The Minister of Culture in Egypt, Dr Inas Abdel Dayem, has announced the stepping down of Mohamed Hefzy from his role as President of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).
He will be replaced by a veteran actor and UCLA graduate who starred in more than 100 Egyptian films, TV and theatre productions, Hussein Fahmy, who previously held the same position between 1998 and 2001.
The Egyptian Producer, Hefzy, was appointed as the Director of CIFF back in 2018 and has been appraised for having put the event back to credibility and on the international map during his four-year tenure.
Initially, his role was set for one year, which later increased to four. His successes within the four editions include successfully hosting a physical event in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic drove many festivals to cancel. Hefzy also launched ‘Cairo Industry Days’, the festival’s industry component, which has been crucial to connecting the event with the international industry.
According to reports, Hefzy shared a statement saying, “My intention has always been to remain as Head of the festival for three years; however, due to COVID-19 pandemic circumstances, I ended up increasing my tenure by a year. The four years have been great, memorable, and the most important years in my cinema career thus far.”
“Working with a great team of talented individuals in my role as the Cairo International Film Festival President in the past four years is something I will always be proud of. My team’s collective aim has been to lift the festival towards bigger local, regional and international recognition and to be a platform that helps the careers and projects of independent filmmakers in the Arab World.”
The office of the Ministry of Culture said the festival would, in accordance with the traditions, host a ceremony in the upcoming days to which the Presidency will officially hand over to Fahmy in the presence of Hefzy.