The 10th edition of the Ibero-American Film Week Festival will take place in Cairo and Alexandria on 13-20 October, highlighting “richness of Ibero-American culture,” according to Spain’s newly appointed Ambassador to Egypt Alvaro Iranzo.
The screenings will be held at the Cervantes Spanish Culture Institute in Cairo.
In addition, screenings will be offered in Alexandria at the Jesuit Cultural Centre for the second time in the festival’s history.
The 16 participating countries will include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The audience for this cultural exhibition are mostly the students of the Portuguese and Spanish language departments of the Egyptian universities, as well as the cinema fans in general.
The entry is free, and all movies will be offered with either English or Arabic subtitles.
In the presence of ambassadors and cultural attaches to Ibero-American countries, Ambassador Iranzo remarked that "our cinema is a way to highlight our identity, as well as to share the stories told by directors, as well as high-profile female directors whose numbers are growing every day, as well as male and female artists.”
Iranzo stressed the role of cinema as a tool of public diplomacy, describing how it “highlights the importance of Ibero-American cinema as a powerful cultural industry that we find every day more powerful, interconnected and connected to each other."
He stressed that these cultural programmes take into account the close connections between the Portuguese and Spanish languages with the Arabic language, and to the Mediterranean and Atlantic states.
The films and documentaries present the cultural essence of each participating country, highlighting the strength of this interconnected cultural industry, he said.
Iranzo affirmed that "the Ibero-American Film Week Festival is an annual cultural event that brings together the Embassies of the Ibero-American countries in Egypt. Its main objective is to spread the word regarding the diversity of film production in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as allowing the opportunity for the Egyptian public to enjoy a wider contact with the richness of Ibero-American culture. It is specially designed for the growing number of young Spanish and Portuguese language learners from all over Egypt, as well as for the general public who are eager to learn more about these countries."
During his remarks, he thanked the teachers and professors for their work in allowing their students to reach and connect with the community of nearly 600 million Spanish speakers and 275 million Portugese speakers around the world.
He also expressed his appreciation for the festival’s collaboration with the Jesuit Cultural Center located in Alexandria and the Egyptian graphic designer Samia Al-Khodari, who created the poster for this year’s festival.
For his part, Jose Octavio Trip, who is Mexico's ambassador to Egypt and dean of the diplomatic corps of Latin American ambassadors, said that Ibero-American cinema is a way to express creativity, sadness, joy and all human feelings.
He also emphasised that the festival allows communication between cultures and peoples.