In its new programme Panorama Special: CineTalents, the 41st Cairo International Film Festival – CIFF (20-29 November) is screening five films that record the life and career of five of the most important film artists in the history of world cinema.

According to critic Ahmed Shawky, delegated artistic director of CIFF, the festival is now curating smaller programmes out of the 50 films screened yearly in its International Panorama, in order to shed light on certain groups of films that can be seen together giving a coherent context to the audience.

The first such sub-division contains five films (4 documentaries and one animation) focusing on five film artists from various places and times, all among the best and most recent films released this year. The theme that brings them together, as Shawky puts it, can be summarised in two questions: What does it mean to be an artist? And what mark does the film artist leave on his world?

The five films in Panorama Special: CineTalents will be: the Brazilian film “Babenco: Tell Me When I Die” by Barabara Paz about the late Brazilian filmmaker Hector Babenco, the film that won the best film about cinema in Venice International Film Festival; the French-Italian coproduction that was included in the classics section of the Cannes Film Festival last year, “The Passion of Anna Magnani” by Enrico Cerasuolo about Anna Magnani, the icon of Neorealist cinema in Italy; the Czech film “Forman vs. Forman” by Jakub Hejna and Helena Trestíková, narrating the life of the great Czech filmmaker Milos Forman; the Spanish-Dutch-German animation “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles” by Salvador Simo Busom, which took part in the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, giving a glimpse on the great Surrealist director Luis Buñuel’s life; and the Lebanese-Emirati coproduction “Unlocking Doors of Cinema: Mohamed Malas” by Nezar Andary about the Syrian author and director Mohammad Malas.

“Unlocking Doors of Cinema: Mohamed Malas” was among 27 international and world premieres that CIFF has announced acquiring their rights last week.