After a positive launch last year, Egypt’s Ismailia Intl. Film Festival will hold its second co-production mart dedicated to documentaries linked to the Arab world, June 3-8, in the port city on the west bank of the Suez Canal.
With prominent Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy (“My Brother The Devil”) (pictured) at the helm as artistic director in tandem with the topper of Egypt’s National Cinema Centre (NCC), Kamal Abdel Aziz, as president, Ismailia is the first Arab mart dedicated mainly to docus. It is now open for submissions in English for projects from all over the world either in development or in post with an Arab element (director, producer, co-producer, main talent, location, theme).
The Ismailia fest, now at its 17th edition, is being relaunched as an incubator for new Arab moviemaking talent. Unlike the Cairo Film Festival, which was scrapped last year, Ismailia has been able to be held despite turbulence in the country.
One of three film festivals partly funded by Egypt’s Ministry of Culture, the fest has competition sections for docus, experimental shorts, and animation in different formats.
Last years jurors included the Montpellier fest’s Michele Driguez; The Doha Film Institute’s Chadi Zineddine; Lebanese producer and filmmaker Hania Mroueh; and Frank Albers, who is project manager at Germany’s Robert Bosch Stiftung foundation.