“I am very grateful to be celebrated among all these great cinema-makers here. It’s a great honour and pleasure,” Mamdouh, 40, emotionally said when he received the award, thanking his crew members and director Nadine Khan.
The Best Actress Award went to Swamy Rotolo for her performance in A Chiara, directed by Jonas Carpignano (Italy - France), while The Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film went to The Hole In The Fence, by director Joaquin del Paso (Mexico, Poland), and produced by Fernanda de la Peza and Joaquin del Paso. Blind Spot, by director Lotfi Achour (Tunisia, France) won the Best Short Film Award.
Under the helm of Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem, the CIFF, presided over by Mohamed Hefzy, has celebrated winning films and filmmakers from countries from across the globe in its different categories.
The closing ceremony, that saw a performance by Libyan-Egyptian singer and music producer Hamid El-Shaeri, was replete with emotional moments, prime among which were the delivering of veteran actors Lobna Abdel-Aziz and Rashwan Tawfik the Best Actress and Best Actor awards, respectively.
Acclaimed Egyptian producer Hefzy hosted a special honouring of American film producer Lawrence Bender, before prominent director Yousry Nasrallah – who received a warm applause -- handed an honorary trophy to Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Cannes Film Festival.
Screening over 111 films from 63 countries, the activities of the CIFF’s 43rd edition ran from 25 November to 5 December, including 34 world premieres, workshops, seminars, as well as ceremonies to honour a number of renowned filmmakers, including Egyptian actors Nelly, Karim Abdel-Aziz and Indian composer A.R. Rahman.
The CIFF awards went to:
International Competition awards
Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution: Jose Angel Alayon for the cinematography of They Carry Death (Spain - Colombia)
Best Actress Award: Swamy Rotolo for her performance in A Chiara, directed by Jonas Carpignano (Italy - France)
Best Actor Award: Mohamed Mamdouh for his performance in Abu Saddam, directed by Nadine Khan (Egypt)
Naguib Mahfouz Award for Best Screenplay: Péter Kerekes and Ivan Ostrochovský for 107 Mothers, directed by Péter Kerekes (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Ukraine)
The Bronze Pyramid Award for Best First or Second Feature of a Director: Aloners, by director Hong Seong-Eun (South Korea)
The Silver Pyramid: Small Body, directed by Laura Samani (Italy, France)
Special Jury Award for Best Director: Laura Samani for Small Body (Italy, France, Slovenia)
The Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film: The Hole In The Fence, by director Joaquin del Paso (Mexico, Poland), produced by Fernanda de la Peza and Joaquin del Paso
International Short Film Competition awards
Youssef Chahine Award for Best Short Film: Blind Spot, by director Lotfi Achour (Tunisia, France)
The Special Jury Award: It’s Nothing Nagy, Just Hang Up!, by director Youhanna Nagy (Egypt)
The Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition awards
Saad Eldin Wahba Award for Best Film: Awarded for directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige for their film Memory Box (Lebanon, France)
The Special Jury Award: Fiasco, by director Nicolas Khoury (Lebanon, the Netherlands)
Best Non-Fiction Film Award: From Cairo, by director Hala Galal (Egypt)
Best Acting Performance Award: Afef Ben Mahmoud for her performance in Streams, directed by Mehdi Hmili (Tunisia, Luxembourg, France)
Special Mention: A Second Life, by director Anis Lassoued (Tunisia)
International Critics’ Week Competition awards
Shadi Abdel-Salam Award for Best Film: Awarded to Ameer Fakher Eldin, director of The Stranger (Syria, Palestine, Germany)
The Special Jury Award: Wild Roots, by Hajni Kis (Hungary, Slovakia)
Special Mention: Actress Arcelia Ramírez for her performance in La Civil, by director Teodora Ana Mihai (Belgium, Romania, Mexico)
Best Arab Film Award: The Stranger, by Ameer Fakher Eldin (Syria, Palestine, Germany), produced by Tony Copti, Jiries Copti, and Dorothe Beinemeier
Special Mention: Fiasco, by Nicolas Khoury (Lebanon, Netherlands)
FIPRESCI Award: Tomorrow, directed by Dhafer L'Abidine (Tunisia)
Audience Award: Daughters of Abdel-Rahman’, directed by Zaid Abu Hamdan (Jordan)