Meriame Deghedi, Manager of Cairo Film Connection (CFC), revealed details on the cash prizes and awards to be presented by the CFC‘s partners to the winning film projects. This year, the platform’s in-kind and cash awards are worth of $200,000 this year, marking the largest cash awards offered sinceCFC‘s launch. This indicates the trust put by the partners and sponsors in this film hub.
Deghedi stated, “Every year,Cairo Film Connectionpresents a roster of prominent film projects that boast great potentials to help their filmmakers bring them to completion. CFC, in partnership with its partners, presents monetary awards to support these film projects. These partners (in alphabetical order) include: OSN Network ($50,000 cash prize for buying film’s screening rights); Badyã($15,000 cash prize), Arab Radio and Television Network (ART) ($10,000 cash prize), Arabia Pictures($10,000 cash prize), Iraqi Cinema ($5,000 cash prize), Ensan Films ($7,000 cash prize), Rotana Group ($10,000 cash prize), New Century Productions ($10,000 cash prize), The Cell ($3000 and providing a DCP for the film in the post-production phase),MAD Solutions and Ergo Award (Distribution in the Arab World with $30,000 Minimum Guarantee), Arab Cinema Center (Invitation to attend Rotterdam Lab 2020), Red Sea Film Festival ( Invitation to participate in the 1st edition of the Red Sea Film Market) and Leyth Production (Sound Mix and Design).”
In its sixth edition, sixteen documentary and narrative film projects in the development and post-production phase compete for the CFC awards. The film projects come from different countries across the Arab world; Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Iraq. Recently, CFC revealed its jury members for its upcoming edition, which encompasses Egyptian Screenwriter Mariam Naoum, Founder and Managing Director of Media Luna New Films, and George David, Producer and Consultant in film and television.
Cairo Film Connection (CFC) is held as part of the festival’s prestigious Cairo Industry Days in partnership with Arab Cinema Center (November 24 – 26). Cairo Industry Days, to be held form November 21 to 26, provides an important space for discussions, networking sessions, meetings, workshops, masterclasses and partnership opportunities between Arab talents and regional and international key industry professionals to further support Arab Cinema.
The connection with Egypt, Hefzy added, extends to the content core too, with two of its most important film scripts based on novels by Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz.
The 41st CIFF is proudly honoring Oscar-nominee screenwriter-director, Guillermo Arriaga, Cannes’ Palme D’or winner for Best screenplay. Arriaga, the screenwriter of epic films such as “Babel”, “21 Grams” and “Amores Perros”, will be giving an extended, three-hour masterclass on script writing. Filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, Former Cannes’ Jury Member and also, Cannes Best Director Award, known for his lyrical, experimental style. An open dialogue with Reygadas on his works will also be held.
On the other side, Screenwriter-director Michel Franco, who won Cannes’s Un Certain Regard twice as well as a best screenplay award also at Cannes will be a jury member of the International Competition. Also as an honorary guest in light of honoring the Mexican Cinema, Filmmaker Gabriel Ripstein, winner of the best debut award at the Berlinale in 2015 and son of director Arturo Ripstein, who made the Mexican version of Mahfouz’s “The Beginning and the End”
According to Ahmed Shawki, Acting Artistic Director of CIFF, the film curation process of this edition changed, as each honoree was asked to choose one of their own films and yet another one of the films that influenced them. Arriaga chose his Cannes’ best screenplay award winning film “Three Burials of Melquides Estrada”, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, also while Reygadas chose his Cannes Grand-Jury prize winner film “Silent Light”, which also won him a Best Director Award at Cannes, and Franco chose his Cannes’ best screenplay award winning film “Chronic”, while influencing films include Servando Gonzalez’s “Black Wind” and Arturo Ripstein’s “Life Sentence”.
From his end, his Excellency the Mexican Ambassador to Cairo, Mr. Jose Octavio Tripp expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Mexican Embassy for CIFF decision to select Mexico as the country in focus of the 41st edition, saying “This decision is an honor for Mexico and its film industry and also an important incentive to explore areas of collaboration between Mexico, Africa and the Middle East. The Cairo Film Festival is opening a window of opportunity to promote a new area of bilateral cooperation considering the enormous prestige of Egypt as a film making nation as well and the presence of experts of both film communities in Cairo this November.”
Tripp, also added that since the start of the 21st century, Mexican filmmaking is experiencing a boom driving the Mexican cinema to a new golden age – characterized by the convergence of creativity, talent and productivity of filmmakers, as Mexico produced 176 movies In 2017 and 186 in 2018, breaking all-time records, and The film industry there grew at almost four times the rate of the overall economy in Mexico.
His excellency Also added, “In the last 20 years, members of the Mexican film crew have won 32 Oscars, five of them for Best Director, five for Best Photography, one for Best Foreign Film and many others in a range of categories. In 2018 Mexican films won 78 awards in 23 countries.”