Heralding a Fresh Beginning for MENA's Long-Standing Film Festival
36th CIFF Unveils Full Program and Film Line-up
In a press conference held on Tuesday at the Artistic Creativity Centre, Cairo Opera House, Samir Farid, Festival President of 36th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), unveiled the full program of the highly-anticipated film event. It was revealed that the International Competition features 16 films from across 14 countries whereas the festival's Special Screenings section will include 13 films.
In the conference, Farid discussed the festival's parti-colored line-up. He revealed that the official sections boast 64 feature-length films from 30 countries; including 28 features from Europe, 6 from Latin-America and 5 from Canada and the USA; representing the world's industry heavyweights.
Remarking on the festivals' mission, Farid added that film festivals play a key role in promoting films with aesthetically artistic value through introducing these works to a festival-oriented audience. He also stated that this edition features 48 films receiving their MENA and African premieres in addition to 5 international premieres (outside countries of production) as well as 4 world premieres.
For the first time, CIFF will feature documentaries and animation films within the International Competition; 3 documentaries and 2 animation films are contending with 11 feature-length narrative films. The competition's jury list include Egyptian star Yousra as the Jury President, and jurors include Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai, Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima, Dutch producer Corinne van Egeraat, French director Dominique Cabrera, Lebanese critic Ibrahim Al Arees, Greek critic Alexis Grivas, Egyptian scriptwriter Mariam Naoum and cinematographer Nancy Abdel Fattah.
Festival of Festivals section encompasses highly-lauded films that have been part of prestigious international film festivals in 2014. These films include Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard's writing/directing effort, which received the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival. David Cronenberg's global hit Maps to the Stars, which won its leading star Julianne Moore the Best Actress Award at Cannes Film Festival, will also screen within the section. Likewise, Festival of Festivals section includes Volker Schl√∂ndorff's most recent film Diplomacy, in addition to Alain Resnais' Life of Riley, which marks the last work by the late legendary French auteur.
Through its Special Screenings section, CIFF will present a special bundle of 13 films that do not match the festival's conditions in the International Competition. Featuring films from across the world, the film line-up includes the festival's opener ,The Cut by Fatih Akin, the British Queen and Country, which is written and directed by John Boorman, Red Amnesia by Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai and Greek director Pantelis Voulgaris' Little England, which screens at the festival's closing ceremony. The section will also screen 4 Arabic films including Ahmad Abdalla's Decor, landing its MENA and African premiere at CIFF; Ali Mostafa's A to B in its international premiere outside the UAE; the documentary Silvered Water, Syria Welf-Portrait by Ossama Mohammed and Wiam Simav Bedirxan; in addition to the war epic Wall of Heroism in its long-awaited world premiere.
The festival's official sections include: Feature Film Classics, Short Film Classics and Films on Films, which boasts 8 documentaries and narrative films produced between 2013 and 2014. This section showcases films on filmmaking and cinema.
CIFF has selected the Greek Cinema to be the festival's National Cinema Guest of Honor. Celebrating the centennial of the Greek cinema, this section showcases 11 features produced between 1955 and 2011 by leading Greek filmmakers including Michael Cacoyannis, Nikos Koundouros, Jules Dassin, Pantelis Voulgaris, Theo Angelopoulos and Menelaos Karamaghiolis.
The 36th CIFF will grant the Naguib Mahfouz - Lifetime Achievement Award (The Memorial Golden Pyramid) for a lofty distinguished filmmakers including French intellect Jack Lang, Italian director Simone Massi, German auteur Volker Schl√∂ndorff, Moroccan filmmaker Noureddine Sail and Egyptian actress Nadia Loutfy, whose photo graces CIFF's official poster.
Part of its Parallel Programs, CIFF hosts Prospects of Arab Cinema (PAC) competition. Taking place in November 10-18, 2014, the competition is organized by Egyptian Film Critic Association (EFCA). Held on the margins of Cairo's prestigious film event, PAC Director, Sayed Fouad, revealed the contending films; 8 features produced between 2013 and 2014. The competition stands as a pan-Arab event including films such as Jordanian feature Theeb by director Naji Abu Nowar; Egyptian filmmaker Ibrahim El Batout's The Cat (El Ott); Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako's Timbuktu; Rashid Masharawi's Palestine Stereo; and Lebanese Zeina Daccache's Scheherazade Diary. The competition's jury consists of Egyptian actress Layla Olwy, Jury President and jurors; Lebanese critic Mohammed Rouda and Tunisian film producer Nejib Ayed.
Following the steps of high-ranking international festivals, CIFF, for the first, will set off Cairo International Film Critics' Week - member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI). Organized by Egyptian Film Critics Association (EFCA), the competition will showcase 7 feature-length works by first and second time directors. The contenders are vying for the Shadi Abd El Salam Award for Best Film (50,000 EGP), and Fathy Farag Award for Best Artistic Contribution (25,000 EGP). In the conference, Ahmed Hassouna, Director of the Film Critics' Week, revealed that Tunisian critic Khemais Khayati will be heading the competition as the Jury President, and the jurors include The Hollywood Reporter's Film Editor Deborah Young and German Barbara Lorey. Taking place in November 10-16, 2014, Hassouna added that the competition will open with the documentary Dancing with Maria.
Saad Hindawi, Director of International Cinema of Tomorrow (ICT), announced the competition's line-up includes 32 short films from 25 countries. Organized by the Students Union of the High Cinema Institute in Egypt, ICT marks CIFF's first short film competition. The jury encompasses Egyptian director Khairy Beshara as Jury President along with jurors; French filmmaker Geroges Bollon, who has actively contributed to the establishment of Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, and Lebanese actress Nada Abou Farahat. The winning contenders will receive Youssef Chahine Award for the Best Short Film and Mohamed Karim Award for Best Student Film. The two awards value amounts to 60,000 EGP.
International Competition Film Lineup:
Five Star | Narrative | USA | Director: Keith Miller
And there Was Evening and there Was Morning | Narrative | Italy | Director: Emanuele Caruso
The Boy and the World | Animation | Brazil | Director: Al√™ Abreu
Charlie's Country | Narrative | Australia | Director: Rolf de Heer
Eyes of a Thief | Narrative | Palestine | Director: Najwa Najjar
Forever| Narrative| Greece| Director: Margarita Manda
Giovanni's Island | Animation | Japan | Director: Mizuho Nishikubo
Love at First Fight | Narrative | France | Director: Thomas Cailley
Melbourne | Narrative | Iran | Director: Nima Javidi
Miss Brackets, the Baby-Sitter, the Bastard Grandson and Emma Su√°rez | Narrative | Spain | Director: Sergio Candel
Red, Blue, Yellow | Documentary | UAE | Director: Nujoom Al Ghanem
Sand Dollars | Narrative | Dominican Republic | Director: Laura Amelia Guzm√°n - Israel C√°rdenas
The Gate of Departure | Narrative | Egypt | Director: Karim Hanafy
The Blinding Sunlight | Narrative | China | Director: Liu Yu
Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People | Documentary | USA | Director: Thomas Allen Harris
We Come as Friends | Documentary | France | Director: Hubert Sauper
Awards of the International Competition
The Golden Pyramid for Best Film (Granted to the director)
The Silver Pyramid for Best Director
The Silver Pyramid for Best Screenplay
The Silver Pyramid for Best Actor
The Silver Pyramid for Best Actress
The Silver Pyramid for Best Artistic Contribution