Cairo International Film Festival, which for the past 10 years has been recognised as a competitive event by international producers' body FIAPF (and remains one of only 11 festivals to be given this A-grade status), celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a retrospective of some of the most important films from the Arabic world in the past quarter century, as well as a look back at the best films to have come out of Canada in that time.

The festival, which runs October 9-20, also plans to include a panorama of new Egyptian film and special sections devoted to Chinese and Argentine cinema. The festival will also focus on the impact of new technology on the film industry.

Film-makers to be honoured at the event include Jean Paul Rappeneau (director and writer of The Horseman On The Roof and Cyrano De Bergerac, among others), Ventura Pons (whose films have included Amic/Amat and Morir (o no)) and Mauro Bolognini (director of a string of award winners including Mosca Addio and Il Bell'Antonio). To mark the 50th anniversary of Cahiers du Cinema, the French cinephile magazine will select 10 films for its own sidebar.

A discussion entitled "European cinema versus Arabic cinema: for a fair distribution" is also to be held during the event, and an embryonic market will be staged in Cairo's Opera House with exhibitors invited from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Far East.

Prizes to be awarded at the festival will include the Golden Pyramid for best film, the Silver Pyramid or Special Jury Prize, the statuette of Princess Baket Aton for best actress, the statuette of Imhoteb, engineer of the Zoser's Step Pyramid, for best actor, and a statuette of King Akhnaton for the best director. Other categories include best script and international jury award for the best first or second work. The best Arabic film will be awarded $23,570 (100,000 Egyptian pounds) by the Egyptian ministry of culture.

The Panorama of Egyptian films is to include the following:

Days of Sadat, dir: Mohammad Khan (2001) (pictured)
Secrets of Girls, dir: Magdi Ahmad Ali (2001)
Snakes and Ladders, dir: Tarek el-Eryan (2001)
The City: dir: Yossri Nasrallah (2000)
The Storm, dir: Khaled Youssef (2000)
The Locked Doors, dir: Atef Hatata (2000)
The Two Lovers, dir: Nour el-Sherif (2000)
Film Sakafi, dir: Mohammad Amin (2000)
The Headmaster, dir: Sherif Arafa (2000)
Hammam in Amsterdam, dir: Said Hamed (2000)
The Honour, dir: Mohammed Sha'aban (1999)
Land of Fear, dir: Dawoud Abdel Sayyed (1999)
Date Wine, dir: Radwan el-Kashef (1999)
The Pleasure Market, dir: Samir Seif (1999)