AWIFF honored Danny Glover - Aswan Women International Film Festival Official Facebook Page
CAIRO – 27 February 2018: The closing ceremony of the second Aswan Women International Film Festival (AWIFF) took place on Monday, February 26.
The closing ceremony witnessed the honoring of famous American actor Danny Glover, Egyptian director Attiat el-Abnoudy, director and producer Marian Khoury, and costume designer Nahed Nasrallah.
Glover is visiting Egypt for the fourth time, as his last visit was in 2016 when he was one of the judges for the Luxor African Film Festival in its fifth edition. The famous Hollywood star expressed his great love for Egypt, especially charming Aswan, during a phone interview with Egyptian international channel Nile TV.
The Egyptian movie “Balash Tebosny” (Kiss Me Not) was screened during the closing ceremony. The film revolves around a director, Tamer, who struggles to deal with an actress who refuses to partake in a kissing scene and quits the whole film industry after she decides to wear a veil (hijab).
The film stars Yasmine Raies; award-winning directors Khairy Beshara and Sawsan Badr; and honorary cameos from late renowned directors Mohammed Khan and Mohamed Mahan. “Balash Tebosny” is directed by Egyptian-American writer and director Ahmed Amer. The movie’s first screening was at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2017.
The French-Belgium feature movie “Extinct Creatures” was granted the best movie award at the festival. The Egyptian movie “Zahret el Sabar” (Cactus Flower) won a special award from the jury committee.
"Zahret al-Sabar" revolves around an Egyptian actress named Aida who has provincial roots and is struggling to make it to the top. Aida suddenly finds herself kicked out of her house, along with her old, reclusive, bourgeois neighbor, Samiha.
With no money and nowhere to go, the two women meet a young man, Yassin, while roaming the streets of Cairo. The three of them attempt to find shelter for the night. Their journey is full of tough moments and challenges, but is unraveled as a journey of self-discovery for all three of them.
An extraordinary friendship unexpectedly grows between Aida, Samiha and Yassin like a dazzling flower blooming from a thorny cactus. The movie was directed by Hala al-Khoussy and stars Menha al-Batraoui, Salma Samy and Marwan al-Azab.
Egyptian actress Menha al-Batraoui won the Muhr Feature award for best actress at the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) for her role in the movie. "Zahret al-Sabar" was the only film representing Egypt in the Muhr Feature competition at the 14th DIFF ceremony.
The Aswan Women International Film Festival kicked off on February 20, bearing the name of famed Algerian heroine Djamila Bouhired.
The Algerian activist was born to an Algerian intellectual father and a Tunisian mother, who was the first to plant the love of the homeland in Djamila, reminding her that she is Algerian, not French. Despite being educated in French schools, Djamila refused to sing the French anthem and instead would say, “Algeria is our Mother.”
Djamila continued her school education and then joined the Institute of Tailoring.
She joined the Algerian National Liberation Front when the Algerian revolution broke out in 1954 to fight against the French occupation at the age of twenty. She joined the ranks of the “Fedayeen” (paramilitary troops) and was the first female volunteer to plant bombs on the path of the French colonial soldiers.
She was shot in the shoulder and arrested in 1957. After a long journey of torture in the French prisons, she said her famous sentence, “I know you will sentence me to death, but do not forget that my death will kill the value of freedom in your country. You will not prevent Algeria from attaining freedom and independence.”
This is not the first time for Bouhired to visit Egypt and surely not her first time to be honored in the Arab world, especially in Egypt. She was officially received and honored by former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was known for his support of the Algerian resistance against the French occupation since 1952. Moreover, she was the subject of Egyptian director Youssef Chahine’s 1958 film "Jamila the Algerian”. Also, a number of prominent Arab poets wrote about her as a freedom icon and an example of women who play remarkable roles in the fight for freedom and liberation.
Legendary Lebanese singer Fairuz glorified and sang for the Algerian Revolution through “A Letter to Djamila”, a song released in 1959 and dedicated to Algerian female fighters in the Algerian revolution, among whom heroine Djamila Bouhired is mentioned. On the international level, Bouhired was one of three Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) female bombers depicted in the 1966 film “The Battle of Algiers” and the documentary film “Terror’s Advocate”.
Currently in her 80s, the Algerian nationalist, activist and revolutionary is considered a fighter for freedom, an Arab icon and a heroine.
The second Aswan Women International Film Festival was held under the auspices of the ministries of culture and tourism and the sponsorship of the National Council for Women. Egyptian star Mona Zaki was honored in the festival’s opening ceremony.
Leave a Comment