The 2014 (3rd annual) Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) ceremony will begin early Tuesday, March 18, 2014, across the Nile River, with Golden Boats taking the festival’s guests from their hotels to Luxor Temple.
This will be accompanied by folk music bands and flags of the participating countries flying with Helium balloons in Luxor skies.
Sayed Fouad, LAFF President said that a theater has been built inside Luxor Temple that will host the opening ceremony, with a performance by Nile Ballet of the Cairo Opera House (music by Omar Khairat), directed by Abdel-Moneim Kamel, with the supervision of Dr. Inas Abdel Dayem.
The ceremony will be broadcast on local TV, with Omar Zahran directing.
Fouad added, that after the Ballet, a tribute will be given to Egyptian star Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, African American actor, producer, activist Danny Glover, and Bissau director Flora Gomes before the showing of Gomes' latest, the fantastical drama, The Children’s Republic, which stars Glover.
This year's third edition will be dedicated to the memory of late directors Chadi Abdel Salam from Egypt, and Ousmane Sembène from Senegal.
Also worth noting, LAFF 2014 will have the country of Senegal celebrated as the guest of honor of the 3rd edition for its important role in Sub-Saharan African cinema.
LAFF is held with the support of the following Egyptian ministries: Culture, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, and Youth and the cooperation of the Egyptian Film Syndicate and the Governorate of Luxor. The Board of Trustees is headed by Dr. Essam Sharaf, former prime minister of Egypt.
It was just last week when The Board of the Luxor African Film Festival announced that, during its third edition, steps would be taken to create a market for African Cinema through an ETISALAT initiative (ETISALAT being a UAE based telecommunications services provider, currently operating in 18 countries across Africa and the Middle East), with the participation of African producers and filmmakers, a number of directors of African festivals worldwide, and also digital and satellite platforms.
Azza al-Husseini, director of the festival, said that, during the last edition, the attendees recommended that the festival introduce an initiative that would support rising African filmmakers, by establishing a film market to help the production, promotion and distribution of new films, and also suggested embracing technological advancement when it comes to cinema in Africa, as well as the establishment of a database and a digital library of African films.
To start, Azza al-Husseini added that ETISALAT will contribute $100,000 to the LAFF's $40,000, to support the production of 20 short films by African filmmakers, this year (so that's about $7,000 per short film).
Finally, al-Husseini pointed out that the market will add a program called STEP, which will create a meeting space between film funders, industry professionals, and filmmakers, where 5 feature films in various stages of production, by young filmmakers across the continent or who are of the African diaspora, will be selected.
The market will run in conjunction with the Luxor African Film Festivl (LAFF), which runs from March 18-24, in Luxor, Egypt.
The festival aims to support and encourage African film production and partnerships between African countries, notably through supporting ties between African artists.
Look for writeups of individual films from this year's lineup in upcoming posts.
In the meantime, download the full festival program lineup HERE.