Despite the abundance of Egyptian films, the 33rd annual Cairo International Film Festival does not contain a single Egyptian film, announced Actor Ezzat Abu Ouf, head of the 33 Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) at a press conference held at the premises of Cairo Opera House.
"Honestly, I do not quite understand what the problem is with Egyptian films and the CIFF," said actor Ezzat Abu Ouf, head of the festival, adding that the administration declined the only Egyptian film as it did not meet festival standards. He refused to identity the film or the director, but added that the only film with any hope of making it into the festival is Magdi Ahmed Ali’s latest film, Asafir el-Nil. The film, based off the book by renowned author Ibrahim Aslan, was not ready for submission during the festival’s registration period.
Despite this, Abu Ouf is optimistic. Held from 10 November to 20 November, the festival is dedicated to Egyptian director Shady Abdel Salam, whose film al-Momia (The Mummy), will be shown in a special ceremony at the Pyramids plateau.
Of the 67 countries participating in the festival, India was chosen as the guest of honor, and will have director Kabir Khan’s New York shown on the opening night of the festival. The Oscar-winning cast from Indian film Slum Dog Millionaire will be present and honored during the festival.
In addition to India, the festival will honor Algerian cinema and will show 11 Algerian films throughout the festival. A handful of Egyptian and Arab cinema icons will also be honored, including, actresses Showikar and Nadia el-Gendi, director Ali Abdel Khaleq, director of photography Mohsen Nasr, Egyptian editor Ahmed Metwali and Algerian editor and director Ahmed Rashidi.
Meanwhile, an open-air bus adorned with the festival’s poster and the faces of classic Egyptian cinema icons Ismail Yassin, Naguib el-Rehani and Youssef Wahbi, will roam the streets of Cairo. LED screens on Gamea el-Dowel el-Arabiyya and Batal Ahmed Abdel Aziz streets in Mohandisin will play ads from the festival 240 times per day.