CAIRO – 4 August 2018: Cairo International Film Festival’s management selected prominent Danish director Bille August as jury president of the international competition in the 40th edition of the festival.
“Bille August is one of the eminent names in world cinema; his films have captured the hearts of audiences all over the world. It is an honor to have him as the Jury President in this historic 40th edition of the Festival,” recounted Mohamed Hefzy, CIFF President
August is one of few directors around the world who was awarded three of the most prestigious cinematic awards during his long career: The Academy Award, Palm d’Or and the Golden Globe. Also he is one of eight directors throughout history who have received the Palm d’Or twice.
“I am excited and honored to be the jury president of this year’s Cairo International Film Festival and looking forward to watching all the films from around the world along with the jury member,” said August.
The artistic director of CIFF, the veteran cinematic critic Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, announced that the International competition will host other internationally acclaimed jury members beside August, as it will include for the first time this year a notable group of filmmakers who have wide and unique artistic experiences. The 40th edition will take place from Nov. 20-29.
August was born in Denmark in 1948. In the 1970s he studied cinema at The National Film School of Denmark. In 1978, August made his first feature film “Honning Mane – In My life” on which he was awarded the Bodil Award for Best Danish Film.
August’s film repertoire include many movies that were featured all over the world such as “Zappa”, ”Tro, håb og kærlighed – Twist and Shout”, and “Busters Verden – Buster’s World” among others.
In 1987, August achieved a huge worldwide success with his film “Pelle Erobreren – Pelle the Conqueror”, which received the three major accolades in cinema: the Palm d’Or in Cannes Film Festival, and the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
In 1992, his film “Den Goda Viljan – The Best Intentions” received the second Palm d’Or award in August’s life.
Subsequently, August started working on massive production films along with internationally acclaimed stars like “The House of Spirits” in 1993 starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, “Smilla’s Sense of Ice” starring Julia Ormond and Richard Harris, “Les Misérables” in 1998 starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey rush and Uma Thurman, and ”55 steps” in 2017 starring Hilary Swank and Helena Bonham Carter.
August directed many films that received awards and prizes from prominent festivals around the world. In 2001, “A Song for Martin” received awards for best actor and best actress in Karlovy Vary Film Festival. In 2007, his film “Goodbye Bafana” was awarded the Peace Film Award from Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2014, his film “Silent Heart” received the Silver Seashell award for best actress from San Sebastián International Film Festival.
August has been honored both by the Danish and the Swedish Royal Order of Chivalry and the French order chevalier Ordre des Arts et Lettres.
“What a great film can do is to give soul and heart to moments, to characters, and to give us the possibility to identify with other people. What we see and experience becomes a part of us; we become the other person and we are able to understand unknown sides of other human beings. We learn something about the nature of mankind, which can be difficult in our everyday lives because we do not experience reality as concentrated as we do on film. And because we are able to portray the individual human being in a film, it also gives us a possibility, in short moments, to understand something about the world in the greater picture,” said August describing the effect of movies on our hearts and souls.