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  • The film festival began was first celebrated in 1978.

    The film festival began was first celebrated in 1978. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 November 2018
Opinion

The festival is the longest-running film event of its kind in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

The Cairo International Film Festival is celebrating its 40th year anniversary with 160 films from 59 different countries. This year projections will go beyond the Cairo Opera House and the downtown area.

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Most Arab films being screened in the ten-day-long festival, apart from Egypt, are from Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, and Syria.

Over 2,350 submissions from 121 countries were considered for screenings.

The festival is under the chairmanship of producer and screenwriter, Mohamed Hefzy, said to be the youngest president of the festival according to Arab News.

Hefzy said that despite the numerous challenges marking its existence, it is the longest running festival in the Middle East.

“This year, the festival reflects on its history, its authenticity and the impact it has on the region and the film industry,” he said. “A film festival must not only show films and superstars, it must also offer something to the film industry, from which it benefits and which it serves.”

The audience award, set this year at US$20,000, will be shared between the director and distributor of the chosen film.

Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat said cultural events like these are needed.

“We are very proud of this festival. We hope it will be successful and, God willing, it will be a significant step forward.”

The festival will conclude Nov. 29.

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