The 41st annual Cairo International Film Festival ended on a high note last Friday night with a star-studded closing ceremony. The red carpet at Cairo Opera House was rolled out for a spectrum of celebrities that included Hend Sabry, Hussein Fahmy, Laila Eloui, Menna Shalaby, Shereen Reda, Yousra, Amina Khalil, as well as power couples Ahmed Helmy and Mona Zaki, along with Ahmed Dawoud and Ola Roushdy. One not-to-be-missed appearance was made by Game of Thrones’ Missandei, actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who has also starred in the Fast and Furious movie series.
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@cairofilms What an absolute pleasure it was to be a guest at the 41st Cairo International Film Festival. Even more of an honour to present an award. Thank you for your warm welcome and sorry for speaking Arabic poorly ????????????… but I really do love Egypt! These lewks were served up by @chercoulter as per: Look one: @maisonvalentino and @jimmychoo @monicavinader jewels Look 2: @christopherkane with @jimmychoo and @theofficialpandora jewels. Thank you to you all for generously loaning me these beautiful clothes/accessories. Make up by: @ali_makeup_artist Hair by Temmy Tayo of African Hair Styles in Cairo Egypt.. it’s been real… over and out… ????????❤️???????????? #CIFF #closingceremony2019 #i❤️Egypt #theloveisreal
Emmanuel dubbed her trip through Luxor and the Great Pyramids of Giza as “one of the most amazing trips of her life”, and documented her adventures on Instagram. It’s worth mentioning that the actress started her career at only 10 years old when she played Young Nala in the West End production of Disney’s The Lion King in the late ‘90s.
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Great day at the Great Pyramid yesterday… This week has been one of the most amazing trips of my life… After learning about the epic sagas of the Ancient Egyptians at school and hearing stories of other people’s trips here, getting to see the actual places these stories happened with my own eyes… there are no words! ????❤️☀️????????????????… Thank you Manal for the incredible tour yesterday courtesy of @cairofilms… Here’s to an incredible closing ceremony tonight! #egypt #thegreatpyramid #amazing #sograteful
During the ceremony, Emmanuel presented the Youssef Cherif Rizkallah Award. Named after the late Egyptian critic, who passed away on the 12th of July, 2019, the award went to Egyptian director Marianne Khoury for her documentary Let’s Talk. Before his passing, Rizkallah had warmly stated in a press release “much obliged to have worked with the CIFF over 30 years, during which I made sure the festival gives a rich cinematic content that matches the major international festivals”.
Screenwriter and producer, and the festival’s president, Mohamed Hefzy, honoured three-time Oscar-winning Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro with a prestigious award. According to Egypt Today, Storaro mentioned in his speech that he read a lot about Egypt and learnt about it, adding that Egypt has a wide history and culture. He also participated in a discussion panel earlier at El Hanager Theater on Thursday. Storaro won three Academy Awards for his work in Apocalypse Now (1979), Reds (1981), and The Last Emperor (1987).
Among the list of honoured directors was American/British screenwriter, actor and animator, Terry Gilliam, who was given the Faten Hamama Award during the opening ceremony. Gilliam has directed 13 feature films and received the BAFTA Fellowship award in 2009 for lifetime achievement.
As for the grand winner, Fernando Frias’ portrayal of Mexican immigration to the United States in I’m No Longer Here took home the top prize on the final night of the festival. The prizes awarded to the winning film projects amounted to a total of $200,000, which promises filmmakers not only of acclaimed recognition but also a significant financial reward for their work in cinematic history. Until next year, CIFF!