Indie Entertainment Magazine is pleased to cover the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) once again his year. IEM’s Gotham Chandna will be on-site in Egypt from November 24th.  Here’s a first look at this year’s CIFF.

The Cairo International Film Festival announced Mexico as the country in focus of its 41st edition to be held between the 20th and the 29th of November 2019. In addition to honoring two film figures of renowned film directors, the country in focus program features eight screenings, along with several seminars and Master Classes.

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 scriptwriting.

Also being held is an open dialogue with filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, Former Cannes’ Jury Member, and Cannes Best Director Award, known for his lyrical, experimental style.

On the other side, Screenwriter-director Michel Franco, who won Cannes’s Un Certain Regard twice as well as the best screenplay award, also at Cannes, will be a jury member of the International Competition.

Another 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 CIFF president, Mohamed Hefzy: “One can draw a lot of parallels between Mexican and Egyptian cinema throughout the ages. Both countries had a golden age that produced not only timeless classics appreciated not only domestically, but in neighboring countries and sometimes internationally as well. Both went through a decline, artistically, and in terms of production capacity. Yet a new wave of Mexican filmmakers helped revive Mexican cinema into a new golden age, whereas in Egypt, the signs of a vibrant new independent film scene began to promise some hope. At such crossroads, one has to look to our distant counterpart and take inspiration and recipes for how to replicate this success domestically”.

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, 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 filmmaking 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.

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.”

IEM will be posting more on the Cairo International Film Festival…watch this space!