldwide.

During the 17 November press conference, Marianne Khoury – president of the panorama and head of Misr International Films-Youssef Chahine, the production company running the event – announced that this year’s edition is thriving despite the political instability witnessed by the capital over the past months.

“And since the curfew is over, you can also catch the midnight shows,” she told the audience.

A long-awaited yearly event for Cairo cinema lovers, Panorama will feature over 50 films clustered into several screening categories: European Selection (the main component of the event), Documentary Rendez-Vous (a selection from Europe and the Arab world), First Time Directors (films by emerging directors), and Panorama Classics (three recently-restored old films).

In addition to the main selections, the event will also screen the films completed through the ‘Women in New Egypt’ workshop, hosted by Misr International Films-Youssef Chahine and the British Embassy in support of emerging Egyptian filmmakers engaged in short films on Egyptian women.

In focus this year is Nordic cinema, featuring four films: The Deep (Iceland), A Hijacking and Northwest (Denmark) as well as the Panorama's opening film Kon-Tiki (Norway), this year's largest European production.

Paying special tribute to acclaimed French filmmaker Claire Denis, the 6th Panorama will screen her films Beau Travail and White Material. The director, one of the event's prominent guests, is scheduled to give a talk.

Khoury announced the Panorama's strong focus this year on 'Education and Cinema.' Invitations have been extended to schools and universities for student attendance of the 15 films to be screened during morning shows specifically for this purpose. A conference will also be held on 30 November-1 December to train 100 teachers on the use of cinema within education, along with discussions on the possibilities of integrating cinema into the Egyptian educational system.

Programme Highlights: Egypt

This year’s selection represents an accomplishment for Egyptian cinema, as some of the films to be screened have reaped awards at celebrated festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlinaire, Dubai and others.

Panorama will host the Egypt premiere of Villa 69 – recipient of this year's Special Jury Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival's New Horizons Competition – by Egyptian filmmaker Ayten Amin and starring Khaled Abul-Naga.

Among the highly awaited films is Jehane Noujaim's documentary on the Egyptian 25 January Revolution titled The Square, which won the Audience Award earlier this year at Sundance – based merely on its rough cut – along with the People’s Choice Award at this year's Toronto Film Festival.

Other Egyptian entries include Hala Lotfy's Coming Forth by Day, recipient of multiple festival awards, and Saad Hindawy's Doaa…Aziza, nominated for the Muhr Award at the Dubai Film Festival this year.

The remainder of the programme similarly promises filmmaking excellence and an alternative take on cinema, with a focus on art house films, rather than Hollywood blockbusters and the usual staple of Egyptian films available in cinemas throughout the year.


Panorama of the European Film will run from 27 November till 7 December.

Tickets are fixed to LE15 during morning shows (10am and 1pm) and LE25 for evening shows (3pm, 6pm, 9pm and midnight). Journalists, critics and students are invited to free attendance of the morning and afternoon (3pm) shows.

Galaxy Cinema
67 Abdel-Aziz Al-Saoud Street, Al-Manial

Stars Cinema
Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Street, City Stars Mall, Nasr City

Plaza Cinema
Americana Plaza Mall, Sheikh Zayed

The Panorama's detailed programme will be available on Ahram Online in the coming days. However, you can view the official selection here, and the participating films' synopses and trailers following the links on the page.

Ahram Online is a media sponsor of the 2013 Panorama of the European Film.

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