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Jeremy Colson


Jeremy Colson's festival coverage.

Film Festival ambassador to filmfestivals.com
Visiting Athens, Bangkok, Cairo, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Kathmandu, Neasden and more.


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Cairo movie buffs distracted by the beautiful game

 

CAIRO ¬ The joke going around Cairo today is that the Algerian Tribute in the city's international film festival will be withdrawn if the Algerian football team beats Egypt in this Saturday's crunch game.

It is only a joke, but the fact is that even the most ardent of Egypt's film buffs are focused on the crucial world cup qualifier that will see one or the other country through to the World Cup finals in South Africa next year.

Punters have commented that the organisers of the festival must have thought it was an away game.

Why else would they have selected "Voyage to Algeria"  to kick-off the tribute," one of them said to me this morning: " It should have been Voyage to Cairo".

Joking aside, the festival gets under way tonight (Tuesday) with an opening ceremony in the Cairo Opera House, followed by a screening of Kabir Khan's New York

 

This is Khan's third move as sole director, Kabul Express and The Forgotten Army being the other two.

In all some 150 movies are being screened during the 10-day Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) 2009, the 33rd edition of the festival that is widely regarded as not only the best in Africa but up there with the best worldwide.

One of the festival's strengths is that it attracts so many directors and producers.

Yes, there are film stars - Salma Hayek, Lucy Liu and Samuel L. Jackson are among this year's crop - but an exceptionally high number of CIFF screenings are brought to the festival by the people who created them.

Although Martin Scorsese has apparently had to withdraw, there are more than enough directors from the region to make up for his absence.

Mahsun Kirmizigul (Turkey), Said Ould Khelifa (Algeria), Nagwar Najjar (Palestine), Ahmed Abdalla (Egypt), Sanath Gunatilake (Sri Lanka), Driss Chouika (Morocco); Ahmet Zirek (France), and Krishnan Seshadri are among more than 100 directors, producers, and scriptwriters assembled here.

 

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About Jeremy Colson

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This is the diary of a festival ambassador travelling throughout Asia and elsewhere around the world.  Festivals covered include: Bangkok, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, London, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Chennai, Neasden and more


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