Ismailia hosts the opening of the 24th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts
Ismailia Culture Palace witnessed this evening the opening ceremony of the 24th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, in the presence of Dr. Khaled Abdel Jalil, Advisor to the Minister of Culture for Cinema Affairs, on behalf of Dr. Nevin Al-Kilani, Minister of Culture; as well as Engineer/ Ahmed Essam, Deputy Governor of Ismailia, on behalf of Major General Staff/ Sherif Fahmy Bishara, Governor of Ismailia; Major General / Mohamed Anis, General Secretary of Ismailia Governorate, Editor/ Manar Hosni, Head of the National Cinema Center, Film Critic/ Essam Zakaria, the Festival's Director, and a large number of documentaries and short films makers from inside and outside Egypt.
The opening ceremony began with the national anthem, followed by the song "In Cinema’s Eyes", specially made for the 24th edition. Madonna Magdy sang “In Cinema’s Eyes" written by Tariq Ali, composed by Karim Arafa, and arranged by Muhammad Al Shaer. The ceremony was directed by Hisham Atwa.
The ceremony was presented by the media presenter Hala El-Hamalawy, who started by an overview of the festival and the various competitions for this year, then a special promo for the films participating in the 24th edition, and announced the names of the members of the jury. The membership of the two documentaries competitions, chaired by the German filmmaker "Cecil Tully Polonisek", includes the South Korean "Lee King Ho"; the Jordanian director, writer and producer "Mais Darwazah", the Swiss "Majid Mufasagi", and the Egyptian Dr. Salma Mubarak, Professor of comparative Literature, arts and literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. As for the juries of the fiction and Animation Film competitions, they include the French director and screenwriter “Anne-Sophia Jacques”, the director of the Court Très International Film Festival for Short Films, the Algerian “Nabila Rezaik”, the Latvian independent filmmaker “Signe Boman”, the Greek “Vasilis C. Kramatsanis”, and the Egyptian director Nadine Khan.
The festival's Director, Essam Zakaria, then delivered his speech on the challenges facing film festivals. Zakaria said: “How similar is the film festivals’ making to making films in terms of producing, budgeting, busy and agenda over months! Various disciplines and arts all come together in harmony to produce an intense work that lasts only for a short period of time."
In her speech, Editor/ Manar Hosni, Head of the National Cinema Center, talked about the uniqueness of the documentary cinema, saying: "Documentaries and short films are the reflection of their makers on the few and indicative facts that the viewer may not find in other arts. Some films do not exceed a few minutes in duration, but they contain messages and meanings that would take long hours to be explained; which accounts for the importance of this type of films."
"Hosni" then thanked everyone who contributed time and effort to launch this edition, and especially thanked Her Excellency the Minister of Culture, Dr. Nevin Al-Kilani and Dr. Khaled Abdel Jalil, Advisor to the Minister of Culture for Cinema Affairs, for their efforts and attention to remove all obstacles that faced this edition. She also thanked the staff of the Audio-Visual Heritage Restoration Center at EMPC for the effort exerted in restoring the films. Finally, she thanked the staff of the National Cinema Center for directing this edition in a manner appropriate to the name of the National Cinema Center of the Ministry of Culture.
Dr. Khaled Abdel Jalil, Advisor to the Minister of Culture for Cinema Affairs, highlighted in his speech on behalf of HE Minister of Culture/ Nevin Al-Kilani, that the Ismailia International Film Festival For Documentaries and Shorts is the oldest and most prestigious in the Arab world, as it is a festival whose traditions have been entrenched across many generations of great artists, who have shouldered the responsibility of this entity and preserved its sustainability.
After Eng. Ahmed Essam, Deputy Governor of Ismailia delivered his speech, the honors began with a tribute to the name of the late director Samih Mansi where his daughter, Yara Samih Mansi received the shield of honor. The 24th honors included also the director of photography Mahmoud Abdel Samie and Irish director Mark Cousins.