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The 17th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts Successfully Closes

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12 Films Awarded within 4 Official Competitions

The 17th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts Successfully Closes


Following 5 days of celebrations, the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, has successfully closed another remarkable edition of one of the most prominent film events and one of the earliest film festivals in the Arab world. Held at the Ismailia Culture Palace, the ceremony was attended by several renowned filmmakers and auteurs along with the Festival President Kamal Abdel-Aziz, who is also Director of the National Cinema Center, Scriptwriter and Producer Mohamed Hefzy, Festival Director, and Major General Ahmed Soliman Zahra
acting for Governor of Ismailia, who handed the awards to the winning filmmakers.

At the beginning of the ceremony, the Egyptian director, Ali El-Gazouli was honored for all his works and contributions to develop the documentary filmmaking in Egypt. The remarkable Syrian director, Mohamed Malas was also honored; however his award was received by Lama Tayara, a Syrian Journalist, since Malas could not attend the ceremony.

Then, the announcement of the winners commenced with the awards granted by the Egyptian
Animation Society which decided to give the Best Animation award to Santiago Bou Grasso's
Father (Argentina - France) for it brilliantly mastered using the StopMotion techniques-animation and tempo throughout the film. In addition, the film's idea and sound effects quality were very remarkable. The jury also presented certificates of appreciation to Alexandra Hetmerova's
Mythopolis (Czech Republic) and Ahmed Hano's Alone (Egypt).

The $ 3000 Garaad Production Grant, which is awarded to an Egyptian director participating in the Short Films competition to fund his upcoming film project, was granted to Ahmed El Ghoneimy for his film The Cave, after a heated competition against 4 Egyptian films.

The Egyptian Film Critic Association Jury unanimously decided to give Best Film award to the long documentary, Grazing the Sky (Portugal - Mexico) by Horacio Alcala. The film successfully delves deep in the deepest feelings of its characters in an eloquent cinematic language and masterful techniques.

After watching 15 films tackling the issues of women, Appropriate Communications Center for Development (ACT) jury decided to grant the award $1000 grant of the Best Women's film Om Amira by Naji Ismaila. The Jury also gave a special mention for Turkish Hassan Serin's short Agri and the Mountain.

Afterwards, the winners within the official competitions were announced. Short Fiction and
Animation Film awards were announced by Marian Khoury, the Jury president as well as the Lebanese critic Hauvick Habechian, a Jury member. For the Animation films, the jury has granted a Special Mention to the Argentinean film Father by Santiago Bou Grasso for the powerful emotional impact of the film. For its unrivaled stylish and entertaining qualities, the Jury prize went to The High High Heels by Christer Lindström. Whereas, the Best film award (The Golden Tablet) was granted to The Kiosk by Anete Melece, from Switzerland, for its charm, humor and skillful execution.

In the Short Fiction Films competition, a Special Mention has been granted to Little Secret by Martin Krejci for its poignant commentary on the distorting power of the media and the magnificent performance of its central character, While, Dina Abdelsalam's Rest in Peace received the Jury Prize for its mesmerizing performances and stunning writing.

For its insightful and disturbing portrayal of sexual abuse and its powerful performance, the Best Short Fiction award (The Golden Tablet) in Short Fiction Competition was granted to the Polish film Flora and Fauna by Piotr Litwin.

Since the Syrian director Mohamed Malas, Jury President, could not make it to the country, he was deputized by the Jury members namely, the Greek Director Dimitris Koutsiabasakos, the Egyptian director Hala Lotfy, the French producer, Marianne Lere in announcing the winners of the documentary competitions. A Special Mention was announced for the Turkish film, Pure State of the Soul by Uğur Egemen İres.

For celebrating the European music in a cheerful, creative and spontaneous style, Asier Altuna's Zela Trovke received the Jury Prize in the Short Documentary Film Competition.

The Best Short Documentary Film Prize (The Golden Tablet) was granted to the polish film Joanna by Aneta Kopacz in recognition of the film's subtle treatment of a personal tragedy and the sensitivity of capturing a moment of crisis.

In the Long Documentary Films Competition, the jury gave a Special Mention to Göran Hugo Olsson's Concerning Violence for shedding light on one of the most important issues of the
21st century.

Brilliantly combining personal cinema and a poetic language to tackle a polarized political dispute without polarity, Jordanian/Palestinian director Mais Darwazah received the Jury Prize for her long documentary My Love Awaits me by the Sea.

For combining personal cinema and a poetic language to tackle a polarized political dispute, Jordanian/Palestinian director Mais Darwazah received the Jury Prize for her long documentary My Love Awaits me by the Sea.



The Best Long Documentary Film Prize (The Golden Tablet) went to Ahmed Nour's Waves for its balanced handling of the intersection of the personal and political.

The Golden Tablet is amounted to $ 3000 and it is awarded to the director of the best film in each section, whereas the Jury Prize is amounted to $ 2000.

The Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts is one of the Arab world's major film festivals, and the first to be exclusively dedicated to documentaries and shorts. The festival was first launched in 1988 under the jurisdiction of the National Cinema Center, to continue afterwards as one of three film festivals coordinated by Egypt's Ministry of Culture.