Cairo fest cancels closing ceremony

Jury decides not to bestow several awards

Reflecting turmoil in Egypt, the revived Cairo Film Festival closed Thursday with the jury not awarding some of the top prizes and organizers cancelling the closing ceremony.

Jury prexy Marco Mueller said that the jury’s unanimous decision not to bestow nods for best director, screenplay and artistic contribution stemmed from its “attentive transcription of the turbulence underway,” as the fest faced an increasing number of boycotts by Egyptian filmmakers.

The 35th edition of the event took place amid demonstrations against a power grab by Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Local industryites pulled out largely in a show of support for demonstrators and also in protest against the country’s Muslim Brotherhood-controlled ministry of culture, which, many claim, is undermining the fest’s artistic independence.

Accordingly, the Cairo Film Festival nods that the jury did dish out went to non-Arab films.

Popular on Variety

The best film nod went to Gallic helmer Anna Novion’s drama “Rendez-vous a Kiruna,” about a man who travels to Lapland to bury his son whom he never knew.

The best actress nod went to Venezuelan actress Vanessa Di Quattro for her perf as a deaf 19-year-old subjected to physical and emotional abuse in “Brecha en el silencio” (Breach in the Silence) by Venezuelan first-timers Luis and Andres Rodriguez. Pic, praised by the jury for “tearing off the mask of oppression,” also took the prize for best film by an emerging director.

Polish thesp Marian Dziedziel took the best actor nod for his role as a senior citizen facing a new turn in his life in “The Fifth Season of the Year” by Sydney-based Polish helmer Jerzy Domaradzki.

The Special Jury nod went to Italo helmer Giuliano Montaldo’s economic crisis drama “The Entrepreneur.”

Significantly, the Cairo jury also recommended that the fest set up a development and post-production fund as an extension of its Cairo Connection initiative, “to have ready access to quality works from the region,” and also urged organizers to appoint an independent selection committee.

“The jury firmly believes that the reborn Cairo International Film Festival will have an important role to play in the cultural life of the aspiring new free Egypt,” it said in a statement.

More Film

  • Aldis Hodge Regina King

    Aldis Hodge Gushes Over Working With First-Time Film Director Regina King

    Regina King is on a roll. After winning an Oscar for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and starring as masked vigilante Sister Knight in HBO’s “Watchmen,” King is gearing up to make her film directing debut with “One Night in Miami.” Adapted by Kemp Powers from his play of the same name, the film dramatizes a [...]

  • Jon Berg

    Netflix Developing Female-Fronted Comedy Film With Jon Berg (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix is developing an untitled female-led comedy with producer Jon Berg, the former Warner Bros.’ co-president of production. The writing team of Jordan Roter (“The Tear Down,” “American Wife”) and Monica Corcoran Harel (New York Times, Marie Claire) has been attached to write the project. Netflix is keeping the logline under wraps. The project will [...]

  • Bob Chapek Disney CEO

    Why Wall Street Is Unhappy (for Now) With Disney's CEO Change

    We all knew the end was coming. Bob Iger had promised, time and again, that the end was coming. But the rather abrupt announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would relinquish his longtime role as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. — and that theme parks head Bob Chapek would succeed him at the top of [...]

  • Dau

    'DAU. Natasha': Film Review

    There’s a school of critical thought that believes no contextual details or backstory to a film — be they to do with its source material, the circumstances of its production, or its makers’ motivation — should be examined or factored into a review of it, that the final product up on the screen is the [...]

  • The Invisible Man Movie

    Box Office: 'The Invisible Man' Eyes $20 Million-Plus Debut

    With “The Invisible Man,” a terrifying thriller starring Elisabeth Moss, Universal is attempting to revive the cinematic prospects for its classic monster properties. After “The Mummy” with Tom Cruise flamed out theaters in 2017, the studio scraped its plans to form an interconnected Dark Universe and instead retooled its vision to create standalone stories unique [...]

  • Dau

    'Dau' Director Defends Controversial Russian Competition Film: 'It's Not Hollywood'

    “Dau. Natasha,” the Russian art project-turned-movie franchise competing at the Berlinale, has triggered headlines in the local and international press over the years due to its epic scale, scenes of graphic violence and anecdotes of an allegedly oppressive work environment for women. Hours before the film’s premiere at a presser on Wednesday, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content