While Egypt’s once great film industry continues to draw on the worst of slapstick comedy for its cinematic output, with only a few exceptions, Egypt’s underground film scene only continues to grow. The reasons are two-fold; for one, the general stability of the country has given new impetus to the movement, though one could argue that a bigger reason is that we’re finding ourselves more and more exposed to new and alternative forms of artistic expression.
Festivals are the en vogue platform for music, art and film in Egypt these days and the latest to bring film buffs in Cairo together is set to come in the form of international festival, shnit.
Apart from being fun to say, shnit international shortfilmfestival – to give its full and deliberately not-capitalised name – will be popping up at several venues across the city, including Goethe Institute, Rawabet, Netherlands-Flemish Institute, the Swiss Embassy Office for International Cooperation and at Cinema Radio, between the 8th and 11th of October, with other special events and talks rounding off what is shaping up to be an all-round immersive few days. Though shnit has come to Cairo previously, this edition is set to be bigger and better.
Now in its thirteenth year, shnit was born in Switzerland and, after the success of its first few festivals, went on to tap into some of the more unknown film cultures, holding screenings and a vote for the festival’s best film in cities like Bangkok, Bern, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Moscow and San Jose and, of course, Cairo. They call these ‘Playgrounds’; attendees and guests are encouraged to discuss and explore local filmmaking, too.
For more information, checkout the official shnit website.
By Kalam El Qahaira