After ten tremendous days, CIFF comes to a star-studded close!

The 39th edition of Cairo’s International Film Festival has now come to an end and it is fair to say that this was the biggest and best edition to date. Thanks to the support of DMC we were able to stay up-to-date with all the hottest news as it happened! With all the excitement of the 10 days, from huge international stars to glamorous red carpets to award-winning film screenings and more, the film festival is still all everyone is talking about.

So here were our favorite bits:

Remembering Shadia
A huge loss to Egypt’s cultural scene was the passing of the iconic Shadia on the 28th of November. After honoring Shadia during the opening ceremony, thanking her for her contributions to Egyptian cinema and wishing her a speedy recovery, the closing ceremony was respectfully dedicated to her passing. During the closing ceremony, Yusra described the icon as ‘Egypt’s voice’, whilst most attendees wore black in commemoration.

Which big names were there?
After seeing the stunning Elizabeth Hurley alongside regional stars like Kinda Alloush and Dorra Zarrouk at the opening ceremony, we couldn’t wait to see who would be attending the closing ceremony, and we were not disappointed! Marking the importance of CIFF on the international stage, huge stars Nicholas Cage and Hilary Swank were in attendance after having a fun-filled day at the pyramids as well as Oscar-winning Adrien Brody. All three were honored by the festival, receiving special awards as well as a mention from the festival’s Honorary President Yusra.

What were the best films?
With more than 175 screenings from over 50 countries, CIFF truly brought together the best from all over the world. The Opening Film, The Mountain Between Us, is a definite must-watch, featuring the talent of Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, and directed by renowned Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad. Of all the other amazing films that were screened, our top five picks that you need to go see were:

1) “Hostages”- Award-winning Georgian hijacking film by Rezo Gigineishvili
2) “Withered Green”- Award-winning Egyptian film by Mohammed Hammad
3) “House in the Fields”- Award-winning Moroccan documentary by Tala Hadid
4) “A Season in France”- French drama by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
5) “Insyriated”- Award-winning Belgian drama by Philippe Van Leeuw

Who won the coveted awards?
The competition this year was incredibly high across the categories due to the incredible quality of the films nominated. The winners of the official competition were:

– The Golden Pyramid for Best Film: “The Intruder” by Leonardo Di Costanzo (Italy, Switzerland, France).
– The Silver Pyramid-Special Jury Prize for Best Director: “Killing Jesus” by Laura Mora Ortega (Colombia, Argentina).
– The Bronze Pyramid For Best First or Second work of a Director: “Nina”  by Juraj Lehotský (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic).
– Prize For Best Actor: Raouf Ben Amor for his performance in “Tunis By Night” by Elyes Baccar (Tunisia, France).
– Prize For Best Actress: Diamand Abou Abboud for her performance in “Insyriated” by Philippe Van Leeuw (Belgium, France, Lebanon).
– Naguib Mahfouz Prize for Best Screenplay: “Los Perros” by Marcela Said (Chile, France, Argentine, Portugal).
– Prize for Best Artistic Contribution: “Disappearance” by Boudewijn Koole (The Netherlands, Norway).
– The International Critics Prize (Fipresci Prize): “Killing Jesus” by Laura Mora Ortega (Colombia, Argentina)

For more information and to check out the winners of the other awards, go to the CIFF website here.

Images courtesy of CIFF. 

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