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The Ismailia International Film Festival to Launch with the Power of Youth

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Including 10 World Premieres & 12 Projects at the Co-Production Platform

The Ismailia International Film Festival to Launch with the Power of Youth

The 16th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts will be launched on June 4th under the presidency of Kamal Abdel Aziz, Director of the National Cinema Center. Producer and scriptwriter, Mohamed Hefzy is the Festival Director of this year's edition of the festival.

Kamal Abdel Aziz has announced that the in this year's edition, the Ismailia International Film Festival For Documentaries and Shorts will hold a special tribute to Tahani Rached, the Egyptian documentary filmmaker as well as a retrospective of the works of the Italian director and producer Gian Vittorio Baldi. Abdel Aziz also revealed that the festival will include 10 films which will be world premieres in official competition. Furthermore, the festival this year will inaugurate the Ismailia Co-Production Platform, which will be the first co-production forum in the MENA region dedicated exclusively to documentaries.

Launched in 1988, the Ismailia festival is one of the major film festivals in the Arab world, and the first in the MENA region to be exclusively dedicated to documentaries and shorts. The festival's global appeal is a magnet for filmmakers over the world to screen their documentaries and shorts amidst an audience and industry that is heavily invested in these genres. Throughout the years, the previous installments of the festivals included sections for experimental films and held animation competitions.

The festival this year will host a number of world premieres. Among them are several films in theDocumentary Competition; Space Metropoliz (Italy), Electro Chaabi (Egypt), 24/7 (Serbia), 52/25(Egypt), and Diary of an Ordinary Citizen (Tunisia); There will be two world premieres in the Animation Competition; Randa (Lebanon), Why Not Kill A Fly? (Iran), while an Egyptian film, Fardy, will debut in theShort Film Competition.

Taking place on June 5th, the first round of the new Ismailia Co-production platform will include 12 projects in development or at the pre-production phase. Project representatives will be invited to spend three days in Ismailia during which they will have a schedule of one-on-one meetings with regional and international producers, distributors, and sales agents. In addition, the forum offers several prizes of up to USD- $20,000.

Some of the films lined up to take part at the Ismailia Co-production Platform:

Morocco | A Place Under the Sun - in development / production | Directed by Karim Al Touna

Morocco - Finland | Belly Dancing across Borders - in development / production | Directed by Mohamed El Aboudi

Syria / Egypt | Cinema Wahbi - in development / production | Directed by Nidal El Dibs

Egypt / Kuwait | Jeanne the Egyptian - in development / production | Directed by Iman Kamel

Egypt | I Have a Picture - in development / production | Directed by Mohamed Zeidan

Jordan | Saken - in development / production | Directed by Sandra Mady

Italy | Just to Let You Know I'm Allive - in development / production | Directed by Emanuela Zucala

Ireland - Switzerland - Egypt | The Orchard Keepers - in development / production | Directed by Bryone Dunne

Ismailia city has hosted the festival for fifteen years and it's considered one of the most charming cities in Egypt. The quiet city is situated on the coast of the Suez Canal, which links between the Red and Mediterranean seas, functioning as a link between civilizations, exactly the same as the Suez Canal for nearly 150 years.

Coinciding with the construction of the Suez Canal, Ismailia city was established in 1869 by Khedive Ismail, after whom the city is named. Nowadays you still can find many buildings that date back to the time of the city's construction during the French involvement in the Canal. Ismailia inhabitants work in tourism, agriculture and works related to the Suez Canal; however the festival has become part of the social-cultural environment of the place.

To view the complete article in Variety about Ismailia International Film Festival click here: