Cairo Film Connection revealed its lineup of film projects that have been selected to take part at its edition that will be held during the 44Cairo International Film Festival (13 – 22 November) as part of Cairo Industry Days.
The shortlisted film projects from across the Arab world include 15 documentary and feature narrative projects in development and post-production phases. From Egypt there are 5 film projects, 2 from Tunisia, as well as projects from Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Palestine, and KSA.
This year there will be 8 film projects competing at the feature narrative section, including two projects in post-production. These include Final Cut in Venice winner Inshallah A Boy by director Amjad Al Rasheed, from Jordan and Red Path, from Tunisia, by director Lotfi Achour. The 6 feature narratives in development include the Egyptian projects Bad Friend by director Ahmed El Ghoneimy; and Over Three Days by director Tamer Ashry. But also the highly anticipated feature debut by filmmaker Suzannah Mirghani titled Cotton Queen, from Sudan (pictured above) and The Seasons of Jannet from multi-awarded Tunisian helmer Mehdi Hmili; along with the Saudi Arabian Aziz Hala by director Jawaher Alamri and the Moroccan Bella by director Mohcine Besri.
There will also be seven film projects at the documentaries section of Cairo Film Connection; including 3 projects in post-production: Let’s Play Soldiers (from Yemen) directed by Mariam Al-Dhubani and Mohammed Al-Jaberi; The Last Man (from Egypt) by director Muhammad Salah and Suspended (from Lebanon) by director Myriam El Hajj. The list also revealed 4 film projects in development; which include: A Butterfly Hug (from Egypt) by director Sally Abo Basha; My Dad’s a Farmer by Algerian director El Kheyer Zidani; Searching for Woody (from Egypt) by director Sara Shazli; and the Palestinian Theft of Fire by Amr Shomali.
Lynda Belkhria, Manager of Cairo Film Connection, stated: “Through Cairo Film Connection, we want to consolidate the relationship between Arab industry and the international cinema by offering a selection of promising projects from ten countries of the Arab world that highlight different stories that reflect the reality of the situation faced in these countries.”
She continued: “A balanced selection between documentary and feature narrative, reflects the desire and the urgency of a diversified approach to storytelling, from the realistic to the pure fiction. We tried to create an organic selection in which every film is represented through its unique voice. Projects that reflect both the innovative strengths of the voice of the new generations of filmmakers, in a specific where the industry is facing harsh difficulties while the desire for original stories and creative filmmaking is ever growing.”
Amir Ramses, Festival Director of Cairo International Film Festival reinforced the festival's support of the participating projects and expressed his delight for the continuous support received by Cairo Film Connection’s partners and sponsors, which this year will include new partnerships as well.
Held as part of Cairo Industry Days, Cairo Film Connection provides an important space for discussions, networking, meetings, workshops, master classes and partnership and co-production opportunities. It aims to establish connections between Arab talent, and regional and international key industry professionals, to further support Arab Cinema.
To be eligible for submission to Cairo Film Connection, projects must be directed by filmmakers of Arab nationality or origin and be a work of feature-length fiction or non-fiction in development or post-production phase. Also to be noted, the director of the project must have previously directed a minimum of one film, whether that is a short or feature-length project.
Cairo International Film Festival is one of the oldest-standing film festivals in the Arab world and Africa and the only festival in the region to be accredited as an (A) festival by (FIAPF) – the International Federation of Film Producers.