Cairo International Film Festival Opens Despite No-Shows

Published October 9th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

The silver jubilee of Cairo International Film Festival dedicated to the late Egyptian actor Anwar Wagdi will open Tuesday evening at the capital city's Opera House, according to the Egyptian newspapers. 

The festival will begin with a speech by Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni, followed by a screening of the French film The Destiny of Amelie Paulan, which was a box-office smash in France this year. 

According to the festival head, Hussein Fahmi, who described putting together this year's event as "turbulent," 168 films from 35 countries, including four Arab countries, will participate in the official contest. 

The Algerian film Inshallah Yawm Al Ahad (God Willing, Sunday), by Yamina Bangigi, has been dropped despite the fact that critics and a screening committee had hailed it. The film’s previous participation in the Morocco Film Festival and winning of the grand prize disqualified it from entering the Cairo contest because the internal regulations of this contest require competing films to be screened for the first time. 

American star Danny Glover sent his regrets for not participating in the celebrations of the festival’s silver jubilee because of US State Department instructions urging US citizens to refrain from travelling to the Middle East at present. 

Earlier, the festival’s head received letters of regret from many international stars, including Schirly McClaine, who confirmed her participation even after the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11. 

The festival will honor an Egyptian actress who played the character Fairouz and who achieved a stunning success in her roles that made her the most renowned kid in the Egyptian cinema history. It will also honor the director Tawfiq Saleh, who won the state appreciation award for arts in 1997.  

A number of his films will be screened, including Yawmiyyat Naeb Fil Aryaf (MP Diaries in the Countryside), Sayyed Bulti and Al Makhduo’un (Cheated). This is in addition to the documentary film Al Qulal, which was not screened before because the censors rejected it in the 1960s. 

Also, the head of the festival contest jury, Abbas Kiaro Stami, who was the first Iranian director to win the Cannes film festival Golden Palm award, will be honored by a screening of his film The Taste of Cherry.  

Director Jon Paul Rabino, who is prominent in the French cinema for his supreme innovation in comedy films, will be honored too, in addition to the late Italian director Mauro Paulinini, who died on May 14 – 

© 2001 Al Bawaba (

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