Cairo International Film Festival becomes first in Arab world to sign gender equality charter

It joins 60 other film festivals around the world in a push for gender equality in the industry

Scales director Shahad Ameen. Courtesy Image Nation Abu Dhabi 
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The Cairo International Film Festival has become the first in the Arab world to sign the 5050x2020 gender equality charter.

Launched at Cannes Film Festival in 2018, the charter seeks to ensure all film festivals improve transparency around the selection process and programming committee, record the gender of the filmmakers and crews of all submissions, and to work towards equality on all executive boards.

More than 60 international film festivals have already signed up to the pledge, including Venice, Toronto, London, Rome, New York and San Sebastian.

The Cairo International Film Festival will make its commitment official during a special gala screening of Scales by Saudi Arabian filmmaker Shahad Ameen. The debut feature, made by Abu Dhabi's Image Nation, had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last month to much acclaim.

Mohamed Hefzy, president of Cairo International Film Festival, said the event had a history of championing female filmmakers and has already been meeting a number of the conditions set out in the pledge.

Delphyne Besse from Collectif 50/50, the driving force behind the charter, said: “We’re extremely happy that Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) has decided to sign the Pledge, showing their attachment to the issue of equality and inclusion in the Arab region. We hope many other festivals in the region will follow their lead” says Delphyne Besse for Collectif 50/50."