Cairo Film Festival Chief Mohamed Hefzy on the Need for More ‘Collaboration’ Between Arab Film Festivals

For the upcoming 43rd edition of the Cairo Film Festival, which is the grande dame of Arab film events, fest chief Mohamed Hefzy and his team have assembled a rich mix of top notch Arab and international titles, including the world premiere of Tunisian star Dhafer L’Abidine’s directorial debut “Ghodwa” and the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) premiere of “House of Gucci.”They have also recruited high-caliber talents and industry personalities such as U.S.

producer Lawrence Bender, Emir Kusturica, who is this year’s jury president, Oscar-winning composer A.R.

Rahman, as well as Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux and Egyptian icon Nelly, who are being feted.

Hefzy, who is also a prominent Egyptian producer, talked to Variety about how he’s been rebooting Cairo while braving the pandemic and contending with changes in the Arab film festival landscape.

Excerpts from the conversation.This is your fourth year heading Cairo.

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