CAIRO, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) announced on Friday that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has awarded the festival Oscar qualifying film festival status.
The 10-day festival kicked off on Wednesday and showcases 150 films from 63 different countries.
It announced in a statement that the winner of the Best Short Film award in the Short film competition "Cinema of Tomorrow" section will be eligible for consideration in the Animated and Live Action Short Film Categories of the ACADEMY AWARDS without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with Academy rules.
This initiative brings together industry professionals from around the world to engage in a program of masterclasses, panel discussions and events designed to inspire, display and support filmmaking talent from the region, the statement said.
CIFF is the only Festival in North Africa to join the list of qualifying international Festivals, which also includes Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Sundance.
"We are incredibly proud to have been selected to join the ranks of Oscar qualifying festivals," said CIFF's President Mohamed Hefzy in the statement.
He added that the opportunity will help filmmakers achieve global attention for their extraordinary storytelling in the short film format.
Since 1976, CIFF has been the most prestigious among similar events in Africa and the Middle East. It was canceled for security reasons in 2011 and 2013, as it coincided with the ouster of two heads of state in the most populous Arab country.