30 African countries sign up for new Egyptian film festival

Ahram Online, Thursday 5 Jan 2012

Film-makers from across the continent will participate in the new Luxor African Film Festival that aims to improve relations and tourism within the region

The first ever Luxor African Film Festival, aimed at strengthening regional humanitarian and political ties through cinematography, announced the participation of 30 countries from across the continent.

The festival, which is run by the Independent Shabab foundation, plans to produce at least 15 films throughout the events and to assist 45 young filmmakers in their careers, as well as boosting local and African tourism in Egypt.

The countries now confirmed for the festival, which will take place from 21 -28 February, include Sudan, South Africa, Morocco, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Benin, Algeria, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Uganda and Ivory Coast.

Film students will be given the chance to participate in a workshop with one of Egypt’s most celebrated filmmakers, Samir Seif, whose career spans over 30 years. The event, which is part of the festival’s “Forum for Cinema Students in the African Continent”, will involve screenings and analysis of the students’ work.

Veteran Egyptian filmmaker Dawood Abdel Sayed and Ethiopian Filmmaker Haile Gerima, whose film Sankofa won him international acclaim, will be honoured in the festival which is to be dedicated to the late Egyptian filmmaker Radwan El-Kashef.

The award-winning filmmaker who passed away in 2002, worked with Youssef Chahine, the director credited with launching Omar Sharif’s career, and Dawood Abdel Sayed.

El-Kashef made three feature films Arak El-Balah (Date Wine) which took two international awards, Leh Ya Banafseg (Why, Violet?) and his most recent work Al -Saher (The Magician) as well as a short film Al-Janoubiya (The Southern Woman), his graduation project, which won “best debut” at the Ministry of Culture awards in 1988. 

Among the films that will be featured at the festival is A Screaming Man (Chad) which won the Jury Prize at the internationally renowned Cannes Film Festival in 2010. Also screened will be the award-winning All That way for Love (Kenya), Burning in the Sun (Mali), Everyone’s Child (Zimbabwe), La Nuit Du Destin (Algeria) and Congo River (Congo).

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