CIFF to honour legendary filmmaker Terry Gilliam with Lifetime Achievement award

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

The visionary and iconic director, screenwriter, actor, and animator Terry Gilliam will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award at the 41st edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).

The award comes in recognition of Gilliam’s career, which lasted over four decades, and his outstanding contributions to the film industry, marking him as one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. Gilliam is set to accept this honour during the opening ceremony of the festival at the Cairo Opera House.

In conjunction with the prestigious award, fans and industry members alike will also have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear the remarkable story of the 1986 Oscar nominee and BAFTA Fellowship director during an in-conversation event at the Cairo Opera House. This rare event provides an unmissable opportunity for the fans to gain an insight into Gilliam’s life, career, and achievements, with an exclusive Q&A session for the audience. The CIFF will also host special screenings of Brazil (1985) and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018).


Gilliam first gained recognition when he made his mark on pop culture as a founding member of the Monty Python comedy troupe and with his animations for Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which was first aired on television in the UK in 1969. His unique flair and remarkable imagination in storytelling soon propelled him into the director’s chair for Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and segments of Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life (1983) alongside Terry Jones.


Gilliam’s first film as a solo director was for the captivating and dazzling Jabberwocky (1977) which he also co-wrote. He followed on with the hugely successful Time Bandits (1981), an intoxicating time travel fantasy starring John Cleese and Sean Connery. In 1985, he wrote and directed the remarkable sci-fi picture Brazil (1985), wowing critics who hailed it a visual masterpiece and landed Gilliam an Oscar nomination.


Gilliam’s trademark imagination was on full display in his flamboyant fantasy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989). In 1991, Gilliam cemented his reputation as a successful director with The Fisher King starring Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, and Mercedes Ruehl, which received critical acclaim and performed well at the Oscars and Golden Globe Awards. Highly regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made, 12 Monkeys hit screens in 1996 with excellent performances from Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, who won a Golden Globe award and was nominated for Oscar’s Best Supporting Actor.


Gilliam gained further acclaim with the literary adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s eponymous Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), which he co-wrote and directed. With Gilliam’s unique directorial vision and stellar performances from Johnny Depp and Benico del Toro, the film became a famed cult classic.


Gilliam’s following film The Brothers Grimm (2005) whisked audiences away on a fantastical adventure, starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. Returning to independent filmmaking, Gilliam directed and co-wrote Tideland (2005) before delivering the intoxicatingly imaginative The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), re-confirming his status as a conjurer of cinema and featuring a final performance from the late, gifted Heath Ledger.


Bursting with the filmmaker’s trademark deep-focus detail, Gilliam directed The Zero Theorem (2014), a spellbinding sci-fi epic featuring a captivating performance by two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.

Finally, after three decades, Gilliam’s long-dreamed-of project, adventure-comedy The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, came to light. He also co-wrote the project with Tony Grisoni, which stars Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce. From the unique worlds of Brazil to Twelve Monkeys, this prolific filmmaker’s body of work confirms what a dreary place the world would be without the magic of Gilliam.


“It’s a great honour to be recognised with this award by the Cairo International Film Festival, I am very excited to be visiting Egypt in November to meet with audiences and filmmakers to celebrate storytelling,” Gilliam commenting on the honouring.

The CIFF director Mohamed Hefzy said, “Terry Gilliam is a genius filmmaker, a maverick who has an extraordinary gift for storytelling. His films are wildly imaginative and sublime, submerging audiences into dizzying dystopias and whimsical fairy tales; he is undoubtedly one of the true greats of cinema.”

He added that Gillam’s remarkable, visionary body of work, which spans over 40 years, has seen him craft some of the most unique, epic, and captivating films ever made.

“We are honoured to present Terry Gilliam with a Lifetime Achievement award and we look forward to welcoming him to Cairo,” Hefzy said.

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