I did not get a chance to attend the 13th Ismailia Festival for Documentaries and Short Films, but I managed to attend its closing ceremony on 17 October.
Though the festival coincided with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, I was happy to see great critics like Qassi Darwish from Syria; Ibrahim el-Aris from Lebanon; Khaled el-Khodari from Morocco and Bashar Ibrahim from Palestine attending our festival.
The films that won prizes were almost agreed upon by consensus, which means they were really good.
I was particularly fond of the festival’s catalogue, which was prepared by prominent critic Nihad Ibrahim in Arabic and English and designed by the creatively gifted Nagi Shaker, who also designed the festival’s poster.
I believe this catalogue was by all means the best catalogue of the all Arab film festivals held this year.
A festival’s catalogue is an important reference of the event. It must contain all information related to the event, such as synopses of films, information about directors and answers to all other questions that one may have.
Some catalogues are not worth keeping, but this one was done in a beautiful way. After all, cinema is an art. And art is beauty.
Strangely enough, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival this year did not have a catalogue, but rather just a printed program.
I salute the festival director Ali Abu Shadi, his assistants Salah Marie, Abla Salem, Jihan Ibrahim and the rest of his team, who work year round to make the Ismailia festival a success.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.