Known for its magical sites, captivating views and richness in African culture and history, the city of Aswan is set to host the third edition of Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF), running from 20 until 26 February.
The festival is held under the auspicious of the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism, and supported by the National Council for Women and the Cinema Professions Syndicate.
The poster for this year’s festival was revealed on January 22, which was designed by Alexandrian artist Hisham Ali. It is meant to portray the face of the modern Egyptian woman covered by a number of different colours that reflect Egyptian and African environments, such as the colour blue that symbolizes the Nile. The writing on the poster is also inspired by Aswan and Nuba’s style of calligraphy, joining the two worlds – Egypt and Africa – together.
The Aswan International Women Film Festival is the first women’s film festival in Egypt, the first international festival held in Upper Egypt, and the first Egyptian film festival that specializes in workshops for youth in Aswan.
This year’s festival will see the honoring of Egyptian actresses like Menna Shalaby and Mohsena Tawfik in the opening ceremony, as well as titles designer Nawal, editor Laila Fahmy and translators and daughters of Anis Ebeid; Azza and Abla in the closing ceremony.
In the opening ceremony, the administration of the festival announced the screening of Mexican film ‘Dos Fridas’ (Two Fridas), which is a 92 minutes film inspired by the relationship between Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her Costa Rican nurse Judith Ferreto, and directed by Costa Rican-Iraqi-Chilean director Ishtar Yasin Gutierrez.
The festival will also honor German-American star Barbara Bouchet, who acted in more than 80 films, including ‘Gangs of New York’ and ‘The Scarlet and the Black.
The festival’s Artistic Director Hala Galal said that Egyptian actress Laila Elwy will be the president of the jury of the long narrative films competition, along with French producer Jacques Bidou, Founder of Tripoli Film Festival Elias Khaiat and Dutch producer Elise Drezin, former head of film program at the francophone organization in Djibouti Souad Hussein.
President of the jury of the short films competition will be French director Julia Morozova next to Egyptian actress Yousra El Lozy and Jordanian director Yehia Abdullah.
There will also be a countless number of workshops, such as the scriptwriting and development workshop led by established writer Wessam Soliman, documentary filmmaking by award winning director Mahmoud Soliman, and an animation workshop led by Ashraf Mahdy, a producer and professor at the Helwan Fine Arts University.
Director Aida El-Kashef will also hold another workshop to support the finalization of documentary films that first began in the festival’s previous edition.
“The workshops will be held on February 13-19, 2019. They aim at enhancing youth’s role in the society via giving them the opportunity to express themselves and their visions through cinema as one of the modern means of expression. Children and youths, who are living in Aswan and aging from 7 to 35 years old, are encouraged to apply for the workshops,” manager of the festival’s workshops Sayed Abdel Khalek told Egypt Today.
There will also be a number of important filmmakers and women activists attending this year’s festival, according to a delegation of Aswan International Women Film Festival.
Ministry of Culture also asserted the ministry’s keenness on making the festival successful as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi named Aswan as the capital of African culture in 2019.
Earlier this month, Aswan was awarded UNESCO’s Learning City Award for its efforts in promoting education and lifelong learning at the local level.
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