This year we celebrate the 11th anniversary of an adventure that we started in 2008: launching a festival for films made by women from all over the world. It really has been a true adventure. It was the first festival of its kind in the Arab region, and it remains an independent initiative by a group of women, one that is not supported by any state institution unlike what it is common in this field. It offers the audience the opportunity to see films other than the ones available in commercial cinemas or television. We have also decided from the start to offer all our film screenings free of charge, making it accessible to a wider audience. We take pride in being the only festival in Egypt that offers free screenings and in screening all our films with Arabic subtitles.
When we first started, we did not imagine that the day will come when we will be celebrating our tenth anniversary. But there we are, the years have passed, and we are celebrating the actualization of our dream and its continuation. Our dream would not have materialized in this way without the support of a truly amazing audience. They amazed us with unexpectedly high turnouts, from both men and women; the rich debates that followed our screenings; the way they appreciated unconventional ideas presented by the directors; and their bold votes for the audience award. Thanks to this audience the festival that started as an adventure by a few women became an awaited annual event. Let us celebrate together that some dreams can come true and hope to continue together for many more years to come.
Founder and director of the Cairo International Women Film Festival