Palestinian film “Alam” wins first prize at Cairo-Xinhua International Film Festival | Trending

People attend the awards ceremony of the Cairo International Film Festival in Cairo, Egypt on November 22, 2022. The Palestinian film Alam, directed by Palestinian filmmaker Firas Khoury and co-financed by producers from France, Tunisia , Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Qatar , won the Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film at the 44th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) which concluded here on Tuesday evening. (Photo by Mohamed Asad/Xinhua)

CAIRO, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) — The Palestinian film Alam, directed by Palestinian filmmaker Firas Khoury and co-financed by producers from France, Tunisia, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, won the Golden Pyramid Award at the best film in the 44th edition. The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) concluded here on Tuesday evening.

The feature film, which won first prize in the International Competition of 14 films, tells the story of five Palestinian high school classmates who live in Israel and struggle under the weight of being forced to forget their own history.

French producer Naomie Lagadec, who received the Golden Pyramid on behalf of the director, said she was “so proud” that Alam was named best at CIFF.

“CIFF is an important festival in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and the world. So this is wonderful,” Alam’s French co-producer told Xinhua.

He said he believes the film sends a message that “we have to listen to young people because they are the future.”

“It is the first screening of the film in the MENA region, so it is very important to be here in the competition and to have a great exposure in the Arab countries,” added Lagadec.

Alam not only won the Golden Pyramid, but his actor Mahmoud Bakri also shared the 44th CIFF Best Actor Award with Sudanese actor Maher El Khair for his role in The Dam, directed by Ali Cherri. Alam’s film crew left Cairo with three awards after also winning the Audience Award, a cash prize.

The Silver Pyramid Award, Special Jury Award for Best Director, went to French filmmaker Emmanuelle Nicot for her Love According to Dalva, starring the young French actress Zelda Samson who also won the Best Actress Award.

The Bronze Pyramid Award for Best First or Second Feature went to Polish filmmaker Damian Kocur for his Bread and Salt.

Also in the official competition, the Japanese film A Man, directed by Kei Ishikawa, won the Naguib Mahfouz Award for Best Screenplay, while the Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution went to Mostafa El Kashef, director of photography from the Egyptian film 19 B, directed by Ahmad Abdalla.

Veteran Egyptian film star Hussein Fahmy, president of CIFF, said he was happy with the success of the 44th edition of CIFF and the high audience participation during the 10-day festival, which saw the screening of more than 100 movies from over 50 countries.

“The turnout was very high, especially from young people and students. We offered tickets online and our box office here was full all the time, and the media was very present. I think we achieved a lot of goals in this CIFF, ” the CIFF president told Xinhua on the red carpet during the closing ceremony.

“This edition went as well as I wanted, and sometimes even better,” added Fahmy.

Outside the official sections, several feature films and short films won honorary and jury awards, including the Lebanese-French production Mother Valley by Carlos Chahine, the Lebanese-Qatari film Riverbed by Bassem Breche, the American short film Rosemary AD (After Dad) by Ethan Barrett and Egyptian. short film My Girlfriend by Kawthar Younis.

Younis said that the positive response from the audience was his first award for the screening of his film, and that winning the Special Jury Prize in the Short Film Competition “was such a great thing that it’s still unbelievable to me” .

Polish film programmer Dorota Lech, one of the jury members for the Best Arabic Film Award, which won Mother Valley, said the 13 Arab films in competition were all impressive and of high quality, and described his experience at CIFF as “completely magical.”

He added that these festivals allow filmmakers to meet and learn from each other and create opportunities for potential multinational projects in the industry.

The closing ceremony, held at the Cairo Opera House in Egypt, was attended by the Egyptian Minister of Culture, Nevin Al-Kilany, and hundreds of Egyptian and foreign filmmakers, movie stars, producers, critics and other guests .

Veteran Egyptian film star Hussein Fahmy, president of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), speaks at the CIFF awards ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, November 22, 2022. The Palestinian film Alam, directed by Palestinian filmmaker Firas Khoury and co-financed by producers from France, Tunisia, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, won the Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film at the 44th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) which concluded here on Tuesday evening. (Photo by Mohamed Asad/Xinhua)

People attend the awards ceremony of the Cairo International Film Festival in Cairo, Egypt on November 22, 2022. The Palestinian film Alam, directed by Palestinian filmmaker Firas Khoury and co-financed by producers from France, Tunisia , Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Qatar , won the Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film at the 44th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) which concluded here on Tuesday evening. (Photo by Mohamed Asad/Xinhua)

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