The 20th edition of Ismailia International Film Festival for documentaries and short films kicked off Thursday evening، held in the north-eastern city of Ismailia، under the auspices of Minister of Culture، Dr. Inas Abdel Dayem.
A number of ministers، Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish، the governors of Ismailia، Port Said and Suez as well as a number of figures from the film industry، had attended the opening ceremony.
The Minister of Culture gave a speech at the opening expressing proudly of her presence on the land of the battlefields، which its name was associated with the Suez Canal.
“Today we are celebrating the 20th edition of Ismailia International Film Festival for documentaries and shorts، that contributes to the publication of the arts،” she said.
"Finally، I would like to thank all the festival organizers and wish them success".
The festival runs from April (4-11)، held under the presidency of، for the second year in a row، film critic Isam Zakaria.
The festival showcase a number of cultural and artistic activities including seminars، workshops، screening short and feature-length films.
The session will witness the participation of at least 62 films representing 48 countries، having been selected from 1500 films nominated for the festival from 93 countries around the world، Isam Zakaria said in press statement on Wednesday.
The 62 films were divided into competitions، with 10 films competing in the long documentary film competition، 14 in short film competition، 21 in short feature films، and 17 in the parallel film program.
The Festival's President said that A new program will be introduced in which a number of documentaries، short and animation films that won prizes during the festival’s previous editions will be screened during the 20th edition، according to Ismailia International Film Festival website.
Zakaria described this program as the most important event in the 20th edition of the festival. He expected this program to witness a huge turnout.
The program includes the screening of the Egyptian documentary “Waves” directed by Ahmed Nour that won the Best Documentary Award in 2013 and the Iraqi documentary “War، Love، God and Madness” directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji that was awarded the Jury Prize in 2008.
Also، the South African documentary “Sincerely Yours” directed by Dumisani Phakathi that was awarded the Jury Prize in 2002 and the Egyptian documentary “Girls as Such” directed by Tahani Rashid that won the Best Documentary Award in 2006.
The South Korean documentary “Planet of Snail” directed by Seung-jun Yi that was awarded the Jury Prize in 2012 and the Palestinian documentary “Frontiers of Dreams and Fears” directed by Mai Masri that won the Best Documentary Award in 2001.
Also، the program will screen a number of Egyptian short films including “Lilly” directed by Marwan Hamed that was awarded the Jury Prize in 2001 and “Rest in Peace” directed by Dina Abdel Salam that won the Jury Prize in 2014.
Also، “Rise & Shine” directed by Sherif El Bendary that was awarded the Jury Prize in 2006 and “Another love” directed by Heba Yousry that won a Certificate of Appreciation in 2006. Concerning animation films، the program includes the Estonian “The Table” directed by Jelena Girlin، Mari-Liis Bassovskaja and Urmas Joemees that was awarded the Best Animation Film in 2005 and the Latvian “The kiosk” directed by Anete Melece that won the Best Animation Film Award in 2014.
Also، the Argentinean “The Employement” directed by Santiago Grasso that was awarded the Best Animation Film in 2008 and the Russian “The Earth Which Strikes Us” directed by Elizabeth Zilonova that won the Best Animation Film Award in 2001.
Documentaries and short films are undoubtedly honest and heartfelt genres that promote the dialogue between cultures. Films deepen our understanding of others’ different social visions، values، and thoughts، according to Ismailia International Film Festival website.
It is the belief in the importance of shorts and documentaries being able to establish this understanding that gave birth to the idea of the Ismailia International Film Festival For Documentaries and Shorts in 1991.
Over the course of the festival’s editions، managements and directors changed and things progressed and grew in various ways. Yet the Ismailia International Film Festival For Documentaries and Shorts remained committed to showcasing important and significant documentaries and shorts in a celebration of cinema، creativity، and the undeniable influence of film.
Egyptian and international filmmakers both value the festival and consider it a viable showcase for their works.