Cairo Film Fest announces first selection for 44th edition

The festival, which is scheduled to take place between 13-22 November, 2022 under new leadership, has unveiled ten titles, all which will be MENA premieres.
Cairo Film Fest announces first selection for 44th edition

The 44th Cairo International Film Festival will take place inside the Cairo Opera House complex, from November 13 to 22, 2022. The festival's is under new leadership, after the sudden exit of previous President, the producer Mohamed Hefzy. Former El Gouna Artistic Director Amir Ramses was appointed as the Director of the 44th Cairo International Festival earlier this year, with Egyptian superstar Hussein Fahmy being announced as CIFF's new President.

The first ten films which will make up the extensive line up of the festival include five films to be featured in the festival’s Out of Competition programme, three films to be screened as part of Special Screenings, the International Competition, and Midnight Screenings, in addition to two films which will up part of CIFF's International Panorama.

This year's Berlinale Golden Bear winner Alcarràs from Spain/Italy by filmmaker Carla Simon tells the story of the daily struggles of a group of peach growers in Catalonia, Spain, and how their lives change when the owner of their large estate dies and his heir decides to sell the land, which abruptly threatens their livelihood. 

A film by director Paz Encina, EAMI a Paraguay/USA/Germany/Netherlands/Argentina/France/Mexico co-production is slated to showcase in the Special Screenings section of the Cairo International Film Festival. The film is winner of the prestigious Tiger Award of the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 202 and follows Eami, a child who embodies a bird-god and, in a trance, imagines herself wandering through the forest in constant contact with the cruel reality that surrounds her in the form of deforestation that is a very real, very tangible danger for her people, the Ayoreo Totobiegosode of Paraguay.

Tori & Lokita, from France/Belgium is directed by the two-time Palme d’Or winners, brother duo Jean- Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The film was recognized by Cannes Film Festival earlier this year receiving its Special 75th Anniversary Prize. It takes place in modern-day Belgium, where a young boy and an adolescent girl who have travelled alone from Africa pit their invincible friendship against the cruel conditions of their exile.

Other titles include Utama by director Alejandro Loayza Grisi, an award winning debut feature from Bolivia/Uruguay/France which won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic competition at Sundance; R.M.N. from Romania/France/Belgium/Sweden by director Cristian Mungiu, himself a Palme d’Or winning filmmaker; and Butterfly Vision, from Croatia/Czech Republic/Sweden/Ukraine which is directed by Maksym Nakonechynl and competed in Un Certain Regard at this year's 75th Cannes Film Festival.

Robe of Gems, an Argentinian/Mexican co-production by director Natalia Lopez received the Berlinale’s Silver Bear Award Jury Prize. The film is produced by Joaquin del Paso, who received the prestigious Golden Pyramid for Best Film at the previous edition of Cairo International Film Festival and tells the story of three women from different social classes in rural Mexico who become tragically involved with a missing person case tied to organized crime.

Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius' Final Cut, which also opened the Festival de Cannes this year will also screen at CIFF in their Midnight Screenings section. The film is a French/UK/Japanese co-production.

Directed by Mario Martone, Nostalgia (pictured in the header, and an Italy/France co-production) will be among the film screenings of the International Panorama section at CIFF, where the director’s previous film The King of Laughter was previously presented during the 43rd edition. Nostalgia was also an official selection at Cannes Film Festival this year and tells the story of Felice Lasco, who returns to his hometown Naples to look after his sick and dying mother after 45 years of absence from the city, a move bound to bring back memories from the past.

Rounding out the selection, a film by Japanese director Masaaki Kudo titled A Far Shore. A Far Shore follows the story of Aoi who drops out of high school to give birth to a baby son in Okinawa, Japan. As her daily struggles mount, leading to a social downfall, she develops a bond with her son that sets her on a path to find solutions.

For more information, check out the CIFF website.

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