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"25 years of Ismailia" Celebrating Mohammed Bayoumi, leader of Egypt's cinematic revolution.

"25 years of Ismailia" Celebrating Mohammed Bayoumi, leader of Egypt's cinematic revolution.

 The first edition of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts saw the screening of Mohamed Kamel El-Qalioubi's documentary Chronicles of Forgotten Times (1991), abiography of one of Egypt's most important film industry giants: Mohammed Bayoumi (1894-1963).

The film honours Bayoumi's name and career. Produced 28 years after Bayoumi's death, the film features documents and writings found by his family, allowing the audience to know the inspirations of Bayoumi throughout his career, which allowed him to direct Egypt's very first films from 1923 till 1935.

Bayoumi is considered a pioneer of documentary filmmaking in Egyptian and the Middle East and also spearheaded the production of several feature silent films which he also directed such as  Barsum Looking for a Job (1923), The Chief Secretary (1924), Fiancé No. 13 (1933), all of which he starred in. Bayoumi also founded the first institute for studying film in Alexandria, and was behind the idea of ​​establishing Studio Misr, which Egyptian economist Talaat Harb later founded.

The film is based on meetings with Bayoumi's family, his Austrian wife, daughter, granddaughter, and friends. From the film, Bayoumi is better introduced as a comprehensive and well-cultured artist. Cinema was not only his only passion; he also loved art, poetry, and prose.

Egyptian director Mohamed Kamel El-Qalioubi was able to release these anecdotes and stories in his film. Veteran late actor Mahmoud Yassin and film critic Doryia Sharaf El-Din told the film's voiceover. It was shot by director of photography Mahmoud Abdel Samei and edited by Rahma Montaser. The   soundtrackwas composed by Rageh Daoud. The National Center for Cinema produced the 130-minute film.

The first edition of (IIFFDS) was held on April 25 to 29, 1991, under the leadership of critic Hashem Al-Nahhas as president and critic Ahmed Al-Hadary as festival director. 11 long documentaries, eight shots, and eight animation films were screened.

This year, the festival celebrates its 25th edition, which will be exceptional as it marks the long history of   the festival and its previous editions. The 25th edition of the festival will be held from February 28 to March 5,2024.