The 2016 Luxor Egyptian & European Film Festival, which will take place in Luxor between Jan. 30 and Feb. 5, will open with the screening of the acclaimed Palestinian film "3000 Nights".
Palestinian director Mai Masri's debut feature draws a poignant portrait of the Palestinian occupation through the real-life stories of Palestinian women who had to have their children in the confinement of Israeli prisons.
The powerful film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival . It tells the story of a young newlywed Palestinian woman who has her child while serving a sentence in an Israeli prison, after being wrongfully accused of carrying out a militant attack against the Israeli army.
In addition to being the opening film, "3000 Nights" will also be participating in the festival's official competition for feature films. It will be among 12 films from Europe and the Arab World competing for the Gold, Silver and Bronze DJED Pillar Awards.
Other Arab films in the competition include Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid's acclaimed film "As I Open My Eyes", Lebanese director Layal Rajha's "Chi Youm Rah Fol", Syrian director Mohamed Abd El-Aziz's "Al-Mahragan" and Moroccan director Saeed Khalaf's "Alf Khatwa Fe Heza'y".
In addition, Palestinian director Basil Khalil's world-renowned film "Ave Maria", which has been nominated for a 2016 Oscar in the short film (live action) category, is among the 20 films competing in the festival's official competition for short films.
As for the European films taking part in the festival this year, Italian cinema will see the strongest recognition as Italy is this edition's guest of honor.
The festival will screen a collection of Italian classics and a number of modern Italian films in an effort to represent the evolution of Italian cinema. Roberto Rossellini' s iconic 1945 film "Rome, Open City" will be among the classics, as well as the 1915 films " Assunta Spina" and "The Neapolitan Blood".
Another honoree this year is prominent Egyptian actress Lobna Abd El-Aziz, who is the festival's honorary president. Three of her well-known films, "Edrab Al-Shahatin", "Ah Min Hawa'a" and "Arous El-Nil", will be screened at the festival.
During last week's press conference for the launch of the festival, El-Aziz acknowledged the often overlooked prominence of the European film, saying it "has its glories, despite the dominance of the American film," according to Reuters .
Other golden-age Egyptian cinema classics which will be screened include "Miraty Magnona Magnona Magnona", which starred Fouad El-Mohandes and Shwikar, and "Ayamna El-Helwa", which starred Omar Sharif and Faten Hamama. Both films are being screened in honor of their late director, Helmy Halim.