The 37th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) opened on Wednesday with a selection including 120 films from around the world. As a special tribute, this year’s edition honors the works of late Egyptian icons Faten Hamama, Nour el-Sherif and Omar Sharif – all of whom passed away in the past year.
In addition to the official competition which includes 16 films from 14 countries, the festival also hosts three parallel programs: Horizons of New Arab Cinema, Cairo International Film Critics Week and Cinema of Tomorrow International Competition for shorts and student films. Furthermore, attendees can enjoy various workshops and symposia.
Every year, the festival grants an honorary award “to prominent film figures for their lifetime contribution to enriching the Cinematographic Art.” This year, the award, commemoratively named the “Faten Hamama Lifetime Achievement Award” was granted to Italian actress Claudia Cardinale and Egyptian actor Hussein Fahmy during the opening ceremony.
Another award in Hamama’s name, the Faten Hamama Excellence Award, was given to Egyptian actress Nelly Karim and Indian director Farah Khan.
During the opening ceremony, short films commemorating the three late Egyptian icons were featured, followed by the screening of the opening film Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, and directed by Jonathan Demme.
Launched in 1976 by writer-critic Kamal el-Mallakh, CIFF is the oldest film festival in the Middle East, and is currently headed by President Magda Wassef.
The detailed schedule and ticket information for all screenings and events can be found here. More information on the festival itself, which will continue until November 20, can be found on the CIFF website. All screenings take place on the Cairo Opera House grounds.