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Jeremy Colson

Jeremy Colson's festival coverage.

Film Festival ambassador to
Visiting Athens, Bangkok, Cairo, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Kathmandu, Neasden and more.


Cairo International Film Festival 2009 to be best ever

THE CAIRO International Film Festival (CIFF) celebrates its 33rd edition this year from November 10 to November 20.

In its long history of successes, last year's triumph would be a hard act to follow. Never before had the festival attracted so many international stars. But the organizers say that this year promises to equal and perhaps even surpass last year's event.

The CIFF 2009 enjoys the fine backdrop of 100 years of a distinguished film history. It is undoubtedly the oldest and most prestigious festival of the entire Middles East.

This year there are three competitions: The International Competition maintains a high standard of full-length feature films which are drawn from 17 different countries.

Recognizing the high number of digital films made around the world today, the organisers have added a Digital film Competition for the first time.

They are also recognizing the efforts of dedicated Arab filmmakers by including a third competition for long feature Arabic films.

The competitions are judged by an assembly of three different international juries.

Heading the Jury of the International Competition will be the celebrated international Indian filmmaker, scriptwriter and producer Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

As has been CIFF's tradition during the past decade, the festival is once again honouring an individual country.

The executive committee of CIFF 2009 has selected the exotic land of India and its outstanding contribution to the history of film during the last century.

“Bollywood has left its indelible mark on the international screen and we are all anxious to learn more about its origins, themes and music. We are hoping to welcome several Indian filmmakers, actors, directors, producers, writers, etc.” a committee spokesman said in a statement.

“Press conferences will be held for all notable guests. We have much to look forward to and relish in the colors, tastes and variety of India and its screen productions,” the spokesman added.

CIF 2009 is being dedicated to the memory of Egyptian director Shadi Abdel Salam. His outstanding film "The Mummy", considered to be one of the world's great classics, has been restored by the Martin Scorsese Foundation and was screened at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Screening of “The Mummy” provides a rare chance to admire the fine art of the late director. Scorsese will be present personally to introduce the film.

The festival will also pay tribute to the Algerian film industry that is rapidly rising in the firmament of relative cinema art. Algerian film-makers will be at hand to shed light on their productions and a number of Algerian films will be available for public viewing.

Last year's symposium on human rights struck a serious note among festival goers. This year’s issue is the serious state of the world's environment.                                                                                                         

“We shall hold several meetings with distinguished panel members to discuss the issue and explore the methods by which the film industry can contribute to [solving] the problem,” said the spokesman.

Screening of the motion picture "Home" directed by French photographer Yann- Arthus Bertrand will be one of the films shown in the Environment category.

The success if last year’s spotlight on African Cinema has encouraged the organisers of CIFF 2009 to repeat the category again.

The annual Film Market has been a tremendous success through the years. It has grown in scope, quantity and quality and has aided film producers in viewing and distributing a variety of international film productions.

The organisers are once again expecting to welcome filmmakers and celebrities from around the world.

Past guests include: Gina Lollobrigida, Irene Pappas, John Malkovich, Alain Delon, Peter O'Tool, Sophia Loren , Catherine Deneuve, Matt Dillon , Harvey Keitel, Elizabeth Taylor, Elia Kazan, and Michelangelo Antonioni.

The Opening and Closing ceremonies will be held as usual at the Cairo Opera House.


The Cairo Opera House


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About Jeremy Colson

Colson Jeremy

FestivalExpress Online Submission
For Filmmakers: Info, Register, Rules, Submit, Pay, Send.

This is the diary of a festival ambassador travelling throughout Asia and elsewhere around the world.  Festivals covered include: Bangkok, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, London, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Chennai, Neasden and more


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