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Sunday, 13 June 2021

Critic Essam Zakaria to head 22nd Ismailia Film Festival after success of previous editions

Eslam Omar , Wednesday 4 Sep 2019
The festival
The festival's director Essam Zakaria during a press conference, Sunday 7 April 2019 Cairo (Photo: Eslam Omar)

The 22nd Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts will be headed by prominent critic Essam Zakaria for the fourth successive edition.

The decision was made early this week after the approval of Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem, upon a recommendation by the National Cinema Centre, headed by Khaled Abdelgliel, which organises the important annual event.

The festival was originally directed by the head of the centre , since its first edition in 1991, but this changed in the 19th edition when Abdelgliel proposed to separate the two posts; recommending Zakaria for the position.

The last edition of the festival was praised by many of the country's top film critics and journalists.

Since the last edition held in April, the competitions of the Ismailia festival have been separated, with two juries judging its different contests; one for long and short documentaries and another for short and animated films.

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 shorts, 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 capital Cairo, with various modes of transportation available to travel the Suez Canal city.

Accommodation costs in Ismailia are lower than in the capital Cairo, with several hotels and resorts available for different budgets.

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