Hussein Fahmy, who served as president of the film festival between 1998 and 2001, will return to the position.
Egyptian Minister of Culture Dr Inas Abdel Dayem has announced that producer Mohamed Hefzy is stepping down as president of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).
Veteran actor Hussein Fahmy, who was president of the film festival between 1998 and 2001, will return to the role once more.
Hefzy was appointed as director of CIFF in 2018 and has been credited with putting the event back on the international map during his four years at the helm.
He only expected to be in the role for a year or two but ended up overseeing four editions, with Cairo being one of the few festivals to go ahead as a physical event in 2020 when many others were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hefzy also launched the fest’s industry component, the Cairo Industry Days, which was crucial to connecting the event with the international industry.
Fahmy has starred in more than 100 Egyptian films, TV and theatre productions. A UCLA graduate, Fahmy had previously headed the Cairo fest, which is the grande dame of Arab film events, between 1998 and 2001.
In a statement, Hefzy said: “It was always my intention to remain three years as head of the festival, but due to the circumstances and pandemic, they ended up being four great and memorable years, the most important in my career in cinema thus far.
“I am proud to have spent the past four years as president of the Cairo International Film Festival, working with a great team of talented individuals with the aim of lifting the festival towards bigger local, regional, and international recognition and for being a platform to help the careers and projects of independent filmmakers in the Arab World.”
He added that it had always been his intention “to remain three years as head of the festival; but, due to the circumstances and pandemic, they ended up being four great and memorable years.”
The Ministry of Culture said that in accordance with the festival’s tradition there will be a ceremony in the coming days at which the presidency is officially handed over to Fahmy in the presence of Hefzy.
Meanwhile, while contending with the Cairo fest’s issues, Hefzy managed to continue his activity as a producer churning out several movies and TV series, including the show Paranormal for Netflix, Mohamed Diab’s Amira, which launched from Venice, Hany Abu Assad’s Huda’s Saloon, and the Arabic adaptation of Italian hit Perfect Strangers which has made a major splash. He also wrote the upcoming Arabic adaptation of the US TV series Suits.