Cairo International Film Festival

Cairo International Film Festival

15 | 24 novembre 2023

45a Edzione

Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) is an annual international film festival organized by the Ministry of Culture in Egypt. It is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) and is committed to comply with all its conditions and regulations.Festival president Mohamed Hefzy stated that “The festival’s programming team and management are thrilled by the challenge that this upcoming edition offers, and we are eager to present a diverse and rich lineup of films and a selection worthy of the festival’s audience that has come to expect more in terms of quality and surprises year after year. During the last three years we did strive to realize our fullest ambitions and utmost success in our offering of programming, and in the various support platforms offered to professionals by Cairo Industry Days, including the Cairo Film Connection which last year offered prizes valued at nearly 250,000 USD to 15 very different quality projects”. “Despite the challenges of COVID” continues Hefzy, “Film Festivals have found a way to adapt and survive, acting as a lifeline for films and filmmakers that have been affected and challenged by the pandemic, including such threats as disrupted productions, and the closure of theaters throughout much of the world. Very few festivals managed to hold a physical edition, and we are proud to say that Cairo was one of them, setting the bar for an even more successful physical edition this year”. The 42nd edition witnessed the participation of 95 films from more than 40 countries, including 20 world and international premieres, and 10 new Egyptian films for the first time in the festival’s modern history. Despite the fact that social distancing was applied and capacity was reduced by 50%, the festival’s ticket sales reached 30,000, and despite travel restrictions, CIFF received nearly 200 foreign guests during it’s 42nd edition. Many more were able to participate in online panels, workshops, masterclasses, and Q&A’s. Some of the highlights of the 42nd edition include Golden Pyramid lifetime achievement awards to Egyptian screenwriter Waheed Hamed, as well as the British playwright, screenwriter, and Oscar winner Christophe Hampton. Last but not least, Egyptian superstar Mona Zaki was honored with the Faten Hamama prize for excellence. The Cairo International Film Festival remains the oldest annually running international film festival in Africa and the Middle East, and is one of only 15 film festival worldwide recognized as a competitive category A festival by the International Federation of Film Producers FIAPF.


The Cairo International Film Festival announces the opening of registration for films wishing to participate in the festival’s new edition which will be held in November.

Submissions from all over the world will be received until the end of July through the official festival website for feature-length and short films as well as through Film Freeway for the registration of short films only.

Producer and president of the festival, Mohamed Hefzy, states that the concentration of Arab festivals in a period of only two months towards the end of the year has made this edition more challenging than the previous years. Given the rise in competition for premieres in the region of the most important Arabic and International films, the Artistic team began work last February on securing some of the most unique and diverse films to the festival’s program, targeting a selection of approximately 100 films in the festival’s various sections and competitions.

With regards to the challenges related to the Covid Pandemic, Hefzy expressed his optimism in holding the new edition in safer circumstances. The efforts of countries worldwide, including Egypt, in distributing the vaccine to their populations should result in improvement of the current state of the pandemic and a relaxation of the restrictions set by the virus, especially with regards to travel, opening of theaters, and social gatherings.

Adding: just like we did not lose hope last year and successfully held the festival, we will not lose hope this year either. We will do our utmost best to organise a hygienically safe and artistically superior edition, while complying with all the sanitary measures and regulations set by the Egyptian Government and the World Health Organisation.

The past edition witnessed the participation of 95 films representing more than 40 countries, of which 20 films saw their world and international premieres. The program also included Gala MENA premieres of The Father and Nomadland, which collectively won five academy awards earlier this year.

The festival honored, in its last edition, three prominent figures in cinema. Two received the honorary Golden Pyramid Award for lifetime achievement; the renowned author, Wahid Hamed and the Academy Award winning British author and director, Christopher Hampton who lived a part of his childhood in Egypt between the cities of Alexandria and Suez. The third honoree was the superstar Mona Zaki who was awarded the Faten Hamama Excellence Award. The Cairo International Film Festival is the oldest international annual festival in the Middle East and North African and the only one accredited as Category A by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations in Paris (FIAPF), alongside 14 other festivals organising international competitions.

Cairo Industry Days

The 45th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) today announced that the Cairo Film Connection (CFC), the co-production market is now open for submissions until August 5, 2023.

Now in its 10th year, the Cairo Film Connection (December 4 through 6) has successfully provided funding (with more than 600 thousands USD over the past three years), partnership opportunities and support to more than 120 Arab filmmakers to date. Among them Yousry Nasrallah, Kaouther Ben Hania, Sameh Alaa, Mehdi Barsaoui, Bassel Ghandour, Haider Rashid, Mayye Zayed, etc.

CIFF’s President, writer-producer Mohamed Hefzy explained: “Despite all the challenges the industry have gone through, CFC mission is to keep supporting creative voices from the region and to bring compelling and exciting stories to audiences around the world. Working together with our partners and sponsors we are looking to another exceptional edition”.He also added that: “We’re also glad that Chadi Zeneddine has joined our team, after 3 years of consulting for CFC. His industry experience and singular perspective as an artist will bring freshness to the program.”

Chadi Zeneddine, the newly appointed manager of the Cairo Film Connection, explained: “It is my pleasure to join the Cairo International Film Festival team in running the dynamic Cairo Film Connection co-production market, and in generating a productive space for filmmakers and industry alike. I am also looking forward to discovering and supporting talent from the region and the Arab diaspora.”

Cairo Film Connection is held as part of Cairo Industry Days (December 3 through 6), the industry platform of the Cairo International Film Festival running for its fourth year in partnership with Arab Cinema Centre which brings industry professionals from around the world to engage in a programme of masterclasses, panel discussions, and events designed to inspire, highlight and support filmmaking talent from the region. Meriame Deghedi, newly appointed Head of Cairo Industry Days explained: “Last year the Cairo Film Connection provided not only financial support to filmmakers but an opportunity to gain exclusive access to leading international and regional professionals. With more than 150 meetings made in last year’s exceptional edition, we’re aiming to maintain Cairo Industry Days as the meeting point of film creators and strengthen the market of independent cinema within the region” To be eligible for submission to the Cairo Film Connection, projects must be directed by filmmakers of Arab nationality or origin. The project must be a work of feature-length fiction or non-fiction in development or post-production stage. The director of the project must have previously directed a minimum of one film, whether it’s short or feature-length.

The  Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) is one of the oldest cultural events in Africa and the Middle East, and is the only festival in Africa and the Middle East to be accorded category “A” status by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) in Paris.

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