A film festival with no gimmicks at the Goethe institute in Cairo
Yet another film festival is in town and this time the Goethe institute in Downtown is hosting it, in its 12th successful year. The 12th Independent Short Film Festival is hardly the ‘latest’ with 12 years behind it but that also means it has more experience than some of the lesser-known festivals. Some of Cairo's latest additions have turned out to be promoting a gimmick rather than a decent selection of films for seasoned audiences. The festival showcases a collection of short independent films both from Egypt and abroad.
The festival started on the 20th and will conclude on the the 23rd. It includes four sections which will be screened each day at different times: in competition, Khat Tamas or line of contact, from Panorama, and the international program from German Film and Television Academy Berlin.
The screenings will start everyday at 4 pm, 6 pm, and again at 8 pm. Each two hour period will screen a different group of short independent films, corresponding with the different sections of the festival. Today, for example, the 4 pm screening will feature films from the Panorama section, the 6 pm will feature films from the international program of the DFFB, while the 8 pm screening will offer films from the main competition.
The coordinator of the international program, filmmaker Kamal Al-Jafari, will also see his own work screened as part of the program along with Cyril Amon Schaeublin. Al-Jafari is a graduate of the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne and has received numerous awards on many of his works including "The Roof" and “Port of Memory.”
The films will last from 4 to 30 minutes and will offer a large range of genres, with no focus on a specific theme. The films will all be by independent filmmakers, which makes it unlikely that audiences in Cairo will be able to access them easily outside of the Goethe Institute's efforts.
Some of the films being screened will include Babuschka by Simon Feldman, Portrait by Cyril Amon Schaeublin, Jessi by Mariejosephin Schneider, Ballet Story by Daria Belovs, Visit Iraq by Kamal Aljafari and A Tale of Two Islands by Steffen Koehn and Paolo Calvo.
The selection of the Egyptian program was made by producer and director Nadia Kamel, who handpicked the films from among multiple entries from hopeful filmmakers. The jury will be composed of Ahmed Abdullah, Dina Hamza, and Randa Shaat.
All the films will include either English or French subtitles and additional information is available from the Goethe center either in Dokki or Downtown. Attendance of all screenings will be free at the Downtown location and a discussion in Arabic will be held afterwards to discuss the films with the audience.