38th Cairo International Film Festival

Georgia, November 15 - November 24 2016

The jury

Tara Judah (Australia), Tonci Valentic (Croatia), Soheir Fahmi (Egypt)

Awarded films

The 38 th Cairo International Film Festival marked the first year, since the Arab Spring in 2011, that the festival could re-open in the city’s downtown cinemas, as well as screening at the prestigious Cairo Opera House on Gezira Island, set between the two branches of the Nile River. Late on the annual festival calendar, Cairo has its own FIAPF regulated and accredited Official Competition consisting of 16 titles, with prizes awarded from an International Jury and a FIPRESCI jury. It also includes an official selection of titles, Out of Competition, a Festival of Festivals category boasting 36 titles and an International Panorama bringing a further 43 well celebrated titles from around the world to local audiences in Egypt. In addition to these regular sections, the 38 th edition included focuses on New Egyptian Cinema, Chinese New Era Cinema and Shakespeare and Cinema, to coincide with the global 400 th anniversary celebrations of Shakespeare, supported and promoted internationally by the British Council.

Special tributes at this year’s CIFF went to Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Khan who died in July 2016, three months before the festival’s retrospective, the Egyptian actor Yehia Al- Fakhrany, Palestinian producer and distributor who the festival say had “an Egyptian heart”, Hussein El Kalla, German filmmaker and President of the International Jury, Christian Petzold, Chinese filmmaker JiaZhangke and Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy.

There was a concurrent conference, 4 th Cairo Film Connection, for producers and filmmakers from all over the world to present projects with an Arab connection, offering a platform for international industry to get together and evaluate projects representing the Arab region. A series of professional seminars on film heritage and legislations within the film industry in Egypt, as well as a young critics workshop also took place alongside the screenings at the festival.

The International Jury was comprised of eight additional members to the president including; Egyptian actress Arwa Gouda, Malian director, Cheick OumarSissoko, Polish filmmaker Filip Bajon, Egtypian filmmaker Hani Khalifa, Chinese filmmaker Li Yu, US filmmaker and producer, Mary Sweeney, Australian producer, Robyn Kershaw and Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak.

The International Jury’s prizes went to:

  • Golden Pyramid for Best Film:Mimosas, by Oliver Laxe.
  • Silver Pyramid, Special Jury Prize for Best Director: Bcomboio De Sal E Açucar (The Train of Salt and Sugar), by LicinioAzevedo
  • Bronze Pyramid for First or Second work: TisztaSzívvel (Kills on Wheels), by Attila Till
  • Naguib Mahfouz Prize for Best Screenplay: Perfettisconosciuti (Perfect Strangers), Paolo Genovese
  • Best Actress Prize: Nahed El Sebai for YoumLelSetat (A Day for Women)
  • Best Actor Prize: Shakib Ben Omar for Mimosas
  • Prize for Best Artistic Contribution: Nikdynejsmesami(We Are Never Alone), by Peter Vaclav

The FIPRESCI Jury was comprised of three international critics, SoheirFahmi (Egypt) Tara Judah (Australia) and TonciValentic (Croatia). The International Critics’ Prize was awarded to Anna’s Life, directed by Georgian filmmaker Nino Basilia. (Tara Judah)

Festival: www.ciff.org.eg