Featured image via Highlights Egypt

Dubbed as Hollywood of the Arab World, Egypt has been the leading country in the region when it comes to the film industry. Its rich cinematic heritage makes a powerful learning source for those who aspire to be filmmakers. From its extensive archive of brilliant movies to the genius masterminds behind them, Egyptian cinephiles have a lot to look up to. And with the 41st edition of Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) starting today, there are definitely plenty of experiences that shouldn’t be missed. 

So, to all the film buffs out there, buckle up as we’re about to fill you in with all the juice about the prestigious film festival; from the event’s history to what to expect, how to attend screenings and more.

About CIFF

CIFF is one of the 15 festivals that were granted the category A status by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations. Not to mention that it’s one of the oldest annually running film festivals in the Arab world and the MENA region, and the only internationally accredited one.

The 41st edition of the festival starts today, the 20th of November, and will run until the 29th. The 10-day event will showcase 150 feature and short films from 63 countries, including 30 world premieres and 20 films from the MENA region.

What to Watch?

As you might have heard, the opening film of the festival will be the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese film, The Irishman. This will be the film’s Middle Eastern premiere. The movie, starring Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, follows the story of Frank Sheeran and his journey from being a truck driver to a top mob hitman. It’s worth mentioning that the film will be available for screening to the public on Thursday, the 21st of November, at the Cairo Opera House’s Main Hall at 1 pm. So, unless you want to wait for Netflix’s release next week, you’d better get yourself a front-row seat.

There will also be various world premieres for movies like The Friendly Man, Between Heaven and Earth, and The Fourth Wall. For all the screenings, check out the complete schedule below.

Cairo Industry Days

If you’re more than just a cinephile and you’re hoping to learn from the best to pursue a career in filmmaking, then we highly recommend you check out the masterclasses and panel discussions CIFF has to offer. There are also workshops (registration closed now) and great networking opportunities available at Cairo Industry Days. Check out the complete schedule below.



You can claim your tickets through some of the screening venues; Cairo Opera House, Cinema Zamalek, and Cinema Karim 1 and 2, as well as the official app (for iOS and Android), and the Tazkarti website. You need to book your tickets at the box office at least 15 minutes before the screening. Alternatively, you can book online in advance, but you still need to collect your tickets from the box office.

There are multiple ticket bundles you might like to consider if you’re planning to attend several screenings. There’s the Cinephiles bundle, the Student bundle, the Cairo University Exclusive Student bundle, the Film Syndicate bundle, and the Syndicate bundle, costing EGP 300, 200, 150, 250, 300 respectively. Each package includes 15 tickets for movie screenings, masterclasses, and panel discussions.