Movies

Cairo International Film Festival canceled as Middle East tensions rise

By Amy R. Connolly   |   Oct. 18, 2023 at 9:23 AM
The 45th Cairo International Film Festival — the longest running film festival in the Middle East — was canceled Wednesday as tension rises in the Israel-Hamas war. Photo courtesy of Cairo International Film Festival/Facebook

Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The Cairo International Film Festival -- the longest running film festival in the Middle East -- was canceled Wednesday as tension rises in the Israel-Hamas war.

Festival organizers said Egypt's minister of culture, Neven El-Kelany, decided to call off the event. New dates have not been announced. The event, in its 45th year, was to be held Nov. 15 through Nov. 24.

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Although no reason was cited for the cancelation, the move comes after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, and Israel retaliated by bombarding Gaza. On Tuesday, a blast at Gaza's Al Ahli Arab Hospital left hundreds dead. No one has taken responsibility for the blast, but Hamas and Israel are blaming the other for the attack.