The Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts has announced there will be more than 52 films from 30 countries, including 10 world premieres, participating in the festival.
The festival will also include a co-production platform for documentary films that will entail 10 films in production and two films in post-production. The filmmakers are invited to the festival to be part of a peer review workshop, with access to experts and funding that could help the filmakers achieve their projects. A prize of $20,000 will also be up for grabs.
"In a first time collaboration with Screen Institute Beirut, the festival is also organising an editing workshop for three projects in the post-production phase. Three professional tutors from Denmark, Syria and Egypt will conduct the workshop sessions. We started working on this initiative four months ago. The aim is to enhance the film industry," Mohamed Hefzy, festival director and founder of Film Clinic, said at the festival's press conference.
The festival will debut 15 films from the National Cinema Centre's archive, featuring the Suez Canal and the role played by the province's residents from 1954 until 1974, through times of war.
The festival administration has also assigned 100 volunteers from Ismailia and nearby cities and areas in order to enhance collaboration amongst the festival's community.
Jury members include internationally acclaimed Egyptian documentary filmmaker Tahani Rached, and Safinez Bousbia, director of the critically acclaimed El-Gusto.
The jury for the short films and animation section will be presided over by Michelle Driguez and includes Chadi Zinnedine and Egyptian filmmaker Sherif El-Bindary.
Viola Shafik (Germany/Egypt) will act as the jury president for the co-production platform with Hania Mroueh and Malek Khoury, head of the film programme at the American University in Cairo, acting as jury members.
The Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts first launched in 1991, organised by the Egyptian Film Centre. The coastal city of Ismailia, which was established in 1863 with the construction of the Suez Canal by Khedive Ismail, has hosted 15 editions of the festival.
The Ismailia festival awards the best two films in the four main competitions — long documentary films, short documentary films, short feature films, and animation films.