Cairo Film Connection opens call for submissions, announces new management

The Cairo International Film Festival today announced that the Cairo Film Connection (CFC), their co-production market is now open for submissions until August 5, 2021 and named Chadi Zeneddine as the newly appointed manager.
Cairo Film Connection opens call for submissions, announces new management

The 43rd edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which this year is scheduled to take place from 1-10 December, has announced their calls for submissions for their famed Cairo Film Connection. Now in its 8th year, the CFC -- which will run from December 4 through 6 -- has successfully provided funding, partnership opportunities and support to more than 120 Arab filmmakers to date. Among them Yousry Nasrallah, Kaouther Ben Hania, Sameh Alaa, Mehdi Barsaoui, Bassel Ghandour, Haider Rashid, Mayye Zayed, and many more.

The industry arm of the festival has also announced new leadership, with Chadi Zeneddine named manager of the CFC and Meriame Deghedi named Head of Cairo Industry Days. Zeneddine, a producer and filmmaker, was formerly a Senior Film Programmer at the Doha Film Institute. Deghedi is an arts and culture marketing professional and Distribution & Sales Manager for Cairo-based Mad Solutions.

CIFF’s President, writer-producer Mohamed Hefzy explained: “Despite all the challenges the industry has gone through, CFC mission is to keep supporting creative voices from the region and to bring compelling and exciting stories to audiences around the world. Working together with our partners and sponsors we are looking to another exceptional edition”                                                                      

On Zeneddine's appointment Hefzy added: “We’re also glad that Chadi Zeneddine has joined our team, after 3 years of consulting for CFC. His industry experience and singular perspective as an artist will bring freshness to the program.”

Zeneddine said: “It is my pleasure to join the Cairo International Film Festival team in running the dynamic Cairo Film Connection co-production market, and in generating a productive space for filmmakers and industry alike. I am also looking forward to discovering and supporting talent from the region and the Arab diaspora.”

CFC is held as part of Cairo Industry Days which will run from December 3 through 6, the industry platform of the CIFF now in its fourth year of partnership with the Arab Cinema Centre which brings industry professionals from around the world to engage in a programme of masterclasses, panel discussions, and events designed to inspire, highlight and support filmmaking talent from the region. MIME's own ME Nina conducted two masterclasses during past industry days -- one with British actor Ralph Fiennes in 2018 and last year, a virtual one with iconic Russian auteur Andrei Konchalovsky.

Meriame Deghedi, the newly appointed Head of Cairo Industry Days explained: “Last year the Cairo Film Connection provided not only financial support to filmmakers but an opportunity to gain exclusive access to leading international and regional professionals. With more than 150 meetings made in last year’s exceptional edition, we’re aiming to maintain Cairo Industry Days as the meeting point of film creators and strengthen the market of independent cinema within the region.”

To be eligible for submission to the Cairo Film Connection, projects must be directed by filmmakers of Arab nationality or origin. The project must be a work of feature-length fiction or non-fiction in development or post-production stage. The director of the project must have previously directed a minimum of one film, whether it’s short or feature-length.

CIFF is one of the oldest cultural events in Africa and the Middle East, and is the only festival in Africa and the Middle East to be accorded category “A” status by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) in Paris. The festival recently confirmed its dates and assured attendees that all the necessary safety precautions will be taken, following guidelines from the Egyptian government and the World Health Organization to ensure safety for all, including the Festival’s team, participating filmmakers, and the audience.

For more info check out the CIFF website.

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