First Luxor African Film Festival a huge success

As official co-partner AfricAvenir attended the 1st edition of the Luxor African Film Festival, held in Egypt from 21 to 28 February 2012. AfricAvenir is proud to be associated to this festival. We take our hats off to the organizers of this first edition of the festival and we wish the festival all the best of luck for future editions. The festival successfully made its mark in the African Film Festival circus and can be congratulated for its overall achievements. The mission of the festival was a clear Pan-African one, and this was, without doubt, achieved. The Pan-African vision was omnipresent.

After being separated from the rest of the continent for decades, Egypt opened itself up to the rest of the continent and welcomed films from more than 25 African countries. Most filmmakers from the participating countries attended.

Furthermore festival directors and programmers of Durban International Film Festival (South Africa), New York African Film Festival (USA), Festival Cine Africano Tarifa (Spain), International Images Film Festival for Women (Zimbabwe), Abu Dhabi Film Festival (United Arabic Emirates), Trois-Continentes Festival Nantes (France), International Mediterranean Film Festival for Short and Documentaries (Libya), Festival du Cinema Africain de Khouribga (Morocco), and African Perspectives (Namibia) honoured the festival and hence welcoming Luxor African Film Festival amongst its midst.

Egypt’s desire to reunite with Africa was expressed throughout the festival. Observing the attendance and the wide range of participating filmmakers, festival directors, programmers, and the composition of the jury, one can only say, that aim was achieved. Underlining this was the presence of the Minister of Culture, Mr. Shakir’ Abd Il-Hameed, the Governor of Luxor, Dr. Ezzat Sa’d, and nine African Ambassadors accredited to Egypt, who travelled from Cairo to attend the opening ceremony at the Luxor Temple.

The festival paid tribute to the Egyptian director Daoud Abdel-Sayed and Ethiopian director Haile Gerima, who both attended the festival and both received lifetime awards.

In the words of Haile Gerima, who received his lifetime achievement award at the closing ceremony held on Tuesday, 28 February, the festival fulfilled the dream of Egyptian president Gamal Abd al-Nasser to unite Egypt with the rest of the continent. Gerima had been waiting for this opening a lifetime and finally is seeing it being achieved. The festival certainly plays a pivotal role in this pan-African vision of Egypt newly found political energy.
 
At the closing ceremony, attended by the Governour of Luxor, the following winners were announced:

For long feature and long documentary films:

  • Best Film: “Soul Boy” (2010, Kenya/Germany), directed by Hawa Essuman, awarded with the Greater Nile Award and the Golden Mask of Tutankhamun and a cash prize of 10.000,- USD
  • Special Jury Award: “Our Beloved Sudan” (2011, Sudan), directed by Taghreed El Sanhouri, awarded with the  Silver Mask of Tutankhamnun and a cash prize of 8.000,- USD
  • Best Artistic Contribution: “Born on the 25th of January” (2011, Egypt), directed by Ahmed Rashwan, awarded with the Bronze Mask of Tutankhamnun and a cash prize of 5.000,- USD

The jury for this category consisted of Abdelrahamane Sissako (Mauretania), Hend Sabri (Tunisia), and Mohamed Khan (Egypt).

In the category short fiction and short documentary the awards went to the following:

  • Greater Nile Award for Best Short Film: “Short Life” (2010, Morocco), directed by Adil El Fadili, awarded with the Golden Mask of Tutankhamnun and a cash prize of 5.000,- USD
  • Jury Prize for Best Short Film: “The Cry of the Dove” (2010, Niger/France), directed by Sani Elhadji Magori, awarded with the Silver Mask of Tutankhamnun and a cash prize of 4.000,- USD
  • Prize for Best Artistic Contribution: “The Bottom of the Pit” (2011, Tunisia), directed by Moez Ben Hassen, awarded with the Bronze Mask of Tutankhamnun and a cash prize of 3.000,- USD
  • Special prizes for first short film went jointly to: “Living Skin” (2010, Egypt), directed by Fawzi Saleh, and to “The Cassava Metaphor” (2011, Cameroon), directed by Lionel Meta, which both were awarded a cash prize of 2000,- USD

The jury for the short film/documentary category consisted of Fanta Regina Nacro (Burkina Faso), Mustafa Al-Mesnaoui (Morocco), and Mama Keïta (Senegal).


By Hans-Christian Mahnke

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