Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

41st Cairo Int’l Film Festival Kicks Off

Thu 21 Nov 2019 | 12:26 PM
Yara Sameh

The 41st Cairo International Film FestivalCIFF” rolled out the red carpet for its opening yesterday, Wednesday evening, at the Grand Theater of the Cairo Opera House.

Many public figures, Egyptian, Arab, and global stars had attended the opening ceremony, including Yousra, Lebleba, Nadia El Gendy, Laila Elwy, Elham Shahin, Sherif Mounir, Dorra Zarrouk, Ayten Amer, Sherif Arafa, Radwa Al Sherbeny, Rania Youssef, Sherine Reda, Heba Magdi, Lekaa Elkhamissi, Hana El Zahed, Hana and Hala Sheha, Khaled Selim, Mai Selim, and others.

It was also filled with many celebrity couples such as Ahmed Dawood and his wife actress Ola Roshdy, Ahmed Helmy and his wife actress Mona Zaki, Asser Yassin and his wife Kenzy Abdallah, Hussein Fahmy and his wife, Hanan Motawie and her husband Amir El Yamani.


Ahmed Helmy and his wife actress Mona Zaki

Rogena and her husband Ashraf Zaki

The festival, running from November (20 -29), is headed by producer Mohamed Hefzy, and holds the name of Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, late critic and CIFF’s artistic director.

The festival, hosted by the three Egyptian stars, Khaled El Sawy, Dina Elsherbiny, and Ahmed Dawood, celebrated the film industry with a show and the Mexican cinema, after a speech by CIFF’s president.

It also screened a documentary about Rizkallah entitled "Rizk Cinema".

CIFF has chosen the Mexican cinema as the Guest of Honor for its 41st edition and will feature eight Mexican films, and honor two of its makers, screenwriter and director Guillermo Arriaga, and director Carlos Reygadas.



Dina El Sherbiny pays tribute to Haitham Ahmed Zaki

Dina El Sherbiny

During the ceremony, El Sherbiny paid a tribute to her late friend, actor Haitham Ahmed Zaki, saying: "not a day goes by that I do not think about Haitham Ahmed Zaki,"

She pointed to the sadness everyone felt after his departure, "All people mourned his death, but I am sure that he is in a much better place,"


It also witnessed the honoring of American-British legend Terry Gilliam and Egyptian director Sherif Arafa with Faten Hamama Honorary Award.

Tunisian actress Hend Sabry participated in the ceremony and delivered awards to the honorees, including the Faten Hamama Excellence Award, which was received by Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby for her rich cinematic career.

Hend Sabry and Menna Shalaby

During the ceremony, Sabry pointed out, that day was her birthday, upon which she received many birthday wishes from the attendee, who sang "Happy Birthday" to her.


Shalaby gave a speech after she received her award, during which she expressed that it was a great honor to receive the award, noting that her honoring from her homeland festival is something to be proud of.

She continued: “It was a huge honor to be honored alongside the big stars, especially the great director Sherif Arafa, something one needs to be proud of and show appreciation."

“Arafa is a huge directing institution, and has a great stock in the cinema, especially his works with screenwriter Wahid Hamed, the prominent actor Adel Imam, and other works that built the history of the Egyptian Cinema,” she added.

She dedicated her award to her mother and thanked all those who supported her in her career.

In addition, the honoring of late artist Ezzat Abou Aouf, Rizkallah, and the late artist Haitham Ahmed Zaki.

Two Eyebrow Raising events in one night

A number of social media users have circulated on social media platforms pictures of the actress Shima El Hajj at the opening ceremony, in her first appearance after she was released from prison after serving her sentence for her graphic video.

El Hajj was released recently from prison after being jailed for several months on charges of inciting debauchery and publishing the video.

Shima El Hajj

Many users also shared photos of Egyptian belly dancer Sama Al Masry, after she attended the ceremony wearing a veil, which many considered her disrespecting its value.


Sama Al Masry


Contributed by Nour El-Hoda Fouad