Cairo International Film Festival Postponed as War in Middle East Continues

The showcase was supposed to take place in mid November

Cairo International Film Festival
Cairo International Film Festival logo (Photo Credit: Cairo International Film Festival)

The Cairo International Film festival has postponed its 2023 showcase in the wake of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, the organization announced Wednesday. The 45th edition of the showcase was originally supposed to take place from November 15-24.

Egypt’s Minister of Culture Dr. Neeven El-Kelany was the one who decided on the postponement, according to a post from the festival on Instagram. At the moment it’s unknown when the festival will be rescheduled.

Though there is currently no reason given for this postponement, it comes a day after an attack on Gaza City’s al-Ahli Arab Hospital. Following the attack from Hamas on Oct. 7 and Israel’s backlash against the militant group, the hospital became a haven for many injured and displaced Palestinians. On Tuesday, the hospital was attacked by an airstrike. The Gaza civil defense said that more than 300 people were killed in the blast. Both Israel and Hamas have denied being responsible for the rocket launch that led to these mass casualties.

The bombing came just before President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East on Wednesday. The trip may very well be the most important foreign visit of his presidency.

This isn’t the first time the Israel-Hamas war has disrupted a recent film or television festival. Sean Penn, Matthew Fox and Kick Gurry were supposed to host a keynote at the Cannes festival MIPCOM about their show “C*A*U*G*H*T.” They dropped out of the festival and cancelled their keynote out of respect to the ongoing tensions last Tuesday.

However, postponing an entire festival is markedly different than cancelling a single panel. The Cairo International Film Festival is a showcase that’s been around for 45 years and celebrates short films. It’s organized by the Ministry of Culture in Egypt and is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations.

As of Tuesday, the Health Ministry of Gaza said that roughly 3,000 Palestinians had been killed as a result of the ongoing war with an estimated 12,500 wounded. This does not include the casualties from the attack on the al-Ahli Arab Hospital. In Israel, the death toll has reached at least 1,400.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.