44th Cairo Int'l Film Festival kicks off

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 15, 2022
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People attend the opening ceremony of the 44th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 13, 2022. The 44th edition of the CIFF kicked off on Sunday evening at Egypt's Cairo Opera House with the participation of about 108 films from over 50 countries and regions. (Photo by Mohamed Asad/Xinhua)

The 44th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) kicked off on Sunday evening at Egypt's Cairo Opera House with the participation of about 108 films from over 50 countries and regions.

Egyptian veteran movie star Hussein Fahmy, also president of the 44th CIFF, said that holding the festival amid current global conditions, including the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the economic recession, was such a challenge.

"There were big challenges and we did our best and managed to get strong and good preparations, and we'll hopefully present a good and a successful edition as we always do," the CIFF president told Xinhua on the red carpet during the opening ceremony.

Fahmy added that the festival adopts eco-friendly policies as it coincides with the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, currently being held in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

"We greatly reduce paper publications and the use of plastic in the festival, and avoid whatever harms the environment to support the COP27," the festival's president added.

The International Competition category of the festival gathers this year 14 films from countries including Egypt, France, Poland, Mexico, Argentina, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

Maher Khamis, an actor in the Egyptian featured film 19 B, which competes in the International Competition category, said that participating in the CIFF represents a milestone in his new acting career.

"I feel blessed that my first film is competing in the CIFF. It's a big step for any actor to stand where I am now, so I really appreciate this moment," the Egyptian actor told Xinhua.

Mexican filmmaker Joaquin del Paso, whose film The Hole in the Fence won last year's top award at the 43rd CIFF, came to the festival this year as a member of the International Competition jury.

He said that the difficult global conditions inspired filmmakers to address those issues through art and creativity.

The Mexican filmmaker said that cinema, in general, is an art that represents resistance and struggle.

"To do a film festival and to put so much interest in it means that people want to keep fighting for beauty and for things that are good for humanity," he said.

The Fabelmans by American renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg was screened as the opening film of the 44th CIFF.

The festival honors this year Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr, Egyptian filmmaker Kamla Abu Zekry and Egyptian veteran actress Lebleba for their achievements throughout their long artistic careers.

Launched in 1976, the CIFF is the oldest and the only internationally accredited annual film festival in the Arab world, Africa and the Middle East.

This year's CIFF will run from Nov. 13 to 22.

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