Egypt Independent

36th Cairo International Film Festival bids farewell at Giza plateau



The 36th edition of the Cairo International Film Gestival let down its curtain on Tuesday night in a glamorous celebration at the heart of the breathtaking view of Giza Plateau for the light and sound show. 

A number of top celebrity icons and prominent figures from cultural sector walked the red carpet including Culture Minister Gaber Asfour, the festival's president and renowned Egyptian film critic Samir Farid, head of judging panel and diva Youssra, film director Khaled Youssef, Cairo Opera House head Ines Abdel-Dayem, scriptwriter Tamer Habib and actress Alham Shahin. 

The closing ceremony’s film, entitled “Little England,” was screened at the Cairo Opera House a night prior to the big celebration. 

The Greek Drama feature, based on a novel carries the same name, tells the story of two sisters who have fallen in love with the same man, taking place during the interwar period and ends in the 1950s. Directed by Palentelis Voulgaris, Little England won the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. 

The prestigious, cinematic event kicked off on 9 November featuring 155 films from 50 different countries and run for 10 consecutive days. 

Egypt claimed two prizes of the international competition of the 36th edition of the CIFF. 

Bab al-Wadaa (Gate of Departure) won the Silver Pyramid prize for the Best Artistic Contribution by cinematographer Zaki Aref, while Khaled Abol Naga won the Silver Pyramid for Best Actor for his role in the Palestinian film “Ayoun al-Harmya” or “Eyes of Thieves,” directed by Nagwa Nagar.  

The Silver Pyramid prize for Best Actress went to 25-year-old Adèle Haenel for her role in the French film “Love at First Fight” whereas the Silver Pyramid for Best Screenwriting went to the Brazilian film “The Boy and the World” by Ale Abreu.

The Greek film “Forever” claimed the Silver Pyramid for Best Motion Picture by Margarita Manta. The Iranian film “Melbourne,” directed by Nima Javidi, won the Golden Pyramid Prize for Best Motion Picture.

During his closing speech, Asfour expressed his happiness for the Iranian film win, “Despite the political disputes between Cairo and Tehran, art doesn’t consider such issues,” he said. “The prize is considered a victory for art, because it teaches us new things, rejects injustice and tyranny, and elevates human nature.”      

Following in the footsteps of other International film festivals, a number of Egyptian film industry figures had been selected by the festival’s administration to take the stage for prizes’ announcement, including actress Ghada Abdel Razeq, actor Mahmoud Hameeda, and cinematographer Sameh Salim.  

The closing ceremony was presented by movie star Asser Yassin along with promising actress Amina Khalil. It also witnessed a ballet performance entitled “Firebird” by the renowned Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.