During the Cairo Industry Days, critic Andrew Mohsen, director of the Cinema of Tomorrow, a section within the Cairo International Film Fetsival (CIFF) said he is thrilled about the CIFF becoming an Oscar qualifying film festival.
The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences decision applies to the winner of the Best Short Film award in the Cinema of Tomorrow, a section where a large selection of short films compete for the Youssef Chahine Award for Best Short Film and the Special Jury Award.
The winning film will also be eligible for consideration in the Animated and Live Action Short Film Categories of the Academy Awards without the standard theatrical run, provided the film complies with academy rules.
Mohsen said "this privilege will add to the competition management more responsibility in the selection process. In addition, more short films will take part in the next rounds. Naturally, this will increase the expectations of the competing films raising the bar for all filmmakers, boosting the short films competition and the CIFF as a whole."
The festival, which opened on 20 November and continues until 29 November, showcases over 150 films from 63 countries.
This year, the Cinema of Tomorrow screens 20 films from around the world. The jury members include Egyptian actress Hanan Motawea and Dutch film promotion expert Nathalie Mierop.
According to the regulations announced this year, films participating in the Cinema of Tomorrow International Competition for Short Films must have been produced after September 2018, with the duration of the film not exceeding 30 minutes. All genres are welcomed to the competition s section yet they should neither have been screened in Egypt prior to the official opening of the CIFF, nor screened on any TV, satellite channel, or internet site.
The announcement about the CIFF becoming an Oscar qualifying festival was made during the opening of the Cairo Industry Days (22-26 November), a CIFF segment launched by the festival s president, Mohamed Hefzy, last year. The Cairo Industry Days brings together industry professionals from around the world to engage in a programme of master classes, panel discussions and events designed to inspire, display and support regional filmmaking talents.