Thursday, June 4, 2009


The venue for the upcoming Cairo Refugee Film Festival had to be chosen with a lot of care. It’s location had to provide for easy accessibility and be popular enough to attract the “regulars” at the venue. And of course the rent had to fit within our budget (Money matters have been the bane of organizing this festival).

Sakya or the Culture Wheel at Zamalek was our foremost choice. Its reputation for encouraging new talent gave us hope. But our hopes were dashed when we realized that hosting the festival at the Sakya would require dealing with a maze of bureaucratic tangles.

We had the option of hosting the festival at the American University of Cairo (AUC) campus in downtown but the AUC premises can be construed a very ‘elitist” venue. It may deter the average Egyptian from attending the festival. Further, we wanted to avoid the festival being perceived as being meant for the academia, which would be the case if AUC were to be the venue.

Cairo Opera House was also considered as a venue for the festival before we finally decided on the Rawabet theatre, which had collaborated earlier in 2007 with the UNHCR and the Townhouse Gallery to celebrate the World Refugee Day.

The Rawabet theatre is located next to the factory space of Townhouse in downtown Cairo. The neighbourhood is a “working area” with car mechanics, sign painters, carpenters and coffee shops occupying the surrounding space. Probably the best example of bringing art to the community. This was commensurate with the ideology for the refugee film festival which was bringing using art (the films) to bring communities together.

The physical address of the venue is
3, Hussein Al Me'mar Pasha St., Off Mahmoud Bassiouny St.Cairo,

1 comment:

  1. Great work, and it would be excelent if some one from the media decided to take some of the festival component to be shown to ordinary Egyptians who might not be aware of such a great intiative.
    From the bottom of my heart: Good luck!