The 24th Alexandria International Film Festival (AIFF) opens August 26 through 30 with 80 movies from different parts of the world competing.
Syria is this year's AIFF guest of honor; Damascus has been chosen by UNESCO to be the Arab Capital of Culture. 4 movies will be shown mapping out important stages in the history of Syrian cinema. A number of Syrian movie celebrities including Mona Wassef, Bassam Kussa, Salma al-Masri, Asa'ad Fedha and critic Mohammad al-Ahmar will be honored.
The 24th AIIF is dedicated to the memory of Egyptian legend director Youssef Chahin. A documentary will be screened at the opening ceremony marking his achievements.
The Chahin honor ceremony hosts some of his favorite stars including Omar Sharif, Yusra, Hussein Fahmy, Ezzat al-Alyli, Nadya Lotfi and director Khaled Youssef.
Two seminars will be held this year. The first, entitled "The Master", in memory of Youssef Chahin, takes place on August 27. The second, entitled "The Space Channels and Egyptian Film Heritage", which seeks to protect what is left of the old Egyptian movies, takes place on August 28.
The 24th AIIF also celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Moroccan cinema. In addition to the screening of 10 films, tribute will be paid to Moroccan Minister of Culture Thuraya Jubran, the first actress in the Arab world to become a cabinet minister.
Festival films will be shown on giant screens at public parks two days before the opening ceremony.
11 Mediterranean countries have entries competing in the official competition. They are:
Panorama of Syrian cinema
4 Syrian movies are to be shown in this section.
Panorama of Moroccan cinema
A number of movies will be shown to mark the Golden Jubilee of Moroccan cinema.
Overview of Asian cinema
14 movies will be shown representing:
The Official Competition
Marco Onorato (director of photography) - Italy
Maniga Hikmet (directress) - Iran
Mohammad al-Ahmad (critic) Syria
Ilham Shahin (actress) - Egypt
Mahmoud Kabeel (actor) - Egypt
Maria Subanki (actress) - Greece
Françoise Brion (actor) - France
Digital Film Competition
Ibrahim al-Batout (director) - Egypt
Yasser Moheb (critic) - Egypt
Actress Laila Elwe secured the Best Actress Award for her role in the film of "Alwan as-Sama as-Sabaa" (The Colors of the Seventh Sky) at Alexandria International Film Festival.
The Best Actor Award went to Ahmed Helmi for his role in the film of "Assef ala el-Ezaag" (Sorry for Annoyance!)
Director Khaled Youssef and Director Yousri Nasrallah co-shared the Best Director Award for their films "Al-Rayyes Omar Harb" and "Geneinet al-Asmak".
Actor Adel Imam won the Special Excellence Certificate for his role in the film of Hassan and Morqos.