The town of Aalst was slammed after its famous carnival celebrations featured caricature Jews sitting atop piles of money. City officials say they are sick of the backlash and no longer want to be on the UN list. The northern Belgian town of Aalst has decided to withdraw its annual carnival from the UN cultural heritage list, saying it is fed up with allegations of anti-Semitism. The town was widely condemned after one of the floats at its carnival parade in March featured offensive caricature depictions of Orthodox Jews with hooked-noses and sitting atop bags of money. UNESCO, the European Union and Jewish groups called the float anti-Semitic, with the EU saying it was reminiscent of the kind of caricatures disseminated in Nazi Germany during the 1930s. Aalst mayor Christoph D Haese said Sunday that city officials "have had it a bit with the grotesque complaints" and no longer want the UNESCO designation. "We are neither anti-Semitic nor racist. All those who support this are acting in bad faith. Aalst will always remain the capital of mockery and satire," he said in a statement quoted by Belga news agency. Centuries-old festival Aalst s carnival is a 600-year-old tradition that attracts tens of thousands of people each year. The celebration is famous for its provocative and satirical parade floats, which often poke fun at celebrities, as well as religious and political leaders. D Haese said it was not up to him to police humor, adding that it was "unavoidable that there would be more Jewish ridicule at next year s carnival. "We are on a very dangerous slippery slope when people will be able to decide what can be laughed at," he said. Hans Knoop of the Belgian Forum of Jewish Organizations told The Associated Press that renouncing the UNESCO cultural heritage tag shouldn t clear the way for similar displays of anti-Semitism in the future. "They are not at liberty to spew any more anti-Semitic dirt, he said. "We will keep a close eye on Aalst." It s not the first time the town s carnival has drawn controversy. In 2013, revelers dressed as Nazi SS officers marched in the parade alongside a float that resembled a Nazi railway wagon used to transport Jews to death camps. The three-day festival, which takes place ahead of Roman Catholic Lent, was given heritage status by UNESCO in 2010. The UN body was expected to decide at a December 12 meeting in Bogota, Colombia, whether to strip Aalst of its Intangible Cultural Heritage designation.
On the sidelines of the 41st edition of the International Cairo Film Festival (CIFF), prominent actor and producer William George, better known as Billy Zane, recently traveled to Egypt, receiving a Special Tribute Award on Wednesday, November 26. Known for his roles in “Back to the Future” (1985), “Dead Calm” (1989) “Critters” (1986), iconic television series “Twin Peaks” (1990), “Tombstone” (1993) and “Demon Knight” (1995), Zane is most famous for portraying the iconic villain Caledon Hockley in “Titanic” (1997) alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Zane was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain based on his performance in “Titanic,” later winning a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for the same role. Zane is also the founder of RadioactiveGiant, a film and television production and distribution company. He produced and starred in the film “I Woke Up Early the Day I Died” (1997) for which he was awarded Best Movie and Best Actor at the B-Movie Film Festival. Zane acted alongside American star Ryan Gosling in “The Believer” (2001) as well, an award-winning film from the Sundance Film Festival based on the true story of a 1960s KKK member who was revealed to be Jewish. Zane also starred in the Turkish film “Valley of The Wolves: Iraq” (2006). The actor and director has also dabbled in voice acting, playing John Rolfe in Disney s “Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World” (1998). He made his first television appearance in “Brotherhood of Justice” in 1987, later acting in David Lynch s iconic mystery horror series “Twin Peaks” (1990), the western film “Tombstone” (1993), the satirical comedy film “The Silence of the Hams” (1994), and the horror film “Demon Knight” (1995). Egypt Independent recently sat down with Zane to discuss his experience at the festival so far, the importance of independent distribution for Egyptian films and his views on the Arab cinema scene. The conversation also touched on the actor s experiences shooting Titanic in 1997, as well as Zane s favorite Egyptian artist and exclusive details on his upcoming project. How is your visit to Egypt going so far? I am so grateful for those who organized it, the gracious and generous hosts of the International Cairo Film Festival as well as Enigma Magazine who threw an amazing party last night. I am also grateful for my Egyptian friend Ahmed Shabana who organized some great meetings. There is no better way to enter a city than to be honored. What are the other Arab countries that you have visited before? In the region, I have been to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia. What do you like the most about your participation in the 41st edition of the CIFF? I really wish I could have (more) time to actually (participate), like watching some of the films and exchanging opinions with others. I can shed some light on distribution, for instance, of Egyptian films in the United States, which I think is really important. You want your film to be seen out of your community. There are great stories that are universal. How could independent distribution in particular be fruitful for Egyptian films? I was speaking to the head of the festival last night and said to him: When you think about your movies and funding them, the most beautiful thing in this particular process is that you don t go to festivals and look for someone to buy your film and pays you ten cents on the dollar and you never know what it is going to spend or how they are released. In this case (independent distribution), you are the distributor (and) you see (the process in a) transparent (way). So you spend a fraction but you get 30 screens or maybe five screens or maybe you can figure how you want to roll out your film. The recommendation is you integrate this into your production budget — by raising your budget, you can raise it a little bit more and then you work with cultural centers. One movie s success in this space helps many that would follow. You don t have to think that you have to cut through the noise… you can manifest a presence that becomes an interesting threshold for Netflix or all the (other) platforms and then pay a higher premium for your movie and buy. It is like you pay for the play (and) you pay for the visibility, but the benefits domestically and internationally are that much more favorable. I am going to share some of these chats that I had with him last night and make introductions in LA in addition to any other filmmakers who come over. So that s something that I would love to share. To what extent would you be interested in Arab collaboration in acting or production projects? To every extent, it would be great to help with that. I am not just interested to read something but I am interested in the science of the process like what would be the best use of a cross-cultural story that addresses issues in a way that could…shine a light or balance the plain feel of the narrative on assumptions that the west have. I am really looking at the human experience. Everyone needs work here (and) fundamentally we are all sharing the issue of the environment right now. For example, air quality, clear water — these issues are a great culture story about a common enemy. Is there a specific topic that you would like to tackle in a movie from the Arab world or Egypt in particular? I was doing some research and saw the impact of “Cairo 678” (2010). I read about it, (and) it came up in a conversation because there is a march in Paris calling for women s rights. This was critical and this theme is at the foundation of a lot, even the economic (issues). It is about the boys — in America we have a real crisis situation. You have a young man shooting at the schools…because they don t know how to deal with women, so this is common. This is not about just this region, because in the US there are poorly trained boys. This theme is important to me. This is the medicine — you should not look at the symptom but at the cause. We can look at the global social movement #Metoo that deals with protecting women. Yesterday, I was with a woman who created an incredible organization that protected women during the revolution in Egypt. It is incredible — they employed volunteers (and) women and men came to be bodyguards to protect the girls. It is not just an issue here; it is a global flow of the human experience. Also, the most important themes are archeology and women s empowerment and protection, but I go back to the foundation, to the cause, which is these boys — those who experience violence or exercise it. You have to go to the core (and) you have to heal the wounded or stop the mistreatment of these boys who (then) grown up to mistreat (others). You think I am talking about Egypt, (but) I am also talking about Ohio. It is everywhere. Every week we have a teenage boy…acting out violently. These are the issues I d like to see addressed in cinema, because it is the place where we can find a road map out of it. How do you view the current Arab cinematic scene? I can see great stories and storytellers as well. There is the function of an artist who helps you access whatever is going on inside you, your empathy and your internal world. You have a rich history (as well) — you have been making this before anyone. Do you have any Egyptian examples on your mind? Youssef Chahine is a legend. I love the story he did about the train station — the dramatic character of a man who is being rejected by women, in a terrible way. This story is still needed to be told today. We re still doing something like that in Hollywood (and) it is interesting. I see films that can never be seen in America, and they are so profound and beautifully shot — profoundly made and profoundly acted. Speaking of distribution, it will be really great to facilitate the distribution of these films in the west because I think there are mirrors and windows into culture that goes beyond a news cycle. That won t be just news gathering or a narrow focus on that news, it will be a window (into) that culture. What are the changes occurring now in Hollywood? We are now in a delivery system so you are looking at a new platform that is offering a high budget, a short form, serialized content and telling stories in digestible packets with great production. What are the most significant memories that you can remember from your acting experience in Titanic? Just how humbled i was by this scope (and) the fact that they had hired people who had never worked before like civil engineers who built infrastructure. They built Titanic to make this movie and sank the front-in in real time — imperfect science and unproven science being created in real rime at the cost of billions and much more. No one before had done anything like it. So it was a moonshot — it was a like a Nasa mission. Tell us about your upcoming projects. I am producing a film about Marlon Brando based on the memoir of an architect that he hired in 1969, and there is a very specific purity in his life. I love it because it is about Brando the social activist and it is a bit of a comedy. It is about Brando the champion who called for environmental rights and his genius insights — no one was thinking that way in the 60s.
This year, in its 41st edition, the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) increased its attention towards gender-equality and women empowerment issues. The festival highlighted women working in the industry and is holding a number of discussions tackling gender-equality. Though some might find that still a lot can be done, it is worth underlining some significant efforts which definitely boost the CIFF s image in the international campaign for gender-equality as well as open doors to numerous women filmmakers and their work, empowering women in the local, regional and international film industry. Gender Parity Pledge 5050×2020 The CIFF has joined a large network of festivals that signed the Gender Parity Pledge 5050×2020. The pledge signing was announced on 22 November – on the opening day of Cairo Industry Days – during the introduction to a panel discussion titled The Power of Storytelling to Address Gender-Based Violence in Egyptian Cinema and Television. The panel moderator Sandra De Castro Buffington (founder and former director of UCLA s Global Media Centre for Social Impact, and former director of Hollywood, Health & Society) reminded the participants that CIFF is the first Arab festival to have signed the Gender Parity Pledge 5050×2020. The pledge strives for better gender representation and transparency by the year 2020. The initiative was first introduced at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 and soon signed by renowned International Film Festivals such as Venice, Toronto, Locarno, Turin, Berlin, among dozens of others. Information about the pledge was just an introduction to a panel that tackled gender-based violence in Egyptian cinema and television. The discussion brought together a number of well-known women working in the film industry: filmmakers Kamla Abou Zekri and Nadine Khan; screenwriter Mariam Naoum; creative producer Karen Tenkhoff; actress Sarrah Abdelrahman in addition to a male participant, filmmaker Amr Salama. Actress Sarah Abdelrahman, who opened the panel discussion, presented research which pointed to the lack of gender-equality in the Egyptian film industry despite the fact that many Egyptian women have made a great impact on and within the industry. According to the statistics provided by Abdelrahman, only a fifth of cast and crew, as well as the leading roles in many productions, include women. Though the numbers opened eyes on the many gaps that are yet to be addressed, the participants in the discussion agreed that the situation is already improving, slowly but surely. Filmmaker Amr Salama gave examples of many iconic Egyptian actresses whose role in the film industry was groundbreaking, starting with Faten Hamama, with two of the most prestigious awards given at the festival carrying her name. The women participants were invited to share their experiences in the film industry and talk about possible discrimination they witness directly or notice in their creative environment. Though no severe cases of gender-discrimination were cited, all the panellists asserted that women still have to make a much bigger effort to get noticed or have their projects accepted by the producers and other male members of the industry. Featuring women with short films produced by CIFF Working towards gender equality and women s empowerment, the CIFF has released short films on its social media showcasing the remarkable women of the Egyptian film industry. One such film reminds us of many important women who changed the face of Egyptian cinema: actress Aziza Amir (1901–1952), referred to as the mother of Egyptian cinema; actress, producer, screenwriter and musician Bahiga Hafez (1908–1983); actress, director and producer Fatma Roshdy (1908-1996), whose film The Marriage was the first Egyptian film to be directed by a woman; dancer, actress and director Amina Mohamed (1908-1985); and two Lebanese-born Egyptian actresses and producers Assia Dagher (1908-1984) and Mary Queeny (1913–2003). Another video prepared by CIFF and produced in cooperation with Vogue Arabia features today s stars of the Egyptian cinema: Mona Zaki, Menna Shalaby, Hend Sabry, Hala Shiha, Nour, Dorra, Tara Emad, Sherine Reda, and Nelly Karim. The narration of the short film is taken from one of Faten Hamama s interviews, in which she underscores the importance of woman in the film industry and the women s role in changing the world. “I now think, or perhaps believe, [that] I must always portray stories written by women. Because a woman knows how to express another woman s demeanour. She can describe her character and portray her emotions perfectly,” Hamama s voice says. Jury, films by women and about women Women are present on different levels of the festival. This year, one of the major honorary awards of the Cairo International Film Festival, the Faten Hamama Excellence Award, was granted to the young Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby. The award was granted to Shalaby during the official opening of the festival. Women s representation within the CIFF extends to a number of women sitting on jury panels. The international jury deciding on the winner of the Golden Pyramid consists of six international filmmakers and writers, two of whom are women (directors Marion Hansel from Belgium and actress Qin Hailu from China). The films competing for the main award still lack presence of women directors, with Najwa Nijjar s Between Heaven and Earth (Palestine), Marian Khoury s Let s Talk (Egypt) being among a few such entries. The presence of women is not impressive in the jury of Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition either. The five jury members include two women, Egyptian actress Hana Shiha and Moroccan producer Lamia Chraibi. The International Critics Week Competition, however, has two women out of three jury members: critic Jessica Kiang from Ireland and Egyptian director Nadine Khan. Moving on to the Cinema of Tomorrow International Competition for short fiction films, we meet two women in charge of the final choice: Egyptian actress Hanan Motawea and Dutch film promotion expert Nathalie Mierop. Women s presence is apparent across many panel discussions either moderated by them or with their presence among the speakers, though of course one would wish to find a larger female contribution in the festival s upcoming editions. When looking at programming, the festival included numerous films which are either directed by women or focus on women s issues and struggles, many of which point to the need for direct empowerment. A few films are worth pointing to, starting with Khartoum Offside directed by Marwa Zein, a Sudanese entry in the Arab Competition. The film talks about a group of persistent Sudanese women who want to become professional football players in the time when The Islamic Fiqh Council refused the establishment of a women s soccer team. One of the fascinating entries is Dunya s Day, a Saudi film where the camera follows Dunya, a young girl living in an affluent suburb of Riyadh, as she heads for a perfectly planned graduation party that ends in disaster. The film unveils social and cultural realities of Saudi Arabia. Directed by Raed Alsemari, one of five Arab Stars of Tomorrow, as revealed by Screen International, Dunya s Day was the first short film screened commercially in Saudi Arabia and winner of the Short Film Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival s International Film Section (2019). Hava, Maryam, Ayesha, an Afghani film participating in International Panorama, delves into the lives of three women living in the same city – Kabul – yet representing different social and cultural backgrounds. India s entry to the International Panorama, a film titled Dawn (Bhor) by Narayn Singh, presents the life of a teenage girl who is eager to have a better future and a different destiny than that of her female relatives and peers, many of whom give up on education while living in deplorable conditions. In the same section, a film titled Maternal (Italy, Argentina) and directed by Maura Delpero, takes us to “hogar”, a home for teenage mothers run by Italian nuns. The film focuses on three women, each with different hopes and dreams, embraced by one institution that disconnects them from the world outside. Midnight Screenings presents Swallow, a US/France production directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis. The film brief reveals Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife who finds herself increasingly compelled to consume dangerous substances. As her husband and his family tighten their control over her life, she must confront the dark secret behind her new obsession.
Governor of Kafr al-Sheikh Ismail Taha said on Tuesday that a path following the Holy Family s journey in Egypt in the Sakha region will be complete before June 2020. The project is of great interest to the government in bolstering religious tourism, creating jobs and developing infrastructure in the governorates where the path will run, he added. In October 2017 Egypt s Tourism Ministry announced that Pope Francis had approved Egypt s proposed “path” taken by the Holy Family as a Coptic pilgrimage site, as the path allows religious tourists to follow the voyage of the holy family from Sinai to Upper Egypt after fleeing from persecution at the hands of King Herod in Palestine. Archaeologists and historians also supported the proposal allowing visitors to follow in the blessed footsteps of the Holy Family and giving tourists the opportunity to reenact their voyage, exploring and discovering the towns and others sites they likely traveled through during their flight to Egypt. Taha said that revitalizing the path following the Holy Family s journey is one of the most important national projects in Egypt, especially after the project received a blessing from the Pope and was designated a pilgrimage site. The route taken by the Holy Family in Egypt, which marks stopping points during their flight from Palestine, extends from Rafah in North Sinai and goes through the northeast through the Delta region, moving next to Cairo. The path following the Holy Family s voyage is set to run through Beheira, Sharqia, Kafr el-Sheikh, Minya, Assiut, Gharbia and North Sinai, and the trek represents the world s longest pilgrimage in a single country, the governor added. Meanwhile, Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy held a meeting at the ministry s headquarters to review the latest developments related to the project, Taha said, adding that the meeting reviewed the most important contributions made by the governorates participating in the implementation of the project. The meeting also covered the financial and administrative aspects of the project and progress on the ground in each governorate, with discussions focused as well on overcoming any obstacles facing implementation of the project. Progress made so far includes paving a number of roads and developing areas along the Holy Family s route, which includes renovating toilets and rest houses, afforestation efforts, installation of traffic signs and signals, and ensuring that services are provided on the roads leading to the path, Taha pointed out. For his part, Shaarawy stressed that they hope to complete the development of 25 archaeological sites, including the areas where the Holy Family lived and stopped briefly during their journey to Egypt. Shaarawy, like Taha, also emphasized that the government is keen to continue supporting the project as part of their efforts to bolster religious tourism, support the Egyptian economy through job creation, and develop infrastructure. During the meeting with Shaarawy, church officials seconded the Minister in describing the importance of the project and praised cooperation between various governorates and ministries working toward completing the path.
Six years after "Frozen kicked up a pop-culture blizzard, the sequel to Elsa, Anna and Olaf s adventures snowed-in the box office with an estimated $127 million debut domestically and $350.2 million worldwide, according to studio estimates Sunday. The opening for the Walt Disney Co. s "Frozen 2 buried several records. It s the highest-grossing weekend ever for any animated film globally. It marks a new high in the U.S. and Canada for an animated movie released outside of the summer season. And it s the largest opening for any Walt Disney Animation Studios release. Disney opted for the week ahead of Thanksgiving to open "Frozen 2, meaning it will get a significant second week bump from kids out of school. The first "Frozen opened over Thanksgiving, earning $93 million in five days and $67 million for the three-day weekend. The original, though, quickly grew into a sensation, remaining in the top 10 at the box office for 17 weeks and ultimately grossing $1.27 billion. Propelled in part by the hit song "Let it Go, "Frozen begat a flurry of merchandizing, untold numbers of Elsa dresses and a Broadway musical. It won two Academy Awards, for best animated feature and original song. Matching that total gross won t be easy sledding, but "Frozen 2 has a head start. Cathleen Taff, distribution chief for Disney, granted there s a "high bar set by "Frozen, but she s confident of the film s enormous appeal. "We can t open to a number this big without everybody coming out to see it, said Taff. "We re looking forward to a good run through the holidays given kids are going to start getting out of school this next week. Reviews and audience reaction have been good for "Frozen 2, but not as strong as they were for the original. The CinemaScore was A- for "Frozen 2, whereas "Frozen yielded an A+. Critics were also a little less taken with the sequel: 75% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 90% for the original. But scores were still very high, including a 93% Rotten Tomatoes audience rating. Crowds were largely female (59%) but not extremely so. The film brings back much of the talent behind the 2013 original, including the voices of Idina Menzel (Elsa), Kristen Bell (Anna) and Josh Gad (Olaf). Also returning are songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, though the music this time hasn t be quite as enthusiastically received. And it s again directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, who s now the chief creative officer at Disney Animation. "Frozen 2 helped thaw a frigid November box office. The last three weeks have seen a string of films rooted in decades-old intellectual property fizzle, including Warner Bros. "Doctor Sleep, Paramount Pictures "Terminator: Dark Fate and Sony Pictures "Charlie s Angels. But Elsa could do only so much to move the needle. The weekend was actually down 7% from the same frame last year, according to data firm Comscore. In 2018, there were simply more big movies in the marketplace, including "Ralph Breaks the Internet, "Creed II and "Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald. Last week s top film, "Ford v Ferrari slipped 49% in its second week to a distant second with $16 million. James Mangold s film, also a Disney release (courtesy of the studio s acquisition of 20th Century Fox), has grossed $103.8 million worldwide thus far. Starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, the movie has also joined this season s sped-up Oscar race. (The Academy Awards will be held Feb. 9 this year.) Marielle Heller s Mister Rogers drama "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys, is also in the Oscar mix. It opened in third with $13.5 million. That was roughly on target for the Sony Pictures release, which cost about $25 million to make. It, too, should be positioned to play well through the holidays. Less successful was the crime thriller "21 Bridges, starring Chadwick Boseman as a police detective who puts Manhattan on lockdown for a manhunt. Up against steep competition for adult audiences, "21 Bridges raised $9.2 million in tolls for STXfilms, a so-so result for a film that cost $33 million to produce. The film is produced by Anthony and Joseph Russo, whose last movie as directors, "Avengers: Endgame, did slightly better. Todd Haynes legal thriller "Dark Waters opened in four theaters with a strong per-theater average of $27,467. The Focus Features release, starring Mark Ruffalo, is based on a 2016 New York Times Magazine article about a corporate attorney who sued the Dupont chemical company over the health and environmental effects of a "forever chemical used by Dupont. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. "Frozen, $127 million ($223.2 million international). 2. "Ford v Ferrari, $16 million. 3. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, $13.5 million. 4. "21 Bridges, $9.3 million. 5. "Midway, $4.7 million. 6. "Playing With Fire, $4.6 million. 7. "The Good Liar, $3.8 million. 8. "Charlie s Angels, $3.2 million. 9. "Last Christmas, $3 million. 10. "Joker, $2.8 million.
Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby has revealed that playing emotionally disturbed characters has sometimes forced her to see psychologists. “Sometimes you get to play a character that was raped, hurt, or witnessed a shock, and this affects you eventually. I personally overcome this pressure by intensifying training and rehearsals, or seeking professional help to decompress after playing difficult roles,” the 37-year-old multi-award winner revealed on Friday during a master-class moderated by American film critic Jay Weissberg and attended by many known actors, filmmakers and critics. The talk was held amid the various activities of the 41st Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), running between 20 and 29 November, in which Shalaby has been awarded the Faten Hamama Honorary Award. Dedicating the award to her mother, Shalaby praised all the important directors she has collaborated with, including Radwan Al-Kashif, Mohamed Khan, and Osama Fawzy, Youssef Chahine, Hala Khalil, Kamla Abu Zekry, Maha Abu Ouf, Yousry Nasrallah and others, recounting memories of working with some of them. Women write better about women The jury member of a few film festivals, Shalaby praised her experiences working with female directors and scriptwriters, saying that "women write better about women." “Art has no gender, but women have little bit of an edge when writing about women. My experience with women filmmakers in Hala Khalil s The Best of Times and Nawara was great because, as women, they knew how to write about women in terms of feelings and reactions,” said Shalaby, though she did also praise some female characters written by men, mentioning her role in About Love and Passion , written by Tamer Habib, as an example Shalaby began her career in 2001 with the television series Morning and Evening Talk, based on a story by Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. Her silver screen debut was also in 2001 when she got a role in the late Radwan Al-Kashef s The Magician. Ever since, Shalaby has worked with many renowned Egyptian directors, with her filmography including I Love Cinema (2004 dir. Osama Fawzi), The Best of Times (2004, dir. Hala Khalil), Downtown Girls (2005, dir. Mohamed Khan), About Love and Passion (2006, dir Kamla Abouzekry), Chaos (2007, dir. Youssef Chahine), Microphone (2010, dire Ahmad Abdalla) and multi-award-winning film Nawara directed by Hala Khalil. The CIFF is holding a large number of activities including the honouring of various cinema experts with a special tribute to the CIFF s longtime artistic director Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, as well as the screening of 153 films from 63 countries, with a special focus on Mexican cinema.
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.
On Thursday, the Cairo Film Festival will screen Martin Scorsese s “The Irishman” (2019) to the public for free at the Grand Theater of the Cairo Opera House. Produced by Netflix, the films events are inspired by the Charles Brandt s book “I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank The Irishman Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa” (2004). The movie stars Oscar-winning actors Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro, and marks De Niro s ninth collaboration with Scorsese. The story revolves around the rise of organized crime in the US in the period following World War II, telling a multi-generational tale of one of the most mysterious crimes in contemporary American history: the disappearance of legendary trade union leader Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino in the film. Revealing the undercover world of organized crime, their internal conflicts, and their relations with men of power and politicians. De Niro portrays retired veteran Frank Sheeran, a fraudster and professional killer who worked with the most dangerous gangs of the twentieth century. Pesci plays the ringleader Russell Buffalino, alongside a cast of stars including Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Canaval, Anna Paquin and Stephen Graham. The movie is anticipated to contest the Oscars later.
The Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri announced on Saturday that a new museum in Hurghada will be launched by the end of December. The project comes to light over 10 years since it was announced — and is set to be the first of its kind in the Red Sea. It was among several projects that were put on hold due to the January 25th revolution. The museum also comes as amongst the first projects to be launched by the Antiquities Ministry in cooperation with the private sector, Waziri said. This highly-anticipated museum will feature luxurious glimpses into Egyptian civilization, from the Pharaonic era to the modern decades, according to Waziri. The museum displays remarkable examples from diverse areas, including sports, music, hunting and more It also features jewelry, perfumes, furniture, wigs and other artifacts from Ancient Egyptian royalty and priests, alongside items from Mohamed Ali s royal family. The director of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir also revealed in a press statement that the upper part of the statue of Queen Merritt Amon, recovered from her temple in Ramessium, will be transferred from the Egyptian museum to the upcoming museum in Hurghada. The head of the Museums Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, Elham Salah, previously told Al-Ahram that the ministry will be the only managing authority of the museum. She added that it will house artifacts from various destinations inside and outside Hurghada. In the same interview Salah said that the private investors responsible for the museum s services provided the building for the museum, which was later transformed into an archeological entity. The Ministry of Antiquities plans for the museum to become one of Egypt s most remarkable touristic sites, promoting Egyptian artifacts and attracting holidaymakers to the Red Sea.
Egypt has recently been ranked second among the world s 10 best diving destinations of 2019 through a global voting process run by the world s leading scuba diving magazine, “DIVE Travel.” The magazine awarded Egypt second place in the 2019 DIVE Travel awards, with the country receiving nearly double the number of votes secured in 2018 when Egypt was ranked the third-best diving destination in the world. The magazine said that Egyptian scuba diving centers would witness a significant boost after the country was listed among the top three international diving hotspots, adding that various divers around the globe recognize that Egypt s diving spots are considered among the finest in the world. Egypt s Red Sea is home to over 400 species of coral, in addition to hundreds of astonishing fish species, reefs and more. The magazine highlighted the beauty of Egypt s breathtaking diving spots, which include Ras Mohammed, located east of the Gulf of Aqaba, drawing attention as well to “Bella 1,” based in Sharm El Sheikh and considered one of the world s best liveaboards. St John s Reef in the Red Sea was also among the highlighted tourist hotspots. The magazine also noted the significant decline witnessed by the tourism sector in Egypt following the explosion of a bomb on a Russian plane flying over Egypt s Sinai in 2015, killing all 224 passengers on board. The UK s suspension of flights to Sharm el-Sheikh for four consecutive years in response to the incident certainly had an impact on tourism in Egypt. However, a number of international companies have recently resumed flights to various destinations in Egypt, and although it should be difficult to top numbers in 2010, during which 15 million tourists visited the country, DIVE Travel says another boost to the tourism sector is already underway. Indonesia topped the DIVE Travel list for the third year in a row, with Mexico placing third after Egypt, followed by Papua New Guinea, Curacao, Palau, Maldives, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Galapagos. “The 2019 DIVE Travel Awards saw more than 4,500 individual nominations made for 78 destinations, 470 dive centers or resorts and 215 liveaboards and with close to 20,000 votes cast across the Top 25 spots in each category,” the Magazine s website announced. For its part, National Geographic wrote in June 2019 that Dahab s coral reefs are the healthiest in the Middle East, illustrating resilience in the face of climate change. The magazine also highlighted Dahab s “Blue Hole,” a submarine sinkhole more than 300 feet deep that is well-known among professional drivers.
The 41st edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) has partnered with recently-established Egyptian Company “Tazkarti” (My Ticket), to facilitate purchasing tickets for the festival s events, according to an official announcement. The head of Tazkarti, Montasser al-Nabarawy signed an agreement with the CIFF s President Mohamed Hefzy, announcing that all event tickets would be available on Tazkarti s website. The festival will run from November 20 until November 29. The CIFF press conference revealed that 150 films in total are set to participate in this year s edition, including 130 feature films and 20 short films. The number of presented movies is 63 and world premieres are 18, international premiers at 17, MENA premiers at 84, African premieres at five, and Middle Eastern premiers at seven. Three distinguished cinema figures will be granted the “Faten Hamama Honorary Award”, including famed Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby, Egyptian director Sherif Arafa, and UK s director Terry Gilliam. Under this year s CIFF, the second edition of “Cairo Industry Days” will kick off from November 21 until November 26, offering an intensive array of panels, workshops, discussions, masterclasses, partnership opportunities and more. The festival s co-production platform is named CFC (Cairo Film Connection), set to launch from November 24 until November 26. The CFC s jury features big names on board like Egyptian screenwriter Mariam Naoum. Tazakarti was launched before the kick-off of the 2019 tournament of African Cup of Nations (AFCON) that was hosted by Egypt, to manage the matches booking process.
Prominent Egyptian actor and singer Tamer Hosny is set to make his directorial debut in the sequel of his celebrated film “El Badla” (The Suit), according to remarks made by producer and concert organizer Walid Mansour during an interview on the Rotana Channel. Mansour added that Hosny will begin shooting “El Badla 2” by the end of 2020, which is scheduled to premiere in 2021. No further details about the movie have been revealed so far. The Suit, which starred Hosny alongside famed actress Amina Khalil, exceeded LE50 million in revenues. The plot of the movie revolves around a young Egyptian policeman, played by Tamer Hosny, as he investigates a case with his colleague (Akram Hosny). The two navigate a seemingly endless maze of hilarious situations when they cross paths with an Egyptian citizen (Maged El-Masry) who has just returned to Egypt after living abroad in Spain. The movie was the first Arab film to be screened in Saudi Arabia at VOX Cinemas in Riyadh Park on September 2019, according to Sada El-Balad. Hosny began his acting career with “Halet Hob” (Love s Case), released in 2003. He is known for a number of other movies, including “Omar & Salma,” which consists of three installments. Mai Ezz Eddin starred alongside Hosny in the film. Hosny has also received various awards, including Best Arab Artist at Murex D Or in 2014 and 2016, as well as Best Arab Artist at the Middle East Music Awards in 2015. Hosny s latest video clip “Naseny Laih” recorded upwards of 20 million views on his official YouTube channel in less than two weeks and made it to the top of the “most trending videos” list on YouTube within two days. His song “Eish Bshouaak” (Live the Way you Wish), also the name of his latest album, went viral on social media. It addresses listeners and encourages them to live life to the fullest regardless of money.
Telecom Egypt (WE) is set to launch the first e-linkage project connecting government blood banks across the country in partnership with Misr El Kheir Foundation, al-Borsa news reported on Tuesday. The e-linkage project brings together 202 government blood banks and allows decision-makers to identify blood distribution locations and areas impacted by shortages nationwide. Misr El Kheir Foundation said in a statement on Tuesday that the project will help to provide safe blood for patients around the clock and will also facilitate the possibility of blood redistribution when needed. WE was the first telecom company in Egypt to adopt the initiative, said Afaf al-Gohary, head of the health sector at Misr El Kheir Foundation. She added that the project should help to prevent the spread of hepatitis C through the development of a blood bank system based on a partnership between Misr El Kheir and the government, represented by the Ministry of Health and Population. WE and Misr El Kheir Foundation contribute equally to funding for the project, she added. Al-Gohary also pointed out that Egypt ranks first among African nations and across the Arab world in terms of the number of automated blood banks in the country. A number of development initiatives, projects and programs are currently underway in partnership with WE. Other new entities affiliated with specialized medical councils and the Supreme Council of Universities, including Nasser Institute blood banks, Minya University Hospital and other university hospitals are planning to join the initiative alongside WE in order to connect the largest number of blood banks possible nationwide, Gohary added. The initiative provides a database with records of all blood banks nationwide and facilitates information exchange among various blood banks through a new automated system set to replace the current manual system, thus reducing the possibility of error, Gohary stressed. The project also assists patients with reserving blood bags, especially during emergencies. Under the new electronic system each bag has its own code number, al-Gohary emphasized, which should help to prevent illegal trafficking in contaminated blood bags. The first phase of the project encompasses 202 blood banks. The second phase will see three blood banks added while the third will see six added. Egypt has the highest rate of hepatitis C infection in the world. The disease first surfaced in the country in the 1950s due to unsterilized injections. The highly-infectious blood-borne virus kills an estimated 40,000 Egyptians a year and at least one in 10 Egyptians aged 15-59 are infected, according to the World Health Organization. Around 10 million people across Africa are infected with hepatitis C due to unsafe injections administered at medical facilities.
Billboards featuring Egyptian mega star Amr Diab have popped up in New York City s Times Square, celebrating his groundbreaking achievement in topping the most listed Arab singers on Spotify in the US and Europe, according to an official statement released by Spotify on Tuesday. Diab is the first Arab singer to have his billboards displayed in the square. This recognition comes as a part of Spotify s global cultural initiative, aiming to promote Arabic music outside the MENA region. The statement added that Diab s hits have been spotted among numerous international and local playlists as well, and that his music is recognizable the world over. “Music is a language that speaks emotions and not only words. I am blessed to have touched people around the world with my music,” Diab said, applauding Spotify s role as a creative platform that notably enables artists to connect with fans beyond borders. Spotify gives users around the globe free access to more than 50 million tracks from dozens of different music genres. The Managing Director of Spotify Middle East and Africa, Claudius Boller said that Spotify s main aim is to establish a space where artists and the entire world can be introduced to each other. “Experiencing Amr Diab s devotion to Arabic music for nearly four decades straight and witnessing his fanbase expand across the world is beyond incredible. Today we are celebrating Diab s legacy and we are proud to see him shine so brightly – literally – on the global stage,” he added. “The Dubai Stars,” a new walk of fame located in Dubai, honored on October 21 four Egyptian megastars by placing their names in Dubai s new celebrity corridor in downtown, with Diab among them. The Dubai stars paid tribute to Diab s revolutionary contributions to Middle Eastern music. Many Arab stars praised his genre-related innovations that have shaken up conventional ideas of music. His name was counted among the first 400 prominent names which include that of music queen Beyoncé and globally distinguished TV host Oprah. Since 1988, Diab s career has been crowned with numerous awards including the Platinum Record of four consecutive years, Middle East Radio, Abu Dhabi National Festival, World Music Awards, Guinness World Records, Joy Awards, Big Apple Music Awards and many more. The iconic pop star launched his music career in 1983, introducing his first album “Ya Tareea” earning him noticeable recognition. Then he kept releasing several successful albums including Hala” (1986), “Khalseen” (1987), “Mayyal” (1988), “Shawa na” (1989) and “Matkhafesh” (1990) among others. Moreover, he was selected to perform in various languages like Arabic, English and French as well at the the fifth Tournament of African Sports in 1990, where he made a groundbreaking performance.
Many Arab celebrities and artists have expressed solidarity with Egyptian pop singer and composer Ramy Gamal after he announced that he has been diagnosed with vitiligo, a non-contagious, immunologic long-term disease that causes white patches in the skin. "Alhamdulillah [thank God], who out of love for me has tested me and strengthened my patience. A while ago, some white patches appeared on my body, which turned out to be vitiligo," Gamal told his 5.3 million followers on Facebook early Monday. Gamal said that he visited a number of doctors and tried different medications, but "it has just gotten worse due to sadness." The 35-year-old singer also revealed that during concerts, some people showed apprehension about touching him out of fear that the disease could be contagious. "For over a year, I made a lot of effort to hide [my condition] before concerts or video shoots, and people have suggested that I seek another career, and I thought deeply about their advice," he said. "I have two options; either let go of the career I love and which is the only one I know, or not hide anymore and have you accept me," Gamal said, and called on people to show compassion for those afflicted with the disease. Gamal s statement was immediately followed by shows of solidarity on social media, with dozens of Arab celebrities and well-known artists demanding that he carry on with his successful music career, including Lebanese pop star Elissa, who herself has battled with cancer. "You have to continue your success, Ramy, and let go of your insecurities. Never hide yourself from the people that love you for your art and personality," pop star Tamer Hosni, who has collaborated frequently with Gamal, said in a long statement on Twitter. Egyptian professor Hany El-Nazer, the former president of the National Research Centre, responded on Twitter to Gamal s statement by saying that "vitiligo is not dangerous or contagious." Gamal is the first Arab celebrity in living memory to reveal that he has been afflicted with the disease, as opposed to dozens of Western celebrities, including the King of Pop Michael Jackson, who are known to have had the condition. Gamal, who has released more than five pop albums, is also widely known as a composer, having collaborated with stars in the Arab region including Mohamad Hamaki, Mohamed Fouad, Tamer Ashour, Sherine Abdel-Wahab, Angham, Mohamed Nour, Mosafa Amar, Nawal El-Zoghby, and many others.
The Ministry of Health and Population, represented by the Central Laboratories Sector, announced the introduction of the implementation of a smart tracking system. The system functions via e-bracelets connected to GPS tracking. The bracelets will be worn by health inspectors in charge of drawing water, food, and air samples from factories, water stations, and markets nationwide. Head of the preventive medicine sector at the Ministry of Health and Population Dr. Alaa Eid told Al-Yawm Al-Sabah that these measures were taken to ensure that inspectors carry out their duties by visiting factories, restaurants, water stations and markets in general. “We trust our inspectors, but quality requires employing technology to improve the service provided to the public,” he added. Inspectors withdraw samples for analysis to check if factories, restaurants and water stations comply with health and safety standards.
Egyptian diva Yousra was honoured by America Abroad Media (AAM) at its seventh annual Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, this week in the attendance of several Hollywood stars. The AAM is an international media non-profit organisation that "honors outstanding leaders whose work meets international standards and exemplifies the power of media to inform, educate and empower," read the official press release. AAM founder and president Aaron Lobel said that Yousra was an "icon in the Middle East and a true inspiration to her millions of fans, both through her brilliant work as an actress on screen, and her devotion to her society and a better world." Upon receiving the award, Yousra said, "I feel proud to represent my country and the Arab world and honored to receive such valuable and important award. I m really happy that my work is being celebrated," the release continued. Hollywood stars congratulated Yousra on the honour. Actor Harvey Keitel said that Yousra had always created a "strong impression on us" recalling the warmth he received from the actress when he had visited Egypt and was hosted by Yousra. Calling Yousra an old friend of his, actor John Malkovich praised her for her talent and kindness, and called her "a great ambassador for Egyptian cinema and for the Egyptian people." Singer and Hollywood actress Vanessa Williams recognised Yousra s outstanding work as an actress and iconic career. "Through your art you have given a voice to many women and others who might not have otherwise been heard, and in everything you do on and off screen, your genuine sense of humanity shines through. You are a true inspiration and a role model for women in the Middle East, and indeed, around the world," Williams said. Variety s film critic Jay Weissberg praised Yousra for being responsive to her public, saying: "I ve traveled around the MENA region with her a number of times, and I ve never seen a movie star who is so generous with the public, who is so giving, who gives so much joy." Numerous Egyptian celebrities congratulated Yousra on the award, including director Marwan Hamed who referred to Yousra as a genuine actress who was the pride and joy of Egyptian cinema. Actress Sherine Reda called her a living legend. Other known figures who celebrated Yousra s win were screenwriter Tamer Habib, director Inas El-Degheidy, and businessmen Naguib Sawiris and Samih Sawiris. The 64-year-old Egyptian superstar Yousra (born Civene Nessim) has dozens of films and television series to her name. She worked with some of Egypt s most celebrated directors and writers, including Youssef Chahine, Ali Badrakhan, Wahid Hamed, Sherif Arafa, Raafat El-Mihi, Khairy Beshara, Samir Seif, and Marwan Hamed. She was selected as a Goodwill Ambassador and received many honours from international festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Cairo International Film Festival, Beirut International Film Festival in Lebanon, in addition to the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) in Paris, and the Royal College of Physicians in London. Yousra was chosen to be a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (The Oscars) in 2019.
For the first time in 19 years, a team of scientists has detected a new strain of HIV. The strain is a part of the Group M version of HIV-1, the same family of virus subtypes to blame for the global HIV pandemic, according to Abbott Laboratories, which conducted the research along with the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The findings were published Wednesday in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. HIV has several different subtypes or strains, and like other viruses, it has the ability to change and mutate over time. This is the first new Group M HIV strain identified since guidelines for classifying subtypes were established in 2000. It is important to know what strains of the virus are circulating to ensure that tests used to detect the disease are effective. "It can be a real challenge for diagnostic tests," Mary Rodgers, a co-author of the report and a principal scientist at Abbott, said. Her company tests more than 60% of the world s blood supply, she said, and they have to look for new strains and track those in circulation so "we can accurately detect it, no matter where it happens to be in the world." Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said current treatments for HIV are effective against this strain and others. However, identifying a new strain provides a more complete map of how HIV evolves. "There s no reason to panic or even to worry about it a little bit," Fauci said. "Not a lot of people are infected with this. This is an outlier." For scientists to be able to declare that this was a new subtype, three cases of it must be detected independently. The first two were found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1983 and 1990. The two strains were "very unusual and didn t match other strains," Rodgers said. The third sample found in Congo was collected in 2001 as a part of a study aimed at preventing mother-to-child transmission of the virus. The sample was small, and while it seemed similar to the two older samples, scientists wanted to test the whole genome to be sure. At the time, there wasn t technology to determine if this was the new subtype. So scientists at Abbott and the University of Missouri developed new techniques to study and map the 2001 sample. Rodgers said it was "like searching for a needle in a haystack," and then "pulling the needle out with a magnet." They were able to fully sequence the sample, meaning they were able to create a full picture of what it was, and determine that it was, in fact, subtype L of Group M. It s unclear how this variant of the virus may impact the body differently, if it does act differently at all. Current HIV treatments can fight a wide variety of virus strains, and it is believed that these treatments can fight this newly named one. "This discovery reminds us that to end the HIV pandemic, we must continue to out think this continuously changing virus and use the latest advancements in technology and resources to monitor its evolution," study co-author, Dr. Carole McArthur, a professor in the department of oral and craniofacial sciences at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, said in a statement. About 36.7 million in the world are living with HIV, according to World Health Organization. UNAIDS estimates that in 2016, some 1.8 million people became newly infected.
Details on the Cairo International Film Festival s (CIFF) upcoming 41st edition have been revealed in a press conference on Monday, held in the presence of the festival s President Mohamed Hefzy, its Deputy Artistic Director Ahmed Shawky, Executive Director Omar Kassem and more. The festival will run from November 20 until November 29. “The Irishman” (2019) is set to be the opening film. Written by Steven Zaillian, the movie stars iconic actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, and explores the world of organized crime in the US which emerged in the wake of World War II. The press conference revealed that 150 films in total are set to participate in this year s edition, including 130 feature films and 20 short films. The number of presented movies is 63 and world premieres are 18, international premiers at 17, MENA premiers at 84, African premieres at five, and Middle Eastern premiers at seven. During the conference, Mexico s Ambassador in Egypt Jose Octavio Tripp also announced a partnership between the CIFF and Mexico, putting Mexican cinema in the spotlight for this year s edition. “This decision is an honor for Mexico and its film industry and also an important incentive to explore areas of collaboration between Mexico, Africa and the Middle East. The Cairo Film Festival is opening a window of opportunity to promote a new area of bilateral,” Tripp said, adding that the CIFF will enable Egypt and Mexico explore more areas of collaboration through the Egyptian cinematic community, which houses dozens of prominent experts in the industry. Hefzy also announced during the conference that the 41st edition will be dedicated to Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, the legendary film critic who passed away on July. Rizkallah, who devoted his entire life to the film industry, was appointed president of the Nile TV Channel and then the president of the International Cooperation Sector in the Media Production City (2007 – 2011). Furthermore, he became the Chairperson of the Cinema Authority in the Media Production City (2011 – 2012). The iconic film critic was on the jury board for numerous international film festivals including Strasbourg, Milan, Rotterdam and Montpellier. Hefzy announced that this year, three distinguished cinema figures will be granted the “Faten Hamama Honorary Award”, including famed Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby, Egyptian director Sherif Arafa, and UK s director Terry Gilliam. During the conference, Hefzy applauded Shalaby s commitment to Egyptian cinema, noting how she barely responds to the appealing offers she constantly gets in the television field in favor of cinema. Shalaby s most notable role was in “Nawara” (2015) which received 10 awards. She is also renowned for her performances in “Microphone” (2010), “After the Battle” (2012), “The Originals” (2017) and more. Director Arafa is best known for his latest successful work, “Al-Mamar” (2019), which features an assembly of distinguished actors. He has collected numerous local as well as international awards including the Ministry of Culture s best director and best film awards for for “Playing with the Giants” (1990), “Al-Mansi” (1993) and “Terrorism and Kebab” (1992). Launching his career in 1969, Gilliam is renowned for his extensive of movies including “The Fisher King” (1991), which earned multiple Global Globe Awards and featured the late legend Robin Williams. The international jury was announced by the festival s artistic director, and includes American writer Stephen Gaghan, Belgian director Marion Hansel, Mexican director Michel Franco, Italian director Daniele Luchetti, Chinese actress Qin Hailu and Egyptian writer Ibrahim Abdel Meguid. Shawky highlighted that Meguid s presence in this year s edition is a demonstration of the festival s intention to engage the cultural community more with the current cinematic scene. This jury will hands out a diverse array of prizes including “The Golden Pyramid for Best Film”, presented to the producer, “The Silver Pyramid, Special Jury Prize”, for best director, “The Bronze Pyramid for Best First or Second Work of a director”, the “Naguib Mahfouz Prize for best screenplay”, a “Best Actor”, “Best Actress” and “Best Artistic Contribution.” Under this year s CIFF, the second edition of “Cairo Industry Days” will kick off from November 21 until November 26, offering an intense program of panels, workshops, discussions, masterclasses, partnership opportunities and more. The festival s co-production platform is named CFC (Cairo Film Connection), set to launch from November 24 until November 26. The CFC s jury features big names on board like Egyptian screenwriter Mariam Naoum. International producers, filmmakers, TV channels and more will take part in the CFC, which initiates international co-productions as well as collaborations with films coming from the Arab world. The President of DMC channels Hisham Suleiman expressed the company s gratitude during the press conference at sponsoring the CIFF for the third consecutive year, adding thta the opening and closing ceremonies will be exclusively broadcasted on the DMC channels. Th Cairo International Film Festival is categorized by the International Federation of Film Producers as among 15 “A” status festivals. It is the oldest film festival in the Arab world and the Middle East.
Egypt s Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem received on Sunday Rawya bint Saud Al Busaidi, the Minister of Higher Education of the Sultanate of Oman and director of the board of the Sultanate s Royal Opera House to discuss intensifying cultural and artistic cooperation between the two countries. Abdel-Dayem expressed her happiness with the participation of Oman s first troupe for music and folk arts in the 28th edition of the Arab Music Festival and Conference, running from 1 to 12 November. Abdel-Dayem welcomed the invitation for Egypt to participate in the celebrations of the Golden Anniversary of Sultan Qaboos ascent to the throne in 2020. The Omani minister suggested a number of cultural and artistic exchange projects between Egypt and Oman. She also encouraged depending on a number of Egyptian experts to establish creative centers in various parts of Oman to discover and develop talent. This is in addition to preparing a protocol of cooperation between the Cairo Opera House and the Royal Opera of Oman. Furthermore, the two sides proposed to hold a joint festival that includes a variety of artistic activities and folkloric performances for children and youth that reflect the artistic nature of the two communities. At the end of the meeting, Abdel-Dayem presented a series of publications issued by the various sectors of Egypt s culture ministry to the Omani Minister of Higher Education.
The special screening of Ken Loach s drama Sorry We Missed You on 5 November will mark the opening of the 12th edition of the Panorama of the European Film (6-16 November) With a script by Paul Laverty, the film tells the story of "Ricky and his family who have been fighting an uphill struggle against debt since the 2008 financial crash," according to the official brief of the film. The film won Golden Hugo for best actress (Debbie Honeywood) at the Chicago International Film Festival 2019, the audience award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 2019, and was nominated for the Palme d Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The 12th edition of the Panorama of the European Film will take place between 6 and 16 November with 75 films from 30 countries. This year, the Panorama will introduce a new section, Here and There: Films in Motion, which embraces non-European films. The other sections in the Panorama programming are: Main Narrative Features, Emerging Directors, Documentaries, Carte Blanch, the Children and Family section, Special Screenings and an Agnes Varda retrospective.
The arrest of Rami Kamel sparked anxiety among a segment of Coptic youth because they saw themselves in him, and they did not imagine this could happen after the revolution of June 30, which they supported. Other current of the elite used the incident for their own benefit or to take revenge from their rivals. The Coptic elite is simply confused just like the rest of the Egyptian elite. They can’t realize the chang