The board of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts has announced the opening of admissions for films participating in the 2021 edition.
The anticipated 22nd edition of the first Arab festival of its kind, which has been taking place annually since 1991, has been postponed to 1-7 April 2021 due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Headed by prominent critic Essam Zakaria for the fourth successive edition, the registration will be open for eligible films until 31 January through the festival's website.
Since the last edition held in April 2019, 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 to the Suez Canal city, where accommodation costs are lower than in Cairo, with several hotels and resorts available for different budgets.
After three months of stoppages, Egypt resumed public cultural and entertainment events in July, with many important film festivals successfully organising editions under strict safety measures, including the Cairo Film Festival held in December.
Organised by the culture ministry's National Cinema Centre, under the helm of writer Mohamed El-Basousy, the festival was originally directed by the head of the centre until the 19th edition, when former head Khaled Abdelgliel separated the two posts, recommending Zakaria for the position.
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