Aswan’s International Womens Film Festival Is To Kickoff Next Wednesday
By Muhammed Aladdin
Far south, surrounded by Upper Egypt’s open plains, lies the majestic Aswan; a city as old as time itself, rich in African heritage, culture, and history. It came as no surprise when it was chosen to host the 3rd edition of the International Women’s Film Festival.
The 20th of February, 2019, marks the first day of a week-long event celebrating women and their significant impact on cinema. The Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with its cultural counterpart, will hold the event which will be supported by the National Council for Women and the Cinema Professions Syndicate.
In Egypt, it is considered to be the first film festival that concentrates on the achievement of women in film, as well as one of two international film festivals held in Upper Egypt, the other being the Luxor African Film Festival. It is also the first Egyptian film festival that offers workshops for the youth of Aswan.
The opening ceremony of the film festival will honor Egyptian Actresses, Menna Shalaby and Mohsena Tawfik, while Editor Layla Fahmy and the daughters of the late Egyptian Translator Anis Ebid, Azza, and Abla will be recognized at the closing ceremony.
Egyptians are not the only group deserving of commendation as many other female filmmakers and actresses from different parts of the world were praised for their work. For instance, the festival will honor German-American Actress Barbara Bouchet, who has taken part in more than 80 films including ‘Gangs of New York’ and ‘The Scarlet and the Black’.
In addition, the festival will screen the Mexican Film “Dos Fridas”, which was inspired by the Mexican Painter Frida Kahlo’s relationship with her Costa Rican Nurse Judith Ferreto. The 92-minute film was directed by Costa Rican-Iraqi-Chilean Director Ishtar Yasin Gutierrez.
According to a statement by the festival’s Artistic Director Hala Galal, Veteran Egyptian Actress Layla Elwy will assume the presidency of the jury of the long narrative film competition along with French Producer, Jacques Bidou; Founder of Tripoli Film Festival, Elias Khaiat; Dutch Producer, Elise Drezin; and former Head of Film Program at the Francophone Organization in Djibouti, Souad Hussein.
Egyptian Actress Yousra El Louzy, along side French Director Julia Morozova and Jordanian Director Yehia Abdullah, will form the jury of the short film competition.
The International Women’s Film Festival will also focus on providing the youth of Aswan with various workshops on a wide array of subjects in cinema. That includes scriptwriting and development workshop by Writer Wessam Soliman, documentary filmmaking workshop with Director Mahmoud Soliman, and an animation workshop spearheaded by Ashraf Mahdy, a producer and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University.
“The workshops will be held on February 13-19, 2019.
A number of prominent female filmmakers and women rights activists will be attending the International Women’s Film Festival this year to show their support and approval.