The 42nd Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which will be held from 2-10 December, will open with Florian Zeller’s drama The Father, starring Academy Award winners Sir Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.
Based on the acclaimed, award-winning play, The Father is the feature debut of renowned playwright Florian Zeller, and is written by Academy award winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton (based on Zeller’s own stage play by the same name). The film, also starring Rufus Sewell, Imogen Poots, and Mark Gatiss, has received widespread acclaim from critics, who have lauded Hopkins and Colman’s powerhouse performances and praised its depiction of dementia.
Anthony, played by Anthony Hopkins, is 80 years old, mischievous, living defiantly alone, and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne (Academy Award and Golden Globe Winner, Olivia Colman), encouragingly introduces.
Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne, as she cannot make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling due to dementia. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her?
The film warmly embraces real life, through a loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition. It is heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant, a film that nestles in the truth of our own lives.
Zeller said, “I’m thrilled and honoured that The Father has been selected to open the 42nd edition of the prestigious Cairo International Film Festival, and I’m incredibly excited for the festival’s audiences to experience this special film on the big screen.”
CIFF President Mohamed Hefzy added, “We are thrilled to be opening the Festival this year with The Father, which is breath-taking and heart-breaking, flawlessly directed by Florian Zeller with both Sir Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, as well as the rest of the cast delivering a master-class in acting. It’s a powerful piece of storytelling that will stun audiences this December.”
The festival is set to be one of the few major film festivals around the world to stage a physical edition in 2020, complemented with some virtual/online appearances. This is particularly important given the possibility that travel restrictions and the lockdown in Europe and elsewhere continue to be enforced through December.