Cairo International Film Festival kicks off with a glamourous ceremony



Wed, 16 Nov 2022 - 08:44 GMT


Wed, 16 Nov 2022 - 08:44 GMT

File: Lebleba and Hussein Fahmy during the opening ceremony of the 44th edition of Cairo International Film Festival.

File: Lebleba and Hussein Fahmy during the opening ceremony of the 44th edition of Cairo International Film Festival.

The 44th edition of the Cairo International  Film Festival (CIFF) kicked off on November 13.

 A total  of 54 countries are represented by their  films in the festival. Around 100 films will be  screened including 79 features, 18 shorts, and  10 classics. 30 films will see their world and  international premieres at the festival, while  57 will have their regional premieres for the  Middle East and North Africa. 



The opening ceremony started with a glamourous dancing show on a medley of Samir Sabry’s songs to  commemorate the late veteran actor who passed away last May. 

 Egyptian superstar and CIFF Hussein Fahmy  said that Sabry was a very dear friend. ‘’ He used to call me Brad Bitt and I used to call him Kevin Costner” Fahmy said. 

Fahmy added that Sabry and was an example that Egyptian cinema has a rich history  of comedy, musicals, action, and thrillers. 


Fahmy said that he is honoured to head the CIFF team in this  edition, and thanked the festival partners as  well as Minister of Culture Neveen Elkilany who presented support for the festival.  

Fahmy expressed his love of Egypt’s  classic black and white films and announced  that part of the festival’s role is to preserve Egyptian classics which are Egypt’s treasures. ‘’ CIFF restored two  films from the classics of Egyptian cinema who are ‘’Yawmeyat Na’eb Fe El Aryaf’’ and ‘’ Ogneya Ala El Mamar’’. 


The festival coincides with the United Nations’ global  climate summit COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. “CIFF will start to be eco-friendly festival to raise  awareness regarding climate change, we have already started reducing  paper publications, plastic products, and using electric cars’’ Fahmy added. 


The 44th edition also paid tribute to actress Maha Abu Ouf, director Ali Abdel Khaleq, and actor Hesham Selim, all of whom passed away this year.  

Egyptian superstar Nelly Karim took the stage to give  Faten Hamama Award of Excellence to her lifetime friend and favourite director  Kamla Abouzekri. 


‘’ She discovered new areas in my acting performance,  her extraordinary talent and great work enabled her to make landmarks in the television drama and film industries. She has won the hearts  of audiences across the region’’ Karim said describing Abouzekri. 

Karim expressed her pride to speak at the podium of the  Cairo Opera House, saying that she is lcky because she is giving  an award which is close to her heart because it bears the name of the one and only  Faten Hamama  Award and will be given to a director who is close to her.  


“She was able to involve us in the stories she directed in a  complete and honest way,” Karim said referring to Abouzekri 


The director revealed that she was thrilled to be receiving an  award carrying the name of the “Lady of the Egyptian and  Arab cinemas.”  

“I am grateful to all the artists whom I met during my journey  since I was 16 years old, to the artists who believed in me and  those who didn’t and those who I learned from.”  She also thanked the talented directors which have supported  her, such as the late actor Ahmed Zaki, and directors  Mohamed Khan, Atef El-Tayeb, and Nader Galal.   




legendary Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr  described CIFF as “universal language of cinema’’ after receiving the prestigious Lifetime   Achievement Award this year. “If we think of  the 100 most important films in the history of  world cinema, they will include Tarr’s work’’ Festival Director Amir Ramses  said. 

The renowned Hungarian filmmaker used to tackle humanitarian issues in his  films using a one of a kind cinematic theory. 


Béla Tarr said in his speech that he is proud  of his presence at CIFF  noting that he  knows that everyone understands him through  cinema, even if many people around the world  do not necessarily understand the Hungarian  language. He noted that cinema is the language  of feelings that everyone communicates  with despite different religions and cultures,  emphasising: “We are all human.”  



The festival also  renownegranted lifetime acheivment award to Egyptian actress  Lebleba. ‘’ Lebleba debuted her acting career at the age of 7” CIFF head Hussein Fahmy said. 


 Lebleba told the audience that the 13th of November is a  special date for her as it is her birthday as well as the date  that she was honoured by CIFF. “When my mom started  giving birth to me, she was in the cinema house, and I was  almost delivered in the cinema” Lebleba said on CIFF stage. 

The opening ceremony came to an end with the screening of  this year’s opening film ‘’The  Fabelmans’’ by Steven Spielberg.  




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