Bille August

Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) has named award-winning Danish director Bille August as Jury President of the 40th edition of the international competition scheduled to take place from November 20-29, 2018.


August is one of few directors who have won three of the most coveted cinematic awards: The Academy Award, the Palm d’Or and the Golden Globe. He is one of eight directors throughout history who received the Palm d’Or twice.

Mohamed Hefzy, CIFF President commented, “Bille August is one of the eminent names in world cinema. His films have captured the hearts of audiences all over the world. It is an honor to have him as the Jury President in this historic 40th edition of the Festival”.

August said, “I am excited and honored to be the Jury President of this year’s Cairo International Film Festival and so much looking forward to watching all the films from around the world along with the jury members”.

He added, “What a great film can do is to give soul and heart to moments, to characters, and to give us the possibility to identify with other people. What we see and experience becomes a part of us; we become the other person and we are able to understand unknown sides of other human beings. We learn something about the nature of mankind, which can be difficult in our everyday lives because we do not experience reality as concentrated as we do on film. And because we are able to portray the individual human being in a film, it also gives us a possibility, in short moments, to understand something about the world in the greater picture.”

August was born in 1948 in Denmark and during the seventies he studied cinema at the National Film School of Denmark. He directed his first feature film “Honning Mane – In My life” in 1978 for which he received the Bodil Award for Best Danish Film.  His major international success occurred in 1987 when his film ” Pelle Erobreren- Pelle the Conqueror” when three major accolades in cinema were bestowed upon him: the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival,  as well as both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. In 1992, he once again received the Palm’ D’Or for his film ” Den Goda Viljan – The Best Intentions”.

Later on in his career, August worked on such major productions featuring international superstars as “The House of Spirits” in 1993 starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” starring Julia Ormond and Richard Harris, “Les Misérables” in 1998 starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman and ”55 Steps” in 2017 starring Hilary Swank and Helena Bonham Carter.

August has been honored both by the Danish and the Swedish Royal Order of Chivalry and the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.