With Youssef Sherif Rizkalla as the Artistic Director of the Festival
The Minister of Culture, Ines Abdel-Dayem announced that Producer/Screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy has been selected as the President of the 40th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF)
following Film Critic Magda Wasef. Well known critic and TV personality Youssef Sherif Rizkalla
is the festival's Artistic Director.
Producer/Screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy comments through his official Facebook page "I attended the Cairo International Film Festival as an audience member, a filmmaker, and then a member of the festival's team in recent years. To be chosen as President of one of the most important and oldest festivals in the Arab world, I've mixed feelings of happiness and responsibility. What I am thinking about now is how to develop the festival, solve the problems of the previous editions, and build on the efforts and achievements that have been made and achieved before. What makes me enthusiastic is to cooperate with the salient Youssef Sherif Rizkalla as he continues in his position as the Artistic Director of the Festival. I'm very thankful to the Minister of Culture, Ines Abdel-Dayem, for her confidence in me. "
Before that, Hefzy was on the Advisory Board of CIFF, an advisor for the Cairo Film Connection (CFC), and a jury member of the 2010 CIFF.
He is a former director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, and is currently a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema since 2013, and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.
In 2013, Screen International named him as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production. In 2016, he was chosen by Variety on top of a list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry. His films have participated widely in major film festivals, including
Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto, and have won more than 80 international awards. In 2016, one of his latest productions (Clash) was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival.
Hefzy founded Film Clinic that is now considered as one of the leading production companies in the Egypt and the Arab world. Aside from his work as a writer and producer, Hefzy is a film activist who offers workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with international organizations and institutes. Hefzy has served as a jury member previously at the
Abu Dhabi International Film Festival in 2011, as well as several other local and Arab festivals.