For the fourth consecutive year, UNFPA Egypt partnered with the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) to hold a panel discussion under the Cairo Industry Days (CID) on masculinity and the portrayal of men in cinema.
As part of UNFPA’s activities marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, UNFPA is collaborating with the festival’s 43rd edition with a panel titled “Portrayal and representation of men in Egyptian cinema and drama: reflections on vulnerabilities, power and narratives.”
The panel discussed the traditional male roles portrayed on screen, and how new narratives can be presented reflecting the current social complexities.
Panelists included UNFPA Representative in Egypt Frederika Meijer, filmmaker Karim El Shennawy, scriptwriter Mariam Naoum, founder of Red Star Films Safey El Din Mahmoud, actor and UNFPA friend Ahmed Magdy, and Professor of Anthropology from Denmark Christian Groes. The panel was moderated by Founder and Managing Director of Media & More, May Abdel Asim.
CID hosts a series of events with an aim to connect international and Arab film professionals, through a series of lectures, panels, workshops, and meetings.
“It is essential for us to partner with the entertainment industry in order to harness the power of cinema in promoting behavioral change,” Meijer said, “we want to encourage more and more filmmakers to shed light on key developmental issues through their work.”
UNFPA’s partnership with the CIFF builds on a successful collaboration over the past three years, through which UNFPA aims to inspire and advocate for storylines on topics related reproductive health,gender inequality, discrimination and gender-based violence as well as other population issues.
In 2018 and 2019, UNFPA participated in the first edition of the CID with a masterclass by Sandra de Castro Buffington, an inspirational speaker on social impact entertainment and conscious media. In the following two years, UNFPA organized panel discussions on the power of storytelling to address violence against women and the role of cinema in altering social values respectively.
In the festival’s 2018, 2019, and 2020 editions, UNFPA contributed with the “Conscious Media Award” and the “Women’s Empowerment Award” to celebrate and support films that create an impact and shed light on women’s rights and population issues. The awards were given to “Poisonous Roses”, “Un Fils” and “Snow White” respectively.