Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cairo International Film Festival

"The 31st Cairo International Film Festival opend the 27th of November amid controversy, seeking to retake its place as the Arab world's international cinematic meeting point after years in the wilderness.

"Competing with Morocco's Marakesh film festival -- widely seen as more creative -- and that of Dubai -- more wealthy -- the CIFF will this year highlight British films, with 15 of them being screened.

"The opener is 'Death at a Funeral,' a black comedy by British director Frank Oz, creator of the Muppet Show, described as 'putting the F U in funeral' which has caused controversy because one of its characters is a gay priest.

"Egypt's outspoken Al-Badil daily attacked "so-called liberal newspapers who only see evil in everything (and) who have launched a pre-emptive attack on the festival's choice of 'Death at a Funeral'.

" 'As usual cinema pays the price of being stuck between the Islamists on the street and a regime that is bankrupt of civilisation,' Al-Badil said in an editorial on Tuesday, slamming Egyptian society's 'Achilles heel of religion.' [...]"

Source: AFP, November 27, 2007