The Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF), now in its 13th edition, is set to take place from 9-15 February in Luxor, Egypt. The festival is organised by the Independent Shabab Foundation (ISF) with the support of various agencies, and it aims to showcase the creativity of African filmmakers from across the continent. The event is the brainchild of Sayed Fouad, an Egyptian screenwriter and actor, and Azza El Hosseiny, an actress and film director.
Luxor is a city steeped in history, dating back 4,000 years, and the festival will kick off with an opening ceremony at Luxor Temple, one of Egypt’s top-rated tourist attractions. This year’s festival theme is “All Colours of Africa”.
El Hosseiny explains that the festival was born out of a desire to bring Egypt closer to the African continent. She adds that the need for the festival became even more apparent during the political changes in Egypt in 2011. The first edition of the festival was eventually launched in 2012.
The festival’s founders wanted to create a decentralisation of art, and Luxor was chosen as the host city due to its diversity and the lack of cultural events in Upper Egypt. The festival attracts visitors from all over the world.
This year’s festival will screen 44 films and honour Mali’s cinema through a special film program and panels featuring its representatives. Mali has recently produced some of the biggest names in African cinema, including Souleymane Cissé and Fatoumata Coulibaly.
The festival will also pay tribute to Khairy Beshara, the Egyptian multi-award-winning director credited with pioneering Egyptian neo-realism. A program dedicated to him will include talks and screenings of his films and the presentation of a new book about him by Egyptian film critic Essam Zakaria.