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December 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

As turmoil continued to mount in Egypt between the Islamist majority and secular protesters, the Cairo Film Festival canceled its closing ceremony Thursday night. While the festival was intended to spotlight the work of the Middle East region’s filmmakers, many of them had boycotted the festival, including Egyptian filmmakers who expressed anger that after being launched as an independent showcase, it had been commandeered by the Culture Ministry. In the end, no awards were handed out for films from the region. At a news conference, Marco Mueller, the longtime head of the Venice Film Festival and now the Rome Film Festival, who served as jury president in Cairo, announced that a French drama, Rendezvous a Kiruna had been selected as Best Film. Venezuelan Vanessa Di Quattro was named Best Actress for her performance in A Breach of Silence, and Poland’s Marian Dziedziel was selected as Best Actor for his performance in The Fifth Season of the Year.