Palestinian film ‘Alam’ wins Golden Pyramid award in 44th Cairo Film Festival

Kadry Al-Haggar
6 Min Read

The 44th Cairo International Film Festival’s (CIFF) closing ceremony took place in the Cairo Opera House on Tuesday evening, in the presence of Minister of Culture Nevine Al-Kilani, and Festival President Hussein Fahmy.

Over several days, cinema lovers enjoyed a wide array of films from all over the world. Most of these films have been recently honoured in other international festivals. This year, the festival management focused on strengthening its status.

The CIFF president said that the 44th edition was rich in its guests, films, and official competition juries, noting that the secret of the success of this edition was their pure love of cinema. Fahmy thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the festival, especially the Egyptian, Arab, and foreign media.

Fahmy said that many advised him to have fewer films shown at the festival, but he and the festival’s management insisted on increasing the number of films this year. He also confirmed that the audience had noticed the development that took place in the 44th edition of the festival in terms of organization, to increase the number of films and accommodate an additional audience.

Fahmy said: “Today, we completed all the activities in the best possible way that satisfies the festival’s attendees and all those interested in artistic and cultural affairs at the Arab and international levels.”


Challenging Mission

The task of the jury, headed by Japanese director Naomi Kawase, was very challenging to select the winning films. The films participating in the festival were distinguished by spotting pains, defeats, and political and social projections, but also present a glimmer of hope. Awards of the 44th Cairo International Film Festival are as follows:


International Competition

Golden Pyramid Award
Alam by Firas Khoury (France, Tunisia, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

Silver Pyramid Award, Special Jury Award, for Best Director
Love According to Dalva by Emmanuelle Nicot (Belgium, France)

Bronze Pyramid Award for Best First or Second Feature
Bread and Salt by Damian Kocu (Poland)

Naguib Mahfouz Award for Best Screenplay
A Man (Japan), screenplay by Kosuke Mukai

Best Actor Award
Maher El Khair for his role in The Dame by (France, Lebanon, Sudan, Qatar, Germany, Serbia)

Best Actor Award
Mahmoud Bakry for his role in Alam (France, Tunisia, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

Best Actress Award
Zelda Samson for her role in Love According to Dalva (Belgium, France)

Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution (Awarded to the Cinematographer)
19B, cinematography by Mostafa El Kashef (Egypt)


Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition 

Saad Eldin Wahba Award for Best Arabic Film
Mother Valley by Carlos Chahine (France, Lebanon)

Salah Abu Seif Award 
Riverbed by Bassem Breche (Lebanon, Qatar)

Best Non-Fiction Film Award
Far From the Nile by Sherief Elkatsha (Egypt, USA)

Best Acting Performance Award
Carole Abood for her role in Riverbed ( Lebanon, Qatar)

Special Mention for Film
I’m Coming Home by Yassine Redissi (Tunisia)

Special Mention for Best Actress
Lyna Khoudri for her role in Houria (France, Belgium)


International Critics’ Week Competition 

Shadi Abdel Salam Award for Best Film
PAMFIR by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk (Ukraine, France, Poland, Chile, Luxembourg)

Fathy Farag Award
Joyland by Saim Sadiq (Pakistan)

Special Mention
Victim by Michal Blaško (Slovakia, Czech, Germany)

Short Film Competition

Youssef Chahine Award for Best Short Film
Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) by Ethan Barrett (USA)

Special Jury Award
My Girlfriend by Kawthar Younis (Egypt)

Special Mention
One F*cking Wish by Piotr Jasiński (Czech)

Special Mention
Riverbed by Bassem Breche (Lebanon, Qatar)


CIFF Cash Awards

Best Arab Film Award ($10,000)
19B by Ahmad Abdalla, Produced by Mohamed Hefzy (Egypt)

Youssef Chahine Award for Best Short Film (EGP 10,000)
Rosemary A.D. by Ethan Barrett  (USA)

Youssef Cherif Rizkallah Award (Audience Award, $15,000)
Alam by Firas Khoury produced by Marie Pierre Macia, Claire Gadéa and distributed in Egypt by Mad-Solutions (France, Tunisia, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)


Women’s Participation

The festival presented many films, between long fiction, shorts, and documentaries, all of which about human feelings, and what a human soul goes through daily. Amir Ramses, the director of the festival, said that there was a great role for women in the jury committees, adding that several Egyptian films that participated in the festival discussed women issues; including “My Friends” by Kawthar Hosni, “Mama” by Naji Ismail, “The Interview” by Hind Metwally, “The Devil’s Work” by Desyl Mokhtajian, and “Tinin” by Mohamed Fawy.

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