A “who is who” of Egypt’s celebrities, politicians, artists and filmmakers united for the launch of the seventh Aswan International Women Film Festival.
The festival, which continues to grow in stature on the Egyptian cultural scene with each edition, is organised by the Ministry of Culture and offers female filmmakers a platform to showcase their work.
The six-day event is held in the southern Egyptian city and runs until Friday.
This year, 61 films from 37 countries are participating in the festival’s six competitions, including a short film contest and one exclusively for Egyptian-made films.
Additionally, a competition for the best films will be launched as well as one showcasing films for children.
Another competition will celebrate films made through the festival’s many workshops, which this year include sessions on film development, screenwriting and animation.
Prizes will be awarded to the best film in each competition. Additionally, a prize funded by the European Union, whose ambassador to Egypt Christian Berger attended the opening on Sunday, will be given to the best Euro-Mediterranean film participating in the festival.
The opening, which took place at Aswan’s Tolip Hotel, was attended by actress Nabila Ebeid, one of Egyptian cinema’s most prominent leading ladies, who was recognised for her long career. Writer, critic and television presenter Dorria Sharafeldin also received special recognition by the festival.
Ebeid, Sharafeldin and many of the other celebrities attending the festival this year will also participate in workshops and forums, offering expert insights into the film industry.
The festival was opened by Minister of Culture Nevine El-Kilani, who lauded the focus on women’s issues and the opportunities it affords to Egyptian women whose voices may have gone unheard otherwise.