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| by Jasmine Kamal

10 of the Best Cairo International Film Festival Opening Films

The Cairo International Film Festival was and remains to be a huge film festival that we eagerly wait for one year after the next. It gathers many films, directors and stars from all over the world. If you're a film fan, you should definitely be looking forward to the 41st Cairo International Film Festival on November 20th. The opening film at the Cairo International Film Festival 2019 is going be Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. The film is based on the 2004 memoir, I Heard You Pain Houses by Charles Brandt. The film stars Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. This will also be its first premiere in the Middle East.

Actually this is not the first time that the Cairo International Film Festival opens with a strong and distinctive film. That's why we're taking you on a throwback tour of the last 10 years of the festival  to see the best Cairo International Film Festival opening films over the years

Green Book opened the 40th Cairo International Film Festival

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In 2018, Cairo Film Festival chose Green Book to be screened at the opening ceremony of the 40th edition, making it its premiere in the Middle East. This acclaimed film is directed by Peter Farrelly and stars Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. The film won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Mountain Between Us opened the 39th Cairo International Festival

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The 39th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival in 2017, had The Mountain Between Us at the opening ceremony. The film was directed by Palestinian Hani Abu-Assad and is based on a novel of the same name by Charles Martin, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on the 9th of September 2017.

A Day for Women opened the 2016 Cairo Film Festival


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In 2016, the Cairo Film Festival opened with the Egyptian film A Day for Women. This is was a special film, directed by  Kamla Abu Zekry and produced by Egyptian actress Elham Shahin, which was her 100th film. It stars Farouk El Fishawy, Mahmoud Hemida, Hala Sedki, Nahed El Sebai and Nelly Karim. Nahed El Sebai won the Best Actress award at the festival for her role. 

Ricki and The Flash opens the 2015 Cairo Film Festival

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In 2015, the Cairo Film Festival president, Magda Wassef, received a lot of backlash with choosing the opening film, especially after her strong attempt at reviving the festival again. Therefore, she chose Meryl Streep's Ricki and The Flash, directed by Jonathan Deeme.

The Cut for the opening of the 36th Cairo International Film Festival

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The Cut film was a hit of the opening ceremony of the 36th Cairo International Film Festival. It was directed by Fatih Akin and starred Tahar Rahim, Hindi Zahra and Trine Dyrholm. The film was nominated for multiple awards at more than one festival.

Winter of Discontent at the 35th Cairo Film Festival

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In 2012, the Egyptian film Winter of Discontent succeeded in re-establishing the presence of Egyptian cinema at the opening ceremonies for the Cairo International Film Festival. This was the 5th Egyptian film to open the festival after Nagi El-Ali at the 15th edition, Dehk Wa Le'b Wa Gad Wa Hob at the 17th edition, Al-Tareek Ela Eilat at the 18th edition, and Ma'ali al Wazir the session at the 26th edition. 

This movie stars Amr Waked, Farah Youssef and is directed by Ibrahim El Batout. It won the Best Feature Film at the Festival and Amr Waked took the Best Actor award at the Dubai Film Festival. It was also nominated for the Best Film award at the Venice Film Festival.

Another Year opens the 34th Cairo Film Festival

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Another Year opened the 34th Cairo International Film Festival. This film was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards. It also won 23 awards at different festivals and award shows that year. The film is directed by Mike Leigh and stars Lesley Manville, Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen.

New York at the opening ceremony of the 33rd edition of the Cairo Film Festival

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The Bollywood film New York was one of the highlights at the opening ceremony of the 33rd Cairo Film Festival. The film really impressed the Egyptian audience, who are fans of Bollywood films and drama. 

Directed by Kabir Khan and stars Katrina Kaif, John Abraham, Irfan Khan. The film was nominated for several awards including the Golden Pyramid Award at the Cairo Film Festival.

Retorno a Hansala opens the 32nd Cairo Film Festival

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At the opening ceremony of the 32nd Cairo International Film Festival, the Spanish film Retorno a Hansala was selected as the opening film. This film was one of the most prominent films in 2008 and has won many awards, including the Golden Pyramid Award at the Cairo Film Festival. It is directed by Chus Gutiérrez and stars Farah Hamed, José Luis Garcìa Pérez and Antonio de la Torre.

Death at a Funeral at the opening ceremony of the 31st Cairo Festival

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The dark comedy Death At a Funeral was a winner at the opening of the 31st Cairo International Film Festival. It is directed by Frank Oz and stars Peter Dinklage, Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Tudyk and Daisy Donovan.

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Tags: Cairo international film festival  Film  Movies  Movie reviews  Actors