The Cairo Film Connection (CFC) team has revealed its selection of film projects that will take part in its seventh edition, held within the 42nd edition of Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) in November this year.
The Cairo Film Connection‘s selection committee of key industry professionals have whittled down a list of 105 project submissions to a short list of 15 film projects – feature narrative films and documentaries- in development and in post-production from across 12 Arab countries.
Seven feature narratives in-development have been selected, including four projects from Egypt The Legend of Zainab and Noah by director Yousry Nasrallah, I Can Hear Your Voice… Still by director Sameh Alaa, Breakfast Lunch and Dinner by Mohamed Samir, Snow white by Taghrid Abuelhassan, in addition to Passage (Syria) by Amr Ali, Fog (Iraq/ Lebanon) by Ruba Atiyeh and Scheherazade Goes Silent (Palestine / Jordan) by Amira Diab.
The post-production section includes one feature narrative project; The Alleys by Bassel Ghandour (Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia).
On the other hand, the selected documentary films include four in-development projects; Olfa’s Daughters (Tunisia – France) by Kaouther Ben Hania, Flying Like a Bird (Morocco – France) by El Mahdi Lyoubi, Tell Them About Us (Jordan-Germany) by Rand Beiruty and Caesar (Jordan-USA) by Widad Shafakoj. This section also includes 3 documentaries in post-production; Before the Final Picture (Egypt) by Aya Tallah Yusuf, The Last Projectionist (Palestine – Germany) by Alex Bakri and Iraq Invisible Beauty (Iraq -Belgium – France) by Sahim Omar.
Commenting on this, President of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), Mohamed Hefzy says, “This year, we are determined to continue supporting Arab Cinema by shedding light on the young Arab filmmaking talent and their distinct projects, defying all the challenges imposed by the pandemic on the global filmmaking industry. We promise to strictly follow the WHO approved precautions taken by the Egyptian government to ensure safety for the festival guests and audiences.”
Hefzy added “There are numerous reasons why we feel proud with this year’s edition. Mayye Zayed’s film Lift Like A Girl, which is an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival, participated in the 5th Cairo Film Connection in 2018, and has been selected to screen in the official competition of the 42nd edition of Cairo International Film Festival. The film is considered today as one of the most notable Arab films in 2020. In addition, the selection this year remarkably included a slew of films by prolific filmmakers, as well as first-time directors and we are proud that 50% of the selected projects are by female directors”.
Meriame Deghedi, Manager of Cairo Film Connection commented “We feel a huge responsibility to carry out CFC’s edition this year. Not only because we want to build on the previous years’ success but most importantly to offer full support to Arab filmmakers and talents who have been affected by this year’s global crisis.
The resilience of Arab filmmakers was evident and was reflected in the number of submissions we received.
Deghedi added, “We are proud that this year we have selected stories by directors with different backgrounds and cultures from across the Arab world, which has been one of our goals since the birth of Cairo Film Connection.
We are very pleased to receive submissions from the legendary Yousry Nasrallah and award-winning director Kaouther Ben Hania, who submit their film projects side by side with upcoming directors such as Bassel Ghandour, producer of Oscar nominated Theeb. Its a great mix that reflects the kind of diversity that we strive for at CFC.
“The connection’s success is not only measured by the value of the awards presented by our valued partners and sponsors, which reached $200,000 last year, marking the largest since the connection’s launch. But also in the opportunities it brings for multiple collaborations with Arab filmmakers from across the Arab world and worldwide industry professionals , bringing forth promising Arab film projects capable of competing at international film festivals,” she added.
Cairo Industry Days provides an important space for discussions, networking, meetings, workshops, masterclasses and partnership and co-production opportunities between Arab talents and regional and international key industry professionals to further support Arab Cinema.