42nd Cairo Int'l Film Festival reveals 10 of its most anticipated award-winning films

Ahram Online , Wednesday 7 Oct 2020

The Cairo International Film Festival will be held 2-10 December


The management of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) has revealed 10 of the most-anticipated films to take part in the festival's 42nd edition (2-10 December).

Festival president Mohamed Hefzy revealed in a press release that “aside from the soon-to-be-announced world and international premieres and competition titles, the programming team is proud to include a collection of the most important and anticipated films of the year for the audience of Cairo, many of which are poised to be frontrunners of the award season after collecting critical praise in festivals in Venice, Toronto and Berlin earlier in the year."

The films that will take part in the 42nd CIFF include:


This American film is the winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, making it the frontrunner for the Academy Award for Best Film.

Directed by Chloé Zhao and starring Oscar winner Frances McDormand, Nomadland is a somber story of the resilient discards of an unforgiving economy, told with stirring power and grace. The Cairo International Film Festival will be presenting it in the official section, out of competition.


A German-French drama, Undine is winner of two awards at the Berlin Film Festival (Best Actress for lead star Paula Beer as well the FIPRESCI prize). During CIFF, the film will be screened out of competition.

The latest work by Christian Petzold, who presided over the jury of the international competition of CIFF in its 38th edition, the film focuses on Undine who works as a historian lecturing on Berlin's urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, an ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.

Gaza Mon Amour

A Palestinian film, winner of the NETPAC award (Best Asian Film) at the Toronto Film Festival, Gaza Mon Amour is one of the most prominent Arab films of 2020. The film will participate in CIFF's international competition. A co-production between France, Germany, Portugal and Palestine, and directed by Tarzan Nasser and Arab Nasser, the film premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival before winning the NETPAC award.

The story revolves around a lonely elderly man that falls in love with a seamstress as he discovers an ancient statue that will change his life.

Gaza Mon Amour
Gaza Mon Amour

The Disciple

This Indian production won best screenplay and the FIPRESCI award at the Venice Film Festival, and will be featured out of competition.

Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane and produced by the Oscar-winning Alfonso Cuarón, the film’s story revolves around a young Indian boy who dedicates his life to following his dream of becoming a classical Indian singer.

Mogul Mowgli

A British-American production directed by Bassam Tariq and starring Riz Ahmed (also co-writer), the film won the FIPRESCI prize for the Panorama section.

The film follows the journey of a British Pakistani rapper who is on the cusp of his first world tour, but is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break. The film will also screen in the official selection, out of competition.


A German-Belgium-Kosovo production, directed by Visar Morina, the film will screen within CIFF's Panorama section. The film won the Heart of Sarajevo for best feature film at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Exile tells the story of a chemical engineer of foreign origin who feels discriminated against and bullied at work, plunging him into an identity crisis.



A British film and one of the most prominent official selections of the Cannes Film Festival, Limbo premiered in Toronto, before winning the Youth Jury Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival earlier last month. The film will compete in the international competition of CIFF's 42nd edition.

Directed by Ben Sharrock and starring Egyptian actor Amir Al-Masry, the film presents a different perspective on the problems of refugees in Europe.

The Conference

Directed by Ivan Tverdovskiy, at CIFF the film will be also competing in the international competition. A Russia-Estonia-UK-Italy co-production, the film received a special mention from the jury of Venice Days.

Many years after a deadly terrorist siege in a Moscow theatre, survivor Natasha returns to the crime scene to hold a memorial evening, finally able to confront her survivor guilt and her estranged daughter and husband.

New Order

This distopian thriller is a winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. The film will screen in the official selection, out of competition.

Directed by Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco, New Order's story is set during a wedding for members of a wealthy upper-class family, interrupted with the arrival of unexpected guests and turbulent events that overturn the country.


A production of Greece, Poland and Slovenia, and directed by Christos Nikou, the film will be screened within CIFF's International Panorama section and will have its MENA premiere after its debut as the opening film of the Orrizonti Competition of the Venice Film Festival.

The film's story revolves around a mysterious worldwide pandemic that causes humans to suffer sudden amnesia, and is focused on a character who finds himself enrolled in a recovery programme designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities.


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