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Cairo International Film Festival
By Michele De Capitani
With the passing of time this African country has kept playing an important role in Middle-Eastern and world culture, and an evidence of this is given by the success obtained by writers such as Taha Hussein, Tawfiq Al Hakim and Naguib Mahfouz, who has also been awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature. Egyptian cinema too has undergone a strong development, and this is why the Egyptian capital city hosts one of the most important Middle-Eastern cultural event: the Cairo International Film Festival.

This is the most ancient Middle-Eastern Film Festival: it was organised for the first time in 1976 by the Egyptian Association of Film Writers and Critics, headed by Kamal El-Mallakh, and this year it will celebrate, from the 18th to the 28th November, its 32nd edition, carrying on pursuing the mission that it had when it was created: supporting films and, thanks to the international language of cinema, supporting the dialogue and the artistic exchange between different countries; giving the possibility to cinema professionals coming from all over the world to meet and exchange their ideas; supporting the development of cinema industry in the Arabic world, in the Middle East and, in general, all over the world. In the era we are living in, which is characterised by numberless fights caused also by the lack of knowledge of, and by the suspiciousness against what is different, this mission turns out to be very relevant. The Festival is intended to fight against this situation and, through the promotion of works by African and

Middle-Eastern artists, it tries to make everybody get to know these countries, reducing in this way the distance between these and other places of the world.

The importance of building a link between counties is highlighted also by the fact that every year a country is chosen as the guest of honour of the happening. This year the organisers have chosen Spain, and to the Iberian country a tribute will be dedicated, which will include both a recollection of the most important works of Spanish cinema production, and a presentation of the new generation of Spanish filmmakers. If on one hand the Festival hosts works realised in foreign countries, on the other hand it also tries to promote Africa, and it does it through a special section (The Black Pearl) that includes movies coming from all over Africa, which is intended to give a realistic image of Africa, different from the stereotype we are used to.

We can say that this Festival is meant to promote knowledge, respect and equality, and since this year we will celebrate the 60th Anniversary for the Declaration of Human Rights, the Festival too will celebrate this event hosting a special section named A Window on a more Humane Future which will include films focusing on important issues like human dignity and rights.
Apart from these special sections, which characterise and differentiate the Egyptian event from other film festivals, the Cairo Festival includes also more traditional sections. First of all, the section of the films in competitions, which compete for the awarding of the Golden and the Silver Pyramid for the best film and for other prizes for the best actor and the best actress. Other films compete in the International Digital Competition and in the Arab Film Competition, which award prizes for the best films in these categories, while out of competition films are included in other sections, such as the retrospectives and the tributes sections.

Cinema lovers will certainly appreciate this Festival, not only because it gives us the opportunity to watch good movies realised by filmmakers coming from all over the world, but also because it is a good chance to look into relevant issues and to broaden our knowledge.

The symbol of Egypt, the pyramid, is now also the symbol of the prizes that are awarded every year during the Cairo International Film Festival. If you love cinema you should plan a trip to Cairo at the end of November, and in this way you will have the possibility to admire Egyptian landscapes and at the same time to take part in this important cultural event. Book now a cheap hotel in Cairo!

Tickets: various prices
Date: 18th -28th November 2008
Location: Cairo, Egypt
This article was written by Michele De Capitani with support from hotel deals for any information, please visit hostel Cairo Egypt or for travel insurance visit best b&b in Cairo.

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