Photo: Still from Melbourne, Iranian film, winner of the Golden Pyramid for the best film at 36th Cairo International Film Festival
With the pyramids in the background, the closing ceremony of the 36th Cairo International Film Festival, held on Tuesday 18 November. pulled the final curtain on the 10-day event.
Held at the Giza plateau for sound and light shows, the ceremony was attended by a number of important figures from Egypt's cinema and culture scene: Culture Minister Gaber Asfour, chairperson of the Cairo Opera House Ines Abdel-Dayem, actress Basma with her husband, political commentator and human rights activist Amr Hamzawy, actress Yousra and filmmakers Mossad Fouda and Khaled Youssef, among many others.
The festival, which opened on Sunday 9 November at Cairo's historic Salaheddin Citadel, included four international premieres, six world premiers and 55 Arab and African premieres. Pictures nominated as official Oscar entries for the 2015 race for Best Foreign Language Film by their respective countries were among the selections.
The festival opened with Fatih Akin's The Cut, a film that looks into the atrocities of the Armenian genocide, and closed with Greek drama feature Little England directed by Pantelis Voulgaris, the screening of which took place on Monday at the Cairo Opera House. During his speech at the closing ceremony, Voulgaris expressed his hopes that the movie will inspire audiences to visit Greece's many beautiful places. Little England is Greece's nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.
The closing ceremony began after almost an hour delay and included a performance titled Firebird, directed and choreographed by Walid Aouni.
Festival president Samir Farid announced the following awards:
- Golden Pyramid Prize for Best Film in the International Competition
Melbourne by Nima Javidi (Iran)
- Silver Pyramid Prize for Best Film in the International Competition
Forever by Margarita Manta (Greece)
- Silver Pyramid for Best Actor
Khaled Abol Naga for his role in Eyes of a Thief directed by Najwa Najjar (Palestine)
- Silver Pyramid for Best Actress
Adèle Haenel for her role in Love at First Fight directed by Thomas Cailley (France)
- Silver Pyramid for Best Screenwriting in the International Competition
The Boy and the World by Ale Abreu (Brazil)
- Silver Pyramid for Best Artistic Contribution in the International Competition
Zaki Aref for Gate of Departure (Egypt)
- Saad Eldin Wahba award for best artistic contribution
Director Kamal Kamal (Morocco) for Sotto Voce
- Salah Abou El Seif award for Best Arabic Film
Director Zeina Daccache (Lebanon) for Scheherazade's Diary
- Appreciation award given by jury of the Prospects of Arab Cinema competition
Theeb directed by Naji Abu Nowar (Jordan)
- Best Student Film award of LE 20,000 (USD 2,800)
Sentra and the Talking Trees directed by Cilla Werning (Finland)
- Best Short Film award of LE 30,000 (USD 4,200)
My Friend Nietzsche directed by: Fauston da Silva (Brazil)
- Certificate of appreciation for films:
Statues directed by Roberto Fiesco Trejo (Mexico), Student Film Competition
That Music directed by Camilo Cabera (Colombia), Short Films Competition
Darling directed by Isabela Plucinska (Germany), Short Films Competition