The 38th Cairo International Film Festival to screen over two hundred films

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Oct 2016

Festival president announces plans for 2016 edition; defends exclusion of In the Last Days of the City; promises smoother organisation

Cairo International Film Festival
Press conference of the 38th Cairo International Film Festival took place on 27 October 2016. (Photo: Ahram Online)

The Cairo International Film Festival's administration announced Thursday that 204 films will be screened in this year's event, which runs from 15 to 24 November.

The 38th CIFF is directed by Magda Wassef, with Youssef Cherif Rizkallah as artistic director and Mahmoud Hemeda as honourary president.

In a press conference on Thursday, Wassef said that this year's programme will use popular cinema houses in Downtown Cairo as venues, including Cinema Karim and Cinema Odeon.

The films will be shown in 382 screenings, at a rate of four per day.

Wassef announced that this year the festival will use a digitised ticket-booking process through and will offer the public a mobile app to navigate the programme schedule.

Last year’s festival witnessed several minor stampedes at entry points and a lack of coordination with the press and holders of free or discounted tickets.

The festival will host several workshops and talks, including a seminar on legislation to regulate the film industry. “Any change needs a legal framework, and that is what Egyptian cinema needs," Wasef said.

The Faten Hamamma Awards will be awarded this year to late Egyptian director Mohamed Khan, Egyptian actor Yehia El-Fakharany, Palestinian producer Hussien El-Qala, Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy, and Malian director Cheick Oumar Sissoko.

The guest of honour at this year's festival will be China, with around 20 Chinese films to be screened and more than 20 guest speakers, directors, and experts on Chinese cinema scheduled to participate in seminars.

On the controversy surrounding the festival's decision to revoke the participation of the Egyptian film In the last Days of the City, Wassef told reporters the film's producers did not respect the festival's request not to tour the film in international festivals.

"Yom Lel Setat (A Day for Women), the film by Kamla Abou-zekri, respected the festival's rules and turned down offers to participate in other international festival before CIFF," Wassef said.

She said the director of In the last Days of the City rejected an offer to submit the film in the section Prospects for Arab Cinema, and insisted on participation in the International Competition.

“When the film is Egyptian, it should respect the rules of its country's festival,” Wassef added, arguing that screening the film in different festivals “spoils the film for the festival's audience.”

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