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Everything You Need to Know About Aswan International Women Film Festival

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Everything You Need to Know About Aswan International Women Film Festival
written by
Sherif Khairy

Featured image via (photograph from AIWFF’s first edition)


Bringing together historical richness and the art of filmmaking, Aswan is set to host yet another edition of Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF). This is the third edition of the film festival and is set to run from 20 until 26 of February.

Led by screenwriter Mohamed Abdel Khalek, AIWFF is the first Egyptian film festival to specialise in workshops for youth in Aswan. In previous editions, it managed to bring together 125 young men and women in filmmaking workshops curated by Egyptian and international professionals. These students produced five documentary films that worked as sort of a graduation project for the workshops.

AIWFF heavily relies on volunteers, and a 100 of Aswan’s youth have volunteered to participate in organising the festival programs. Aside from the workshops and film screenings, AIWFF also holds a Nut Forum for Women’s Issues, where they bring scholars to discuss issues that young women face.

The festival and its activities are regularly attended by some of Egypt’s best talents, and this year they’re honouring an icon of Egyptian cinema, as well as a young star who has proven her talent in different roles. The honourees of the 2019 AIWFF edition are Mohsena Tawfik, who participated in around 70 films, TV series, and plays during her career. She has participated in iconic films in Egyptian cinema such as Al Bo2asa2 (Les Miserables) directed by Atef Salem, Dail El Samakah directed by Samir Seif, and a number of movies directed by Youssef Chahine including Alexandria…Why?, Goodbye Bonaparte, and more.

Menna Shalaby will be the young starlet to be honoured at AIWFF 2019. Director of the festival, journalist Hassan Abou El-Ella, believes that Shalaby is the future of Egyptian cinema. Her hard work has paid off as she has received seven awards from Arab and international film festivals for her role in Nawara, directed by Hala Khalil.

Aswan International Women Film Festival is one of Aswan’s brightest events. It is organised by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism, under the auspices of the National Council for Women and Cinema Professions Syndicate. For more information checkout AIWFF’s official website.