The Ismailia International Film Festival for documentaries and short films will pay a special tribute to Egyptian veteran film critic Kamal Ramzy in its upcoming 22nd edition, taking place between 19 and 25 May, at the Suez Canal city.
"The iconic critic has a long history of thousands of valuable articles and tens of books [that] he wrote for the love of cinema," stated prominent critic Essam Zakareya, head of the festival for the fourth successive edition.
Kamal Ramzy's Arabic-language critic writings include many books that also give historic documentation through cinema, analysing important topics like identity comparisons as well as studying artists on the weight of Sa'ad Nadim, Mahmoud Morsi, Kamal El-Shiekh or Salah El-Tohami.
Egyptian veteran film critic Kamal Ramzy
The anticipated 22nd edition of the first Arab festival of its kind, which has been taking place annually since 1991, had been postponed repeatedly due to the COVID-19 lockdown and all the circumstances that then followed.
Since the last edition was held in April 2019, the Ismailia festival competitions have been separated. There have been two juries judging its different contests; one for long and short documentaries and another for short and animated films.
Critic Essam Zakareya, who heads the Ismailia festival for the fourth successive edition (File Photo Eslam Omar)
During the 21st edition, which was attended by dozens of prestigious filmmakers and critics - from Egypt and across the globe - several Egyptian and international films were screened, with some having their world premiere, including Amr Bayoumi’s ‘Where did Ramses Go?’, which won Best Long Documentary.
Although the mainstream cinema crowd in the country is not usually attracted to documentaries and short films, the Ismailia Festival, which does not host many star actors, has been increasingly attracting the coastal city's residents.
Ismailia is located 100km east of the Egyptian capital Cairo. Various modes of transportation are available to travel to the Suez Canal city, where accommodation costs are lower than in Cairo and with several hotels and resorts available for different budgets.
Ismailia Film Festival 22 Poster
Poster of the 22nd edition of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentary and Short Films has been revealed last week