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Cairo International Film Festival unveils dates for 43rd edition
Despite COVID-19 challenges, film festivals have found way to survive, acted as lifeline for filmmakers affected by pandemic, says CIFF President Mohamed Hefzy
Published in Daily News Egypt on 19 - 04 - 2021

The organisers of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) announced, last Friday, that the 43rd edition of the festival will be held on 1-10 December 2021.
The closing ceremony is to be held 9 December, which will be followed by a screening of the prize winning films the following day on 10 December, according to a press release issued by the CIFF.
Festival President Mohamed Hefzy said, "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 line- up 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 strived to realise 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 to 15 very different quality projects," he added.
Mohamed Hefzy
Despite the challenges of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, film festivals have found a way to adapt and survive, Hefzy said, adding that they acted as a lifeline for films and filmmakers affected and challenged by the pandemic. He noted that these included such threats as disrupted productions, and the closure of theatres 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," he noted.
The 42nd edition in 2020 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 saw ticket sales reach 30,000. Despite travel restrictions, the CIFF received nearly 200 foreign guests in 2020, the festival said. Many more were able to participate in online panels, workshops, masterclasses, and Q&A's.
Some of the highlights of the 42nd edition included the presentation of 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 honoured with the Faten Hamama Prize for Excellence.
The CIFF remains the oldest annually run international film festival in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. It is one of only 15 film festivals worldwide recognised as a competitive category A festival by the International Federation of Film Producers (FIAPF).

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