Shortly before the announcement of the final awards, the 40th Cairo International Film Festival's management announced the Audience Award was cancelled due to technical problems which led to low voter turnout.
The award’s prize money of $20,000, will be given instead to the winner of the Golden Pyramid Award, the highest honour at the CIFF.
“During the past few days, the festival management has noticed the low turnout of e-voting on the international competition for the Audience Award,” said Festival President Mohamed Hefzy, according to the press release.
“We have studied the situation to find the technical difficulties that have caused it. To retain the value and credibility of our various awards, the management consulted with the jury (presided by Danish director Bille August), to grant the monetary value of the award to the winner of the Golden Pyramid.”
The president further clarified, “the Audience Award will only be cancelled for this edition. We must find a voting system which is better suited to Cairene audiences, and therefore, in the next edition, audiences will have the possibility to vote electronically or on paper.”
The Audience Award was among the new additions to the festival this year, as a result of Hefzy’s initiative.
During the festival's closing ceremony on 29 November, the Golden Pyramid Award winner was given to A Twelve-Year Night, directed by Álvaro Brechner.
The 40th edition of the CIFF took place from 21 to 29 November.
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