The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Film -

Lights, Camera, Action! Egyptians Make a Grand Appearance at the 76th Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival Egyptian Actors egyptian filmmakers
Lights, Camera, Action! Egyptians Make a Grand Appearance at the 76th Cannes Film Festival
written by
Farah Fahim
Image via Aberto Pizzoli/Getty Images 

Known for its glamorous atmosphere, media attention, and high-profile attendees, the Cannes Film Festival is back with guests from our proud nation. Also known as the Festival de Cannes, it is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and takes place annually in Cannes, a city located on the French Riviera. The festival was first held in 1946, and it has since become a major international event that attracts filmmakers, actors, critics, and film enthusiasts from around the globe.

The festival typically takes place over the course of two weeks in May and features a wide variety of films from different countries and genres. The main competition at the festival is the Palme d’Or, which is awarded to the best film in the official selection. Other prizes at the festival include the Grand Prix, the Jury Prize, and the Best Director award, among others.

Egyptians are no strangers to making it to Cannes. Just last year, television producer, animator, and director Tarik Saleh was competing for the Palme d’Or. In 2021, Omar El Zohairy won the grand prize at Cannes international critics week with his drama Feathers.

This year, the 76th Festival de Cannes will play host to many Arab and Egyptian filmmakers and artists. Here’s what you need to know about them and their work.

As part of the main competition, La Palme d’Or, Four Daughters follows a Tunisian mother of four called Olfa through a tumultuous journey. Among the actors in the nominated film are Hend Sabry and Khaled Abol Naga.

The Critics Week has only been running for 62 of the 76 years that Cannes has been going on. I Promise You Paradise is a short film written and directed by Mourad Mostafa. This is not the first time the Egyptian filmmaker has been invited to Cannes. Last year he was invited for his debut film, Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore. I Promise You Paradise tells the story of a young African immigrant in Egypt who races the clock to save his loved ones after a horrifying accident. 

Devoted to scouting new talent and supporting international talent, La Cinef is in its 26th edition within CFF and chooses from over 2,000 applicants. The Call of The Brook, or El-Toraa, was written and directed by Jad Chahine. The Egyptian director, writer and producer studied filmmaking at the Higher Institute of Cinema. After studying media, he worked as an assistant director with renowned Egyptian filmmaker Yousry Nasrallah. The 12-minute film tells the story of a young boy who stumbles across a cursed brook and witnesses something that will determine his fate.

The Angenieux Special Encouragement Award is an award tailor-made to honour rising talents in the industry. Haya Khairat is the first Egyptian filmmaker to receive the prestigious award. Haya Khairat was born in 1995 in Cairo and went on to study cinematography at the High Cinema Institute of Egypt, then participating in productions like Buying a Man (2017), Afrah AlQoba (2016), and La Totfe’ Al Shams (2017).

CIFF President Hussein Fahmy and CIFF Director Amir Ramses will be among the attendees at Cannes from May 16th to May 27th to represent the Cairo International Film Festival. In addition, CIFF will support and endorse directors and workshops and participate in the “Festivals Mixer” event for networking and building connections.