Though in 1968 it was used as a dormitory, the Falaki building has since been entirely renovated, leaving no traces of its heritage in the adopted sleek design. After the American University in Cairo left its Downtown campuses, in 2012 Orient Productions took management of Falaki Theatre and began establishing it as a central performing arts venue within the independent art scene. With an expertly equipped stage, over the last few years Falaki Theatre has successfully presented various acts from both national and international artists and companies.
Purchased by the American University in Cairo in 1964, and home of the AUC library for decades, this once modern stoic building on Mohamed Mahmoud Street is now scattered with bursts of colourful graffiti since the revolution, a reminder of how much change the city has seen. The building is now being leased to Sawari Ventures, who opened Egypt’s first technology park on its grounds. The inside courtyard offers an alternative setup for outdoor film screenings and the presentation of performing arts.
Zawya - of Misr International Films (Youssef Chahine) - is an art house cinema in Downtown Cairo. A charming theatre and overall experience, Zawya screens a selection of award-winning and critically acclaimed alternative and independent films from Egypt, the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the world, giving Egyptians direct exposure to a larger range of cinema beyond commercial films. As an art house cinema, Zawya also programmes film discussions, retrospectives and master classes.
This building on Adly street was acquired in 1924 by the Kodak Company and used to open Kodak’s second store worldwide. Currently owned by Ismaelia (the company acquired it in 2008) the pedestrian passageway flanking the building was completely renovated by CLUSTER, with the storefronts repurposed as exhibition spaces. The renovations took place in 2014 within the framework of the D-CAF festival, with the purpose of readying the space for a solo show by Egyptian Artist Hassan Khan’s, which inaugurated the space.
Since then, what used to be a dead-end service alleyway between Adly and Abdel Khalek Tharwat streets has undergone further renovation, and has been transformed into a “Green Oasis” (the result of a design competition held by CLUSTER) featuring a pedestrian park, several seating areas and greenery. The passageway features 4 exhibition spaces, and is surrounded by a number of emerging art, film and design spaces (CIC, Cimatheque, and CLUSTER) as well as local eatery Eish & Malh.
Built in the late 1930s, this building is iconic of a much more affluent era in the life of Downtown Cairo. The distinctly Art Deco building on Talaat Harb Street is made up of a seven-story office building, a shopping complex and what was once a single, significantly large cinema, but is now divided into a theatre and a cinema. Despite this division, both halls are generous in size.
The downstairs theatre was reopened by D-CAF for its first edition in 2012, and was soon renovated to become the venue for the filming of Bassem Youssef’s popular ‘El Barnameg’. Restoration of other parts of the building is also underway, with the shops in the entryway recently used as gallery spaces.
Studio Emad Eddin (SEE) is located on the famous Emad Eddin Street; once the centre of a booming entertainment and cultural scene. The Studio is located in two large apartments across from one another: Number 18 contains five rehearsal rooms, while number 15 is made up of three workshop spaces as well as administrative offices which host the staff of Falaki Theatre and D-CAF, as well as of SEE Foundation.
Studio Emad Eddin was inaugurated in February 2005 and is a unique project in the Arab World, offering rehearsal, training and residency space to independent troupes and artists, whether Egyptian, regional, or international, in the field of performing arts.
Located at the edge of the Zamalek island, this spacious public garden in the heart of the city has recently been utilised by a number of initiatives to hold large scale events. D-CAF is utilising the garden for the first site of D-CAF’s opening concert.
A national institute established to support the worldwide community of Hungarian education, the Balassi Institute plays a key role in the professional direction of Hungarian cultural affairs, and has hosted many events.
El Shawarby was once a popular commercial street known for its high class clientele of movie stars and socialites. After street was turned into a pedestrian passageway in the 1990s, it became a spot for street vendors to sell their wares, and resembled more of an outdoor marketplace than a high street. Since the Egyptian government's recent relocation of street vendors stalls, the passageway has now become a space suitable for staging an outdoor performance. This is the first year D-CAF will utilise El Shawarby Street as a venue for its Urban Visions program's performances.
Opening as part of Townhouse Gallery in 2006, Rawabet Theatre largely caters to independent troupes, musicians and performance artists.
Although the space itself is not particularly large, and the set up itself is certainly casual, the theatre is fully operational with professional lighting and sound equipment, as well as having a multipurpose stage.
Rawabet has hosted a range of productions in the past, from experimental theatre to all sorts of music performances, film screenings, and workshops, making it an ideal space for D-CAF events.