Egypt’s historic city of Aswan by the Nile River added to its glamorous great Pharaonic heritage the golden opportunity to be a noted destination for great film makers and lovers.
The city just finished hosting dozens of artists and filmmakers during the 6th Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF), which screened over 50 films from about 40 countries in support of women’s causes and rights.
The festival’s founder and president, screenwriter Mohamed Abdel-Khalek said, “the discrimination against women in the society casts its shadow on the cinema industry,” calling for “an Egyptian cinema industry free from discrimination.”
Held from Feb. 23-28, the 6th AIWFF screened 12 feature films, 24 short films, eight films under a new category called Films with Impact, four films in the Egyptian film competition and five films in the workshop competition.
The feature films included As in Heaven (Denmark), Secret Name (France), The New Girl (Argentina), Quareer (Saudi Arabia), Peacock’s Paradise (Italy and Germany) and Lingui (Chad, France, Germany and Belgium) and Farha (Jordan).
Funded by the European Union delegation to Egypt, the EU offers during AIWFF an award for the best film from EU and Mediterranean countries discussing women’s issues.
This edition of AIWFF has presented honorary awards to Somali women’s rights activist Hibaaq Osman, Egyptian film director Inaam Mohamed Ali, Egyptian actress Sawsan Badr and French actress and filmmaker Marilyne Canto.
The activities of AIWFF included symposiums on women and the cinema industry, workshops on filmmaking and art galleries on the role of women.