Cairo Film Fest wraps up with star-studded awards ceremony

Updated 30 November 2019

Cairo Film Fest wraps up with star-studded awards ceremony

  • Fernando Frias’s “I’m No Longer Here,” took home the top prize
  • he Silver Pyramid went to Belgian Bas Devos's “Ghost Tropic”

DUBAI: “Games of Thrones” actress Nathalie Emmanuel hit the stage at the closing ceremony of the Cairo Film Festival, as moving Mexican drama “I’m No Longer Here” nabbed the coveted Golden Pyramid award.

Fernando Frias’s “I’m No Longer Here,” took home the top prize for its portrayal of a teenage Mexican immigrant struggling to adjust to life in the US.




Members of the jury of the 41st edition of the Cairo International Film Festival pose for a group photo with award winners . (AFP)

The Silver Pyramid went to Belgian Bas Devos's “Ghost Tropic,” a film that follows one woman on her journey through Brussels after she misses her stop on the train.

Zhang Chong and Zhang Bo’s sci-fi feature “The Fourth Wall” and Czech director Michal Hogenauer’s thrilling “A Certain Kind of Silence” jointly won the Bronze Pyramid.




Chinese directors Zhang Chong (L) and Zhang Bo (R) receive the Bronze Pyramid for "The Fourth Wall." (AFP)

On to the Arab contenders and Tunisian director Mehdi M Barsaoui took home the Special Jury Award for his feature, “A Son,” which tells the harrowing story of a young boy who is injured in crossfire.

Iraqi director Mohanad Hayal’s “Haifa Street” secured the gong for Best Arab Director, while Palestinian director Najwa Najjar scored the Best Screenplay Award for “Between Heaven and Earth,” a poignant film about divorce.




Iraqi director Mohanad Hayal receives an award during the closing ceremony of the 41st Cairo International Film Festival . (AFP)

Lebanese director Elie Kamal's debut documentary “Beirut Terminus,” won the Best Nonfiction Film for its look at the country’s defunct railway system.

For her part, Emmanuel took to the stage to present one of the awards and even posted about her experience in Egypt on Instagram.

“What an absolute pleasure it was to be a guest at the 41st Cairo International Film Festival. Even more of an honor to present an award. Thank you for your warm welcome and sorry for speaking Arabic poorly... but I really do love Egypt!” she captioned a post on the social media site.



View this post on Instagram


@cairofilms What an absolute pleasure it was to be a guest at the 41st Cairo International Film Festival. Even more of an honour to present an award. Thank you for your warm welcome and sorry for speaking Arabic poorly ... but I really do love Egypt! These lewks were served up by @chercoulter as per: Look one: @maisonvalentino and @jimmychoo @monicavinader jewels Look 2: @christopherkane with @jimmychoo and @theofficialpandora jewels. Thank you to you all for generously loaning me these beautiful clothes/accessories. Make up by: @ali_makeup_artist Hair by Temmy Tayo of African Hair Styles in Cairo Egypt.. it’s been real... over and out... #CIFF #closingceremony2019 #iEgypt #theloveisreal

A post shared by Nathalie Emmanuel (@nathalieemmanuel) on

Emmanuel was joined by a bevy of regional stars at the closing ceremony, including Egyptian actress Amina Khalil, Egyptian actress Arwa Gouda, Lebanese actress Mariam Hassan and Egyptian actor Ahmed Fahmy, among other famous faces.

Fashion played a big role in the glittering evening, with Emmanuel donning two equally stunning outfits — a salmon pink, embroidery-covered number with exaggerated puffed sleeves by Maison Valentino and a flapper-style cocktail dress with silver chain-like embellishments by Christopher Kane.

Khalil sparkled in a dazzling black wrap dress, while Hassan also took the glittering route in a diamante-covered pink two-piece gown.


‘A Fall from Grace’ is a dark thriller with a fresh take

A still from ‘A Fall from Grace.’ Supplied
Updated 26 January 2020

‘A Fall from Grace’ is a dark thriller with a fresh take

  • Penned, produced and helmed by Tyler Perry, “A Fall From Grace" is now streaming on Netflix
  • The film tackles a rarely discussed subject — that of elderly abuse.

CHENNAI: Tyler Perry’s dark thriller “A Fall From Grace” — in which he also acts — reminded me not of Hitchcock or Agatha Christie or even Arthur Conan Doyle, but of Erle Stanley Gardner and his brilliant courtroom drama, with Perry Mason playing both lawyer and sleuth. 

Penned, produced and helmed by Perry, “A Fall From Grace,” now streaming on Netflix, is set in suburban Virginia and was shot in just five days. Middle-aged divorcee Grace (Crystal Fox) has murdered her young husband. She has even confessed to it, and it looks like an open-and-shut case. Public prosecutor Jasmine (Bresha Webb), a novice in the field, is asked by her boss (Perry) to get a plea deal from Grace. 

But when the two women meet — a much older Grace and much younger Jasmine — something does not seem right to the prosecutor, and much against the wishes of her boss and the accused, she goes about making her own investigations. 

There is a strong element of Christian faith running through the movie, and we see Jasmine tracking down Grace’s best friend Sarah (Phylicia Rashad), who also feels that there is something amiss. A series of flashbacks narrates Grace’s unfortunate story.

Disillusioned over her former husband’s affair, Grace flips for a handsome young photographer Shanon, who woos her with flowers and dinner dates. Sarah encourages her friend, and much like a Gardner plot, “A Fall from Grace” is peppered with hints and clues. Catch them if you can. But what finally turns out is a horror story of torture and turmoil.

Interestingly, the film tackles a rarely discussed subject — that of elderly abuse. It is said that 5 million older men and women are ill-treated every year in America, and “A Fall from Grace” has some disturbing revelations to show us. They are sheer horror, and the last word in human cruelty. 

The movie has its weak moments — some characters’ motivations are never fully explained, for example. But on the whole, it is a disturbing tale that will keep you hooked.