This year also marks the return of Cairo Industry Days, a subsection of the festival that helps budding filmmakers from the MENA region get into the industry.
Cairo International Film Festival, which returns this month for its 43rd edition, has announced that this year, 98 films from 63 countries will participate in the event.
The festival will run from November 26 to December 5, with the usual round of screenings, talks, masterclasses, panel discussions and networking events.
During a press conference, Mohammed Hefzy, President of CIFF, said: “A total of 98 films will participate this year, with 76 feature films and 22 short films representing 63 countries. Of the films being screened, 12 will be singled out with a red carpet event. Thirty-four films will be making their world debuts, while 44 others will have their MENA premieres at the event.
The opening film is Official Competition, starring Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, which will be screened for the first time in the Middle East after garnering critical acclaim at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
A number of Arab films are also expected to make their debuts in each of the four competitions. There is an international competition, a regional competition titled Horizons of Arab Cinema and one for short films. The most illustrious of all is the Critics Week competition.
A highlight of this year’s festival is the number of short films participating, which surpasses all submissions from previous years. The winner of the shorts competition takes home the festival’s prestigious Youssef Chahine Award.
The festival’s highest honour, the Golden Pyramid Award, will be given to veteran actress and performer Nelly, one of the most recognisable Egyptian celebrities of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.