The Cairo International Film Festival takes place since 1976. The current count (1999: 14th festival) is based on the year 1985 when the festival became an independent organization.
The International Festival has awarded tens of international superstars, including Ornella Mutti, Greta Scacchi, John Malkovich, Roland Joffe, Nicholas Cage, Oliver Stone, Morgan Freeman, Irene Pappas, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Victoria Abril, Alain Delon, Elizabeth Taylor, Shashi Kapoor, Bud Spencer, Catherine Deneuve, Peter O'Toole, Carlos Saura, Christopher Lee, Marcello Mastroianni and Omar Sharif, as well as directors like Robert Wise, Elia Kazan, Vanessa Redgrave, Ismail Merchant and Michel Angelo Antonioni, in an annual celebration and examination of the state of cinema in the world today. The presidents of the Festival since it was founded in 1976 are Saad El-Din Wahba, Hussein Fahmy and Sherif El Shoubashy. This year the festival a milestone of 30 years.
The Festival includes the following films:
• Feature films for Children's and Youths up to 14 years
• old and for their families.
• Short documentary and education films.
• Cartoon films.
• TV films and programs.
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Religious festivals Though few foreign visitors frequent them, Cairo's religious festivals are quite accessible to outsiders - and a lot of fun. Many begin with a zaffa (parade) of Sufis carrying banners, drums and tambourines, who later perform marathon zikrs, chanting and swaying themselves into the trance-like state known as jazb. Meanwhile, the crowd is entertained by acrobats, stick dancers, dancing horses, fortune-tellers and other side shows - Cairenes see nothing incongruous in combining piety with revelry.
Holidays in Cairo
• January: New Year's Day & Cairo Book Fair
• April: Sinai Liberation Day & Images Festival of Independent Film and Video
• May: May Day
• July:Revolution Day
• September: Experimental Theatre Festival
• October: National Day & Pharaohs' Rally
• November: Arabic Music Festival
• December: Cairo International Film Festival