While the talk of the town in film circles right now is the upcoming Oscars – and one particular actor’s universally supported push for a win – Cairo’s own film fanatics have plenty to look forward to this month, too.
Set to kick-off on Saturday 27th of February, the Cairo International Women’s Film Festival is set to attract Cairenes from far and wide for six days of screenings and activities at Falaki Theatre, Goethe-Institut Cairo and Cairo Opera House’s Artistic Creativity Centre.
Having debuted in 2008, CIWFF isn’t all that old, but in its short lifetime it’s risen to become an important date in Cairo’s arts and culture calendar. Screenings aside, the festival has come to represent much more for film in Egypt and the Middle East, standing as a meeting of minds for filmmakers and fans alike in celebrating the diversity that the increasing number of female filmmakers add to the film both as industry and as art.So influential is CIWFF, that it has taken to the road in the past, holding screenings and events in neigbouring other countries as well as in Latin America in 2013.
This year’s festival is bringing films from over 40 countries to our proverbial doorstep – everywhere from Palestine and Lebanon, to Germany and Finland, to Spain and Argentina. The festival will include different sections, including International Panorama, Dance & Cinema and Caravan of Arab-Iberoamerican Women’s Films, while Finnish filmmaker, Pirjo Honkasalo, is the subject of the festival’s Tribute to a Cineaste.
In addition, this year's 'guest festival is the Dortmund/Cologne International Women's Film Festival, while Denmark is the 'Country in Focus', with Annette K. Olsen set to lead a masterclass on the avant-garde movement, Dogme 95, on February 29th. Organisers are also celebrating their ninth triumphant year with an Audience Award that will see attendees vote for the best film.
By Kalam El Qahaira