French war saga sweeps Cairo film festival awards

French director Florent Emilio Siri's daring portrayal of the savagery of the Algerian war in "L'Ennemi Intime" won the prize for best film at the 31st Cairo International Film Festival.

French war saga sweeps Cairo film festival awards
Set in 1959, the film tells the story of idealistic, young Lieutenant Terrien, played by Benoit Magimel, who takes command of a desolate French army outpost high in the mountains of Kabylia.

As Terrien wages a brutal campaign to wipe out National Liberation Front (FLN) fighters -- resorting to torture and napalm bombs --, he loses his own personal battle to retain his humanity.

The film gives a "unique warning against the futility of armed combat," British director Nicholas Roeg, a member of the jury, said as he presented the Golden Pyramid for best film.

"L'Ennemi Intime" director Florent Emilio Siri won Best Director, while Albert Dupontel won Best Actor for his role in the film.

The second prize went to the Pakistani film "In the Name of God" directed by Shoaib Mansour about the struggles faced by Pakistanis and Muslims since the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The Naguib Mahfouz Prize for a director's best first work went to Mexican Juan Patricio Riveroll for "deliberately defying the rules of the medium" in his film "Opera", Roeg said as he presented the prize.

Best Arabic film went to Morocco's "Waiting for Pasolini" directed by Daoud Aoulad Syad.

The film festival opened Tuesday hoping for a return to the Arab spotlight, as it competes regionally with Morocco's Marakesh film festival, widely seen as more creative, and that of Dubai, more wealthy.

"We are retaking our position at the forefront of cinema," the festival's president Ezzat Abu Ouf said at the opening, pleased to have celebrities such as US actors Matt Dillon and Harvey Keitel attending the festival on the banks of the Nile.

Nineteen films from 16 countries competed for the Golden Pyramid and another 13 took part in the competition for best Arab film.

A total of 153 films from 100 countries were shown, but Israeli production "The Band's Visit" was boycotted by the organisers.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Aralık 2007, 14:33