The 41st edition of the Cairo Film Festival kicked off in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday (November 20), featuring more than 150 films from 63 countries.

Famed director Martin Scorsese’s Netflix mob drama, The Irishman, opened the film festival while Mexican cinema was chosen as the guest of honour for this year’s edition.

This year’s festival was dedicated to renowned Egyptian critic Youssef Sharif Rizkallah who passed away in July at the age of 77, after an illustrated career in which he presented television programs that screened and discussed the films of the day.

A chance for Egyptian celebrities to bring fashion statements to the red carpet, the opening was attended by many Arab and foreign artists as well as directors at the Egyptian Opera House.

Awards were presented by actors Khaled El Sawy, Ahmed Dawoud and Dina El Sherbini with Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby selected for the Faten Hamama Award for Excellence,

Egyptian director, Sherif Arafa and British director Terry Gilliam were also presented with honorary awards.

With many artists praising recent Arab filmmaking, one actress, Bushra, said that there has been a drop in the numbers in recent years that can compete internationally.

Bushra, who has been playing an active role in Egyptian film festivals recently, said that while the industry has seen commercial Egyptian films thrive, the quality of films has mostly not met international standards.

“We, of course, have a problem with a drop in the size of cinematic production that can compete with international films. she said.

The festival is expected to run until November 29.

Africa News