Cairo International Women’s Film Festival to return in Egypt

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With the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Egypt is gearing up for the 7th edition of Cairo International Women’s Film Festival.

The extraordinary work of female filmmakers will be showcased during a six-day festival which will run from November 29 until December 4 taking place in different venues across Cairo.

60 films selected from 40 countries will be featured during the Women’s Film Festival. It will highlight the excellence and remarkable contribution of women in the film industry and pay particular attention to films such as ‘Scherbenpark and ‘Makhoub’s Journey while also focusing on Germany.

A special highlight will be dedicated to the distinguished Dutch film director Eugenie Jansen who will be honoured for her contribution to film while receiving the Tribute to Cineaste.

She will present a selection of her award-winning films such as ‘Sleeping Rough’, ‘Calimucho’ and ‘Above Us All’, her latest work which premiered earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The celebrated filmmaker will also host the Master Class while focusing on the process of film-making and the various approaches to documentary and fiction.

The class will be held on 1 December at Goethe Institute, one of the venues in which the festival will take place along with ‘Falaki Theatre’, at AUC Tahrir campus, and ‘Creativity Center’ at Cairo Opera House.

As part of an advertisement campaign, the organisers of the event have released a video to launch the festival which has however been met with a wave of criticism, resentment and controversy on social media websites.

The clip, which features a woman giving birth…not to a baby, has been criticised for lack of ethic and for being void of the creativity which instead the video aimed at while celebrating the festival’s art and original thought.

In order to clarify the meaning of the controversial and widely criticised trailer which has allegedly overstepped moral and ethical boundaries, the festival’s organisers addressed the accusations in a press statement published on the official Facebook’s page.

“The second trailer of the festival have provoked different reactions, which we as organizers of the Cairo International Women’s Film Festival are keen on discussing them through dialogue which should be our foundation as women activists or those concerned with women-related issues in general,” the statement reads.

“A number of our audience and colleagues have stated that the trailer confines women to only their ability to give birth, a critique that we think may have been correct if the video has ended with a scene of a baby being born. However, what happened was the total opposite, a festival was symbolically directed and produced.”

“Through that symbol, we affirm that women have the ability to produce and create ideas, books, festivals… etc. Giving life through birth is something we cherish as women but it does not sum up our existence, children are not the sole target of our productive activities”.