32nd Cairo International Film Festival

Egypt, November 18 - November 28 2008

The jury

Magda Mihailescu (Romania), Alexander Kisselev (Russia), Magali Van Reeth (France), Suncica Unevska (Macedonia), Ahmad Al Hadary (Egypt)

Awarded films

A year ago, I was invited to this festival for the first time as a journalist and stayed for five days. Thus, in a certain way, I have a reason to compare the two editions. For the 32nd Cairo International Film Festival, the oldest in the Middle East, the location has moved from the Hyatt Hotel to the Sofitel El Gezirah Hotel on the Nile’s opposite shore. As the main screens are in the Hyatt, the organisers had rigorously provided all Juries the possibility to cross the river by boats, four times a day. The festival itself, meanwhile, has become more widespread in geographical areas as the competition included films from Lithuania, Belgium, Denmark, as well from Spain, France, Argentina, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Russia, Japan and China. The desire to embrace a large horizon was obvious and the section Festival of Festivals (with 39 titles) was clear evidence of this. As expected, this edition was dedicated to the great Egyptian director Youseff Chahine, with the French critics Serge Toubiana and Charles Tesson being invited to speak about him after the screening of  Central Station. The others tributes accorded were to Mexican director Arturo Ripstein and to five Egyptian filmmakers. (Magda Mihailescu)

Cairo International Film Festival: www.ciff.org.eg