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.

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Florenc Papas on Road Movies, Ancient

    ‘Open Door’ Helmer on Road Movies, Ancient Traditions, Social Pretensions

    Albanian director Florenc Papas, an alumnus of the Sarajevo Talents program, is in competition at the Sarajevo Film Festival with his feature film debut, “Open Door.” The road movie follows two sisters, Rudina and the pregnant and unmarried Elma, who embarks on a journey to visit their strict and traditional father in the remote mountain [...]

  • Dronningen/Queen of HeartsDirected by MAY EL-TOUKHYNordisk

    'Queen of Hearts,' 'White, White Day' Among Nordic Council Film Prize Contenders

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Iceland’s “A White, White Day,” Denmark’s “Queen of Hearts” and Norway’s “Blind Spot” are among the five films that will compete for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize, a prestigious film award aimed at promoting Nordic co-operation and environmental initiatives. Sweden’s “Reconstructing Utøya” and Finland’s “Aurora” help round out the list, which [...]

  • Actor Javier Bardem looking at chinstrap

    Javier Bardem on Toronto-Bound ‘Sanctuary,’ See Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Just selected as a Special Event at September’s Toronto Film Festival, Alvaro Longoria’s “Sanctuary.” starring and produced by Javier Bardem, may need a new ending. On Aug. 19, Bardem, along with Greenpeace, addressed delegates at the United Nations in New York to urge governments to agree to a strong Global Ocean Treaty. Creating [...]

  • Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film

    Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film and TV Rebate Incentive

    Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Canton of Sarajevo is introducing a new €1 million ($1.1 million) film funding initiative next year aimed at promoting domestic and international film and television production in the region. The incentive is the first of its kind in the country. Government representatives of Sarajevo Canton, including Prime Minister Edin Forto and culture [...]

  • Antlers Trailer

    Guillermo Del Toro's 'Antlers' Starring Keri Russell Drops Chilling First Trailer

    Events take a dark turn for a small town school teacher, played by “The Americans'” Keri Russell, in the first teaser trailer for horror movie “Antlers,” produced by Guillermo del Toro. The footage, unveiled Tuesday, centers on a young boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) reading from a frightening short story he’s written as Russell listens. The [...]

  • Why Hollywood Should Tone Down Violence

    Why It's Time for Hollywood to Reconsider the Amount of Violence on Screen (Column)

    To put it mildly, we live in scary, intolerant, violent times. Since a lone gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, and killed 20 children, six adults and himself, there have been at least 2,187 mass shootings across America, resulting in the deaths of some 2,461 people and wounding more than [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    James Bond Movie Title Revealed

    The latest James Bond adventure finally has a title. The 25th entry in the action spy series will be named “No Time to Die.” In the upcoming movie, Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content