45 countries participate in Cairo International Cinema and Arts Festival for Children

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The 22nd Cairo International Cinema and Arts Festival for Children opens on 20 March.

The festival resumes for the first time since 2012 following two cancellations.

The festival, which ends 27 March, transcends the expected narrow scope of animation films for children. Film types in all their variety, ranging from features to short and documentary films, to television shows and animation films, will be screened.

Egypt’s Minister of Culture Gaber Asfour has dedicated the 22nd round of the festival to children with disabilities.

The Ministry of Culture, along with the National Centre for Children’s Culture, the Ministry’s Cultural Development Fund, and the Supreme Council of Culture are the main organisers and sponsors of the festival.

An estimated 45 countries will take part in the event, each contributing to the 200 films that are expected to be screened. Two days will be entirely dedicated to Palestinian and African films. Screenings will primarily take place at the Cairo Opera House.

Organised by the Ministry of Culture and a number of its centres and institutions, the festival was inaugurated in 1990.

Bearing as its aim the “[sustenance] of artistic relations, exchange [of] creative experiences” and the encouragement of films that are interested in children’s issues and problems, the festival is considered the Arab world’s top event celebrating international children’s cinema.

It also aims to strengthen relations between Egyptian and other Arab and international filmmakers who are specialised in children’s cinema. This intercultural exchange is intended to reinvigorate and to support children’s cinema production both in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world.

In recent years, the organisation of the festival has been inconsistent. Political turbulence, coupled with under-funding, prevented the organisers from holding the event in 2011 and 2013.