Over the years, Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) has given special attention to short films, due to its growing popularity each year.
In the previous editions of the festival, a number of short films were screened in the Ewart Hall at the AUC, which accommodates about 900 people, and all of these screenings were sold out.
According to a press release by the festival, the winning short film in the CIFF now qualifies for the Academy Award lists, attracting filmmakers worldwide to submit their films for the chance to have their world or international premieres at the festival.
In its 45th edition which will take place from November 15 to 24, the CIFF remains committed to empowering the short film industry with several new additions to the short film programme.
The first of these enhancements involves a partnership between the festival and the Drosos Foundation in Egypt. This partnership has resulted in presenting a $5,000 cash prize for the best Arab short film.
The Drosos Foundation, which focuses on supporting the creative economy and empowering young artists to access more opportunities and advance their careers in cinema, has joined hands with the festival to award this prize. The recipient of this award will be selected by the short film jury from among the Arab participants in the official short film competition.
In recognition of the significance of short films and the need to provide them with equal prominence alongside feature films, the festival has chosen to inaugurate an opening ceremony dedicated to short films, in the presence of the participating filmmakers, jury members and audiences. This ceremony will take place at the Grand Theatre at the Cairo Opera House, featuring a selection of short films that will also serve as the programme’s opening films.
Among these films is the Egyptian film “I Promise You Paradise”, directed by Morad Mustafa, which has been awarded numerous prizes at international film festivals, including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
Due to the geographical diversity constraint of the competition and the rising number of Egyptian short film submissions, the festival management has introduced a new segment.
This non-competitive section is designed to offer greater screening opportunities for promising Egyptian filmmakers, showcasing their distinctive artistic endeavors at the onset of their careers.
“In its previous edition, the festival has succeeded in presenting diversified performances and films to the audience, which resulted in high attendance rates. The screened films tackled multiple crucial themes that the audience enjoyed,” CIFF President, Hussein Fahmy said.
“This year, the festival grants young Egyptian filmmakers the opportunity to take part in its events through a non-competitive section. This section aims at granting them the opportunity to participate in the festival, in order to pave the way for them to unleash their creativity,” Fahmy added.
CIFF Director, Amir Ramses also said that throughout the past years, the short film’s programme has been so unique.
“The winning films will have the chance to take part in the Oscar Qualifiers for the Best Short Film. Indeed, the festival’s management is so proud of that. Over the past few years, we have observed the audience’s interest in these kinds of films. That’s why we thought of hosting red carpet shows for them, as well as presenting shows in a larger place -Ewart Hall, the AUC- that accommodates 900 audiences. Nevertheless, the turnout remained high,” Ramses added.
CIFF is one of the most prestigious and long-standing festivals in the Arab World and Africa. It is unique as it is the only festival in the Arab and African region accredited as category “A” by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) in Brasilia, France.