By: Hana Kotb

The glitz, the glam, and all those London cabs… we are all obsessed with the elegance and extravagance of the Cairo International Film Festival. But some people are interested in knowing more than who wore what. Some people actually care about who won!


Without further ado, here are the winner’s of this year’s CIFF:


International Competition

The Golden Pyramid for best film, presented to the producer


A Twelve-Year Night, by Álvaro Brechner (Uruguay, Argentina, Spain)

a twelve-year night

A Twelve-Year Night tells the true story of three prisoners who were members of the Tupamaro urban guerilla and were captured at the onset of Uruguay’s military dictatorship that ruled between 1973 and 1985. Taken from their jail cells in a secret military operation, they remained in solitary confinement for the whole twelve years, being moved between 40 prisons around the country.

Director: Álvaro Brechner

Screenplay: Álvaro Brechner

Cinematography: Carlos Catalán

Cast: Antonio de la Torre, Chino Darín, Alfonso Tort, Soledad Villamil


The Silver Pyramid, Special Jury Prize for best director

Manta Ray, by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (Thailand, France, China)

Donbass, by Sergei Loznitsa (Germany, Ukraine, France)


The Bronze Pyramid for Best First or Second work of a director

Obey, by Jamie Jones (UK)


Prize for Best Actress

Zsófia Szamosi for One Day, by Zsófia Szilágyi (Hungary)


Prize for Best Actor

Sherif Desoky for EXT. Night, by Ahmad Abdalla El Sayed (Egypt)


Best Artistic Contribution

The Third Wife, by Ash Mayfair (Vietnam)


Naguib Mahfouz Prize for Best Script

Birds of Passage, by Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra


Script by Maria Camila Arias, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal (Colombia, Denmark, Mexico)

Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition

Best Arab Film Prize, Presented by TikTok (15.000$)

Poisonous Roses, by Ahmed Fawzy Saleh (Egypt)

poisonous roses

Salah Abu Seif Prize (Special Jury Prize)

Poisonous Roses, by Ahmed Fawzy Saleh (Egypt)


Egyptian film Poisonous Roses follows the life of Saqr, a character who seeks to flee the grubby Egyptian tanners’ district where he lives and works. The film is based on Ahmed Zaghloul Al-Shiti’s 1990 novel titled Saqr’s Poisonous Roses.

While introducing the viewers to a new perspective of Cairo’s tanneries, the film is visually rich, with lots of effort and details given to the cinematography.


Saad Eldin Wahba Prize for Best Arab Film

Fatwa, by Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud (Tunisia)


Cinema of Tomorrow Short Film Competition


Special Mention

A Fishers’ Recall (Colombia)


Special Mention

Dark Chocolate (Egypt)


The Special Jury Prize

She (Kosovo, France)


Youssef Chahine Prize for Best Short Film

Brotherhood (Canada, Tunisia, Sweden)


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Award

Poisonous Roses (Egypt)


International Film Critics’ Week


Fathy Farag Prize for Best Artistic Contribution

Erased, Ascent of the Invisible, by Ghassan Halawani (Lebanon)


Shadi Abdel Salam Prize for Best Film

Aga, by Milko Lazarov (Bulgaria, Germany, France)


FIPRESCI Award – In memory of Samir Farid

A Twelve-Year Night, by Álvaro Brechner (Uruguay, Argentina, Spain)