27 January 2023 07:52 PM

The 6th Edition of Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF)

Sunday، 20 February 2022 - 12:00 AM

The sixth edition of the Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF) will take place from February 23 to 28 under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

AIWFF aims to recognize female achievement in filmmaking and to teach the craft to youth through workshops and screenings.

AIWFF Poster

The management of the Aswan International Women Film Festival revealed the poster of its sixth edition.

The poster was designed by Hisham Ali, an artist who works on the uses of images in graphic design, and has previously won a number of international awards.

The poster shows a woman that looks like most women of the South, walking in the desert, aiming for the horizon of dreams and hopes, and bearing on her head the history of cinema. 

The woman re-appears in three scenes as she moves upwards towards the gate of heaven, which appears as one of the gates of Nubia, surrounded by clouds with magical and imaginary meanings.

With this composition, the artist Hisham Ali put together a set of ideas that represent the struggle of a woman to achieve her dreams, a woman whose face we do not see, and who represents every woman that the Aswan Festival and all women's film events in the world work for.

The woman breaks into the yellow space, characterizing most of the map of Egypt, topped by strong strokes representing the colours of the south, bold and expressive.

They are also the colours of dreams in which film tapes used to shine before, and then their brilliance and clarity increased with new technologies.

With this poster, the festival pays homage to this woman who carried Egypt's cinematic heritage, anticipating that she would complete her struggle despite the barrenness of the road and its extended sand.

AIWFF Honoree

This year, the sixth edition of the Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF) will host a special honouring ceremony for renowned Egyptian director, Inaam Mohamed Ali in appreciation of her long creative career and her prominent role in supporting women's issues and expressing them on the screen.

Dr. Azza Kamel, Vice-Chairman of the Festival's Board of Trustees, said that Inaam Mohamed Ali is one of the most important filmmakers who contributed to raising Egyptian women's issues, through films including “ Asfa Arfoud el Talak” (Sorry, I refuse to get divorced), “Youmeyat Emra’a Asreya” (Diaries of a Modern Woman) and "Sa’ed el Ahlam” (Dream Hunter).

Kamel added that Inaam is a creative person with a vision and has national concerns, which she expressed in her films “Hekayat el Ghareeb” (Stranger Tales) and " El Tare’e Ella Eilat” (The Road to Eilat), in addition to her outstanding contribution and long creative career in television drama, as one of the most important symbols of Egyptian drama, where she raised important feminist issues in series that achieved success.

Inaam Mohamed Ali series include prominent of them are " Heya Wa Elmostaheel” (She and the Impossible), “ El Hob Wa Ashya’a Okhra” (Love and Other Things), "Umm Kulthum", "Kassem Amin", “Qeset el Ames” (Yesterday's Story), " Dameer Abla Hikmat” (The Conscience of Teacher Hikmat) among others.

Dr. Azza Kamel confirmed that the creativity of Inaam Mohamed Ali represents an important pillar of feminist creativity in cinema and TV drama, in addition to the fact that since she started her work as a director, she has discussed multiple women’s issues, also women rights and obtaining their legitimate gains was her main aim so she is the most prominent name pertaining to discussing women's issues on screen in Egypt and the Arab world.

The Festival, also, will grant Isis Achievement Award to veteran Egyptian actress Sawsan Badr in recognition of her long artistic career and her great contribution to Egyptian and Arab cinema screen.

Veteran actress Sawsan Badr will be honoured with the Isis Achievement Award, in recognition of her long artistic career and her great contribution to Egyptian and Arab cinema screen.

Chairman of the festival board of trustees ambassador Mervat El-Talawi, said that Sawsan Badr represents a wonderful example of the creativity of Egyptian women on the cinema screen.

Talawi added that Badr is a talented actress who is totally aware of women and society issues, so it was not strange for her to participate in films that boldly and enlighteningly discuss women's issues from all social classes including “ Ehky ya Shahrazad” ( Narrate To Us Shahrazad), “ El Shouk” ( Love), “678”, “ Qas W Lazk” among others.

Talawi explained that besides having great talent as an actress, Badr is also personally loved by Egyptian and Arab audience, perhaps due to her very Egyptian features, as she is regarded as the legitimate heir of pharaonic women who were carved on the walls of the temples of ancient Egypt, or as described by the late director Shadi Abdel Salam. as “ A woman who was ran away from the temple".

Somali director and women’s rights activist Hibaq Osman will be awarded the Note Award for her impact on women’s rights in the region, having founded the Karama Movement to End Violence against Women in the Middle East and North Africa. Osman raises awareness of the issues faced by women in the region through her films, such as Sorry, I Refuse That Divorce, The Daily Life of a Modern Woman, and Dream Hunter.

The sixth edition of Aswan International Women Film Festival will honor veteran French actress Marilyne Canto.

Marilyne Canto was born on October 18, 1961 in Oran, Algeria.

She is an actress and director, known for her participation in movies such as “Fais De Beaux Reves”, “Sense of Humor”, “Nouilles” among others.

International Women Film Festival's workshop training program

Aswan International Women Film Festival's workshop training program was launched on February 6.

AIWFF workshop is considered the largest training program in the Egyptian festivals, as it includes 255 girls, youth and children, 70% of whom are girls, and the training hours reach 180 hours.

The first part of the workshop program started with the “Film Making” and “Film Making Techniques” (New Aswan Cinema Project) workshops under the supervision of scriptwriter Wissam Soliman, director Yasser Naim, and director Nada Rizk, while the second part of the workshops will start with the launch of the sixth edition of the festival which will be held from February 23 to 28.

Director of AIWFF workshops Sayed Aly said that this year's workshops program supports the training of 70 girls from Aswan and Upper Egypt, and also supports the production of films for students' graduation projects, which will be displayed in a special program for workshop films during the activities of the sixth edition, and these films will compete for the first time with other films which were produced by institutions inside Egypt to expand the circle of knowledge and benefit based on experience and practical training.

Aly added that the second part of the Aswan International Women Film Festival training workshop program, which will start with the launch of the festival, includes 4 workshops: “Actor Guidance” workshop under the supervision of artist Salwa Mohamed Ali, “Story before script” workshop under the supervision of director Dalia Bassiouni, “Animation and Element” workshop. Al-Bishri” under the supervision of Dr. Ashraf Mahdi, and the “Animation and Cinema for Children” workshop under the supervision of the artist Ibrahim Saad, and those accepted in the second part of the workshops will be announced during the second half of February, and a special award will be given to the best team that participated in the workshop program this year.

The program will conclude its activities on February 27, with a ceremony that will include all partners, supporters and participants.

Women & Life Symposium

In cooperation with Land of Art Foundation, the Women & Life Symposium, featuring an abundance of artists will take place during the sixth edition of Aswan International Women Film Festival running from February 23-28.

Films participating in the festival

The International Competition for Feature Films

The sixth edition of Aswan International Women Film Festival will witness the screening of 12 feature films from 17 different countries which have been chosen to participate in the International Competition for Feature Films, where 10 of the 12 films are directed by women.

The feature films include:

1- As in Heaven - Denmark

2- El Planeta - USA, Spain

3- Good Mother - France

4- Secret Name - France

5- Farha - Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden

6- Quareer - Saudi Arabia

7- The New Girl - Argentina

8- Rehana - Bangladesh, Singapore

9- Holy Emy - Greece, France, USA

10- Peacock’s Paradise - Italy, Germany

11- Souls in Transit (World Premiere) - Iraq, Switzerland

12- Lingui Chad, France, Germany, Belgium

Aswan International Women Film Festival’s Artistic director, cinema critic Ahmed Shawky says that all selected films relate to women’s concerns in the contemporary world which is a trend set by the festival since its inauguration.

The International Competition for Short Films 

The International Competition for Short Films is housing 24 short films from 22 different countries.

The competing short movies include: 

1- “1+1” – Egypt

2- What We Don’t Know About Mariam – Egypt

3- Microbus - Egypt, USA

4- Sham Ennessim - USA, Egypt

5- Phoenix Tunisia

6- Jeans Morocco

7- The Sea Bride - Bahrain

8- August Sky - Brazil, Iceland

9- Cold Beds - France

10-   Deaf - Spain

11- Good Thanks, You? UK

12-   Love Stories on the Move - Romania

13- The Letter Room - USA

14- Five Tiger - South Africa

15- Silent Night - Russia

16- The Son - Russia

17- Frimas - Canada

18-   Intercom 15 - Romania

19- The Girl Who Comes on Thursdays - Spain

20- Trumpets in the Sky - Palestine, Lebanon, France, Belgium

21- Butterfly Jam - France, Taiwan

22- Elena - Lithuania, France, Croatia

23- Steakhouse - Slovenia, Germany, France

24- The Boob Fairy France

The Egyptian Film Competition 

Aswan International Women Film Festival announced the list of films participating in the Egyptian Film Competition in its sixth edition which will be held from February 23 to 28. 

The first movie is “ Kamar 14” (Full Moon) which was released in Egyptian cinemas on January 12.

The movie highlights five love stories, through Mourad, a radio presenter, who follows social media stories, and comes across the  love stories of Dr. Alia, sued after being accused of having an affair with an assistant professor,  Mariam and Ibrahim who are separated by religion, and others.

These love stories draw Mourad’s attention to the full moon, rumoured to destroy love.

The film houses a notable group of stars such as Khaled El Nabawy, Shereen Reda, Ghada Adel, Ahmad Al Fishawy, Ahmed Hatem, Asmaa Abulyazeid, Yasmine Raies, Ahmed Malek, Khaled Anwar, May El Gheity among others.

Full Moon is written by Mahmoud Zahran and directed by Hady el Baghoury.

The second movie is “Abu Saddam”. The movie tells the story of an old truck driver "Abu Saddam" who gets a transportation mission on the North Coast road after he stopped working for years.

He decides that he wants to complete his mission perfectly to complement his working reputation but he faces a small situation on the road and things get out of control.

“Abu Saddam” is directed by Nadine Khan, starring  Mohamed Mamdouh and Ahmed Dash

The third movie is the Egyptian documentary “El Awda” ( Back Home). directed by Sara El Shazli. “Back Home” showed clips of Sara's return to Egypt after spending 10 years abroad. It starts with her arrival at the airport and taking a car to reach home. It ends with her knocking on the door, where the film starts with her coming Back Home.

Sara’s father is nearly 80 years old and is full of life. When Sara’s plans turn upside down due to the global pandemic, she finds herself stuck in her childhood home with her parents after living abroad for ten years. As they spend months together in lockdown, Sara feels the need to capture the precious moments spent with her father on film.

For the first time, Sara’s return to Egypt feels right.

The fourth movie is “Wish Al Qafs" directed by Dina Abdel Salam, written by Dina Abdel Salam and Ashraf Mahdi, starring Ashraf Mahdi, Amin Hegazy, Amina Al Zoghbi, Onsi Al Jundi.

The film tells the story of a group of people working for a jam-manufacturing company in Alexandria who are going through financial crises, and their fates are intertwined and complicated.

The Jury

The International Competition for Feature Films Jury

The Jury of the International Competition for Feature Films is headed by the Romanian actress Cristina Flutur. The all-female jury includes Egyptian actress Basma, Nigerian director and producer Rahmatou Keita, German critic and programmer Ingrid Beerbaum and French actress, director and AIWFF Honoree Marilyne Canto

The International Competition for Short Films Jury

The esteemed jury of the International Competition for Short Films comprises the Saudi writer, director and critic Hana Abdullah, the German curator and cultural events manager Karin Schyle, and the beautiful Egyptian actress Shery Adel.

The management of Aswan International Women Film Festival revealed that it has offered a grant to produce short films, whether fiction  or documentary,  in an effort to make the festival a platform for launching new films to be added to women’s movies and to increase opportunities for female filmmakers, especially from southern Egypt.

The festival management announced that filmmakers can now apply for the short film grant.

The applied films must address a women’s issue, or speak about influential feminist figures, or represent women’s creativity.

The grant combines financial and logistical support (providing equipment and supplies for the filming stage) for the winning films, in cooperation with Gemini Africa, Redstar Film Production Company, Film House Production Company, Hama Production and Distribution, Vibration Studios and Baraka Art Production.

The festival management indicated that it will continue to receive the scenarios of the participating films until February 5, while the winning films will be announced during the activities of the sixth edition, which will be held from February 23 to 28.

The Egyptian Film Competition Jury

The Egyptian Film Competition Jury is headed by acclaimed writer and journalist Ibrahim Eissa. The jury, also, includes actress Dalia Elbeheri and the great cinematographer and director Kamal AbdelAziz.

The Euro-Mediterranean Film Award Jury

The Euro-Mediterranean Film Award Jury Head is Egyptian director and writer Magdi Ahmed Ali , alongside Tunisian researcher and academic Insaf Ouhiba, Moroccan actress Nisrin Erradi, Polish critic Ola Salwa and Syrian actress Suzan Negm Eldin.

Films Eligible for the EU Award:

1- Abu Saddam, by Nadine Khan – Egypt

2- As in Heaven, by Tea Lindeburg – Denmark

3- Back Home, by  Sara Shazli – Egypt

4- Cream of the Crop, by Dina Abd Elsalam – Egypt

5- El Planeta, by Amalia Ulman – USA, Spain

6- Farha, by Darin J. Sallam – Jordan, Sweden, Saudi Arabia

7- Full Moon, by Hadi El Bagoury – Egypt

8- Good Mother, by Hafsia Herzi – France

9- Holy Emy, by Araceli Lemos – Greece, France, USA

10- Lingui, Sacred Bond, by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun – Chad, France, Germany, Belgium

11- Secret Name, by Aurelia Georges – France

New Section

The Ministry of Social Solidarity, as an official partner, supports the new section entitled ‘Films of Impact’, aiming to support films produced by NGOs , which discuss and directly influence social issues in Egypt.

Nut Forum

For the sixth year in a row, the "Nut" Forum, which is held within the activities of the Aswan International Women Film Festival, discusses many important issues facing women in general and women filmmakers in particular.

Dr. Azza Kamel, Festival Director and Vice-Chairman of the Festival's Board of Trustees  said that the sixth edition of Aswan International Women Film Festival coincides with the Egyptian government announcement that 2022 is the year of "civil society", and the Aswan Festival, through Nut Forum was the first to adopt civil society issues. , focusing on women's issues, not only as topics, but as the actual presence of individuals of civil society in all the festival's activities.

Kamel added that this year Nut Forum is interested in clarifying how art integrates with citizens and civil society, therefore the festival management decided that most of the events would be part of Nut Forum.

This year’s Nut Forum will discuss many important themes, including: “Art and reproductive health issues”,  "Women's Mental Health", "Challenges facing filmmakers", "How filmmakers see the reality of women and how they employ it in their films", as well as the presentation of the third edition of the report on the image of women in Arab cinema.

Kamel pointed out that the Nut Forum will launch, in the sixth edition of the festival, a document for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, and it will be signed by the festival's guests.

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