Ismailia Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts Opens Doors to the Public Today
In the Suez-Canal city of Ismailia, today, Egypt inaugurated the 21st edition of the Ismailia Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts. The event’s schedule goes on for a whole week starting from the 10th until the 16th of April.
The National Cinema Center of the Ministry of Culture organizes the annual event, which will screen a number of chosen films that are participating in its various contests on six screens across the city of Ismailia. Furthermore, organizers have prepared other works to be played in a panorama and other programs celebrating African, Polish, and French cinema.
“We promise a very well-organized edition full of valuable films as has come to be expected at the Ismailia festival,” the National Cinema Center’s Khaled Abdelgelil told journalists, critics, and cinema experts during a press conference held at the headquarters on Sunday.
According to Ahram Online, eight books related to the field of documentary filmmaking are to be printed and distributed on the attendees. In addition, organizers have prepared a number of workshops and seminars to help young directors further discover their own personal styles.
The Ismailia Film Festival will also be holding a miniature festival entitled “Film and Jazz,” focusing on musical films made about the music genre.
Furthermore, organizers have announced that an international forum on the distribution and marketing of documentary and short films will be included to help the new generation of documentary and short creators figure out how to appeal to the public with their works.
“Our experience in the last three years of separating the festival’s presidency from the center proved successful, and I call on any president who follows me at the center to do the same,” Abdelgelil added, continuing to value the support and aid of ministry officials as well as Ismailia governorate. These officials have “offered continued cooperation” in the logistics of the festival. Moreover, he praised the artistic effort of the Festival Director Essam Zakaria, “who works hard with a very limited budget and mainly depends on the in-house resources and manpower of the center.”
Zakaria announced that there will be two separate juries because of the high number of films participating in this year’s edition.
“The Ismailia Festival’s success always prompts more filmmakers to take part, not to mention the rise of documentary and short production across the globe,” Zakaria stated.
Prominent Egyptian Director Yousry Nasrallah is to head the documentaries competition’s jury, while French Actress and Filmmaker Maryline Canto is to head that of short films.
Held since 1991, Ismailia Film Festival is one of the longest running cinematic events in Egypt, and in this year, it will honor the names and works of seven Egyptian, Arab, and African filmmakers. Those include Egyptian Director of Photography Said Shimi, Lebanese Director Borhane Alaouié, and Congolese Mwezé Ngangura.
The opening ceremony of the long-awaited festival will feature the 2018 documentary “We Are Not Princesses”, directed by Bridgette Auger and Ittab Azzam. The film tells the story of the “incredible strength and spirit of four Syrian women living as refugees in Beirut.”