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CAIRO 2022

The Cairo International Film Festival revs its engines

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- The presence of European films will be particularly strong once again at the 44th edition of the A-list Egyptian gathering, which kicks off on 13 November

The Cairo International Film Festival revs its engines
The Astronaut by Nicolas Giraud

The only A-list film event both in Africa and in the MENA region, the Cairo International Film Festival will take place from 13-22 November and will screen 97 films from 52 countries, 29 of which will be world or international premieres. While the Honorary Golden Pyramids for Lifetime Achievement will be given to Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr and Egyptian actress Lebleba, known for her work in the 1970s (also partly influencing the movies featured in the Cairo Classics retrospective section), and the Faten Hamama Excellence Award will be bestowed upon Egyptian filmmaker Kamla Abu Zekry, the seven-member jury chaired by Japanese helmer Naomi Kawase will have to decide which of the fresh titles and contemporary filmmakers will earn their Golden, Silver and Bronze Pyramids, along with other awards.

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This year’s International Competition includes a total of 14 film titles, five of which will be getting their world premieres. The European presence in the main competitive category is strong once again this time around: nine of the competing films are European productions or co-productions, and two of them will world-premiere at Cairo. Those world-premiering European titles are Nicolas Giraud’s The Astronaut [+see also:
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]
(France) and Eleonora Veninova’s Things Unsaid [+see also:
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(North Macedonia/Serbia), while three more hail from other regions, such as Ahmad Abdalla’s 19B (Egypt), I Don’t Want to Be Dust (Mexico/Argentina) by Iván Löwenberg, and Ridha Behi’s The Island of Forgiveness (Tunisia/Lebanon/USA). Other European majority productions include Damian Kocur’s Bread and Salt [+see also:
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interview: Damian Kocur
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]
(Poland), Maksym Nakonechnyi’s Butterfly Vision [+see also:
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interview: Maksym Nakonechnyi
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]
(Ukraine/Czech Republic/Croatia/Sweden), Pierre Földes’ animated feature Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman [+see also:
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]
(France/Canada/Netherlands/Luxembourg), Ali Cherri’s The Dam [+see also:
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interview: Ali Cherri
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(France/Lebanon/Sudan/Qatar/Germany/Serbia), Firas Khoury’s Alam [+see also:
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(France/Palestine/Tunisia/Saudi Arabia/Qatar) and Emmanuelle Nicot’s Love According to Dalva [+see also:
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interview: Emmanuelle Nicot
interview: Emmanuelle Nicot, Julie Esp…
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(Belgium/France). There is also one minority co-production, Something You Said Last Night [+see also:
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interview: Luis De Filippis
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]
(Canada/Switzerland) by Luis De Filippis.

European productions and co-productions will also be represented in two other parallel competition sections. The French-Lebanese co-production Mother Valley will world-premiere in the Horizons of Arab Cinema competition, while Mounia Meddour’s French-Belgian co-pro Houria [+see also:
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]
will have its MENA premiere in the same strand. In the Critics’ Week competition, European-backed titles will dominate the roster. The Oasis of Frozen Waters (Morocco/France) by Mohammed Raouf Sebbahi will celebrate its world premiere, Christian Suhr’s documentary Light upon Light (Egypt/Denmark) will have its international one, while the list of European flicks is rounded off by Valentina Maurel’s Tengo sueños eléctricos [+see also:
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interview: Valentina Maurel
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]
, Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk’s Pamfir [+see also:
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interview: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
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and Michal Blaško’s Victim [+see also:
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interview: Michal Blaško
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]
.

The Main Selection – Out of Competition will also screen some European titles that are well known from the festival circuit, such as Carla Simón’s Alcarràs [+see also:
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interview: Carla Simón
interview: Giovanni Pompili
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]
, Lukas Dhont’s Close [+see also:
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interview: Lukas Dhont
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]
, Maryna Er Gorbach’s Klondike [+see also:
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interview: Maryna Er Gorbach
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]
, Jerzy Skolimowski’s Eo [+see also:
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]
, Mario Martone’s Nostalgia [+see also:
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interview: Mario Martone
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]
, Florian Zeller’s The Son [+see also:
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]
and Cristian Mungiu’s R.M.N. [+see also:
film review
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interview: Cristian Mungiu
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]
. The same could also be said for the Special Screenings programme, the non-competitive International Panorama and the genre-orientated Midnight Screenings.

As for the festival’s industry section, the fifth edition of the Cairo Industry Days will take place from 17-22 November, taking in a selection of master classes (given by, among others, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Béla Tarr and jury president Naomi Kawase), workshops (again, Béla Tarr and US cinematographer Irvin Liu, to name just a few), and a number of panels and talks with two other winners of Honorary Awards, Kamla Abu Zekry and Lebleba. On top of this, 15 film projects at various stages, from development to post-production, coming from ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region will be pitched at the ninth Cairo Film Connection.

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