Preparations underway for the 34th annual Cairo International Film Festival

Preparations for the 34th annual Cairo International Film Festival, scheduled for 30 November  to 9 December, 2010, are underway. According to festival president, Izzat Abu Auf,  the organizers have been in talks with a number of international stars, including Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey and Richard Gere, who might attend.

Abu Auf said, “This year we received a number of exceptional films from which we chose 28 to be presented for the first time at the festival.”

“Up until now, the festival committee has not settled on an opening film. There are two films in the running, the first is the Italian film "The Father and the Stranger" starring Amr Wakid and the second is a British film,” said Abu Auf.

He went on to say, “This year we will be presenting 12 Turkish films and a large number of Chinese and African films.”

When asked about the annual dilemma of finding an Egyptian film to present at the festival, Abu Auf said, “We chose three films to be presented in Arab and international competitions but this does not mean the dilemma is over. The Minister of Culture said the ministry plans to enter into the film production business in the near future and the festival will have priority of presenting the films they produce.”

Abu Auf admitted that the value of the prizes was rather low, leading to some artists skipping Cairo in order to attend festivals with better prizes. He said, “The Ministry of Culture cannot afford to pay more as it is a government body. We are trying to find investors and businessmen that can act as an alternative source of funding for the festival.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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