Asian film festival opens in Egypt, with China as guest of honor

The Sharm El-Sheikh Asian Film Festival (SAFF) opened on Saturday in Egypt's Red Sea South Sinai province, with China as the guest of honor in the festival's third edition.

The opening ceremony was presented in cooperation with the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo. Ancient Chinese folk dances were performed during the ceremony.

The festival features 58 films from 26 countries competing for nine awards in five competitions.

Films to be shown are from countries including Egypt, China, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, India, and South Korea.

Chinese films will be shown in competition and in the Focus on China section.

Chinese Director Xie Fei will be the head of the Film Festival Jury. Xie's works have won him multiple awards internationally and in China.

Winners of the competitions will be presented with the Djed pillar as a trophy. Raising the Djed was an important part of the most popular celebrations of ancient Egypt.

The award for the Best Actress will be given in honor of the late Egyptian actress Souad Hosny, while the Best Actor Award will be given in honor of the late Egyptian actor Ahmed Zaki. The two winners will each receive 3,000 U.S. dollars.

The award for the Best Feature Film will be presented by the "Ghad al-Arabi" television channel and comes with 3,000 dollars for the winner.

For the first time in Egyptian history, an award will be presented for the Best Animated Feature Film.

Other awards given will include Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Documentary.

Famed Egyptian actress Isaad Younis has been appointed as the honorary president of the festival.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency