A 10-day animation workshop is a highlight of the Luxor African Film Festival, which will be run by Egyptian and international experts. The best African animated short film will also be chosen.


In an attempt to unite African filmmakers, the second Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) intends to provide a platform for the continent's major industry players. The LAFF will take place in March in the Egyptian city of Luxor, according to Sayed Fouad El-Gennary, the president of the festival.

This year, organisers chose to delay the event to avoid clashing with the Fespaco film festival, which is running from 23 February for 10 days. Fespaco is held every two years in Burkina Faso.

On the LAFF fringe this year there will be a workshop for animated films from 15 to 24 March, in collaboration with the International Association for Animation Filmmakers (ASIFA Egypt) and the Faculty of Fine Arts in Luxor. It will be led by animation experts from Egypt and other countries. During its 10 days, the workshop will produce an animated short film that will be screened at the closing ceremony of the festival.

In addition, the best animated African film will be chosen during the LAFF; the winner will receive prizes from ASIFA and from the festival. The film selection panel for LAFF 2013 includes directors Saad Hendawy and Ahmed Rashwan; scriptwriters Mariam Naom and Atteia Dardeery; and critic Ahmed Fayek.

Hendawy is best for known for his short films Cry (1993), Visit in the Fall (1994) and Bubbles (1994). He was the assistant director on the series Illusion and ‎Arms (1995) before returning to the director's chair on the short fiction film Normal Sunday (1996), Final Scene and Arab Days in Paris before he directed the first cinematic experience in ‎long narratives Love State; the movie The Seven Colors of Heaven, ‎starring Laila Elwi; and the film El Safah (The Assassin) in 2007, starring ‎the artist Hany Salama.

Rashwan is an Egyptian film director, screenplay writer and ‎film producer. His ‎filmography includes a list of short films, ‎documentaries, and one feature film. He has also been the executive producer and director on many documentaries produced exclusively for Al-Jazeera.‎

Naom has worked for several years in ‎various areas, including feature films, short programmes, ‎documentaries, and programmes for children, soap operas and commercials. Dardeery has written the scripts for several feature films, including Hendawy's El Safah. He has also written and directed several ‎documentaries and short narratives, as well as done duties as the editor-in-chief for ‎Tut magazine for children.

Fayek is an Egyptian journalist and critic on the newspaper El-Fajr and the Arabia ‎Variety magazine. He edited the Egyptian newspaper ‎‎El Gomaa between 2008 and 2009, and has been the editor-in-chief of several ‎television programmes about the cinema on Nile Varieties ‎channel, Nile Cinema channel and Dream.

‎The LAFF aims to support and encourage African film productions and partnerships between the countries of the continent through strengthening the humanitarian and political ties between the peoples of Africa in general and African artists in particular. The first edition of the festival ran from 21 to 28 February 2012 in Luxor, Egypt.

It is an I-Shabab project, the idea of script writer Fouad El-Gennary who was struck by the absence of African films in Egypt and vice versa. Luxor was chosen as the host of the festival so that cultural events in Egypt could be decentralised and taken outside Cairo and Alexandria.

El-Gennary graduated from the department of scenario at the Higher Institute of Cinema in 1993 and holds a law degree from Cairo University, received in 1989. The writer and director of a number of works in film, theatre and television, he is the head of the division of scenario in the filmmakers syndicate. He helped start the independent theatres trend in Egypt in 1989 and was one of the founders of the Coalition of Independent Culture in Egypt 2011. He has played a critical role in supporting young artists in the north African nation.