Arab Film News Digest: 1-7 June 2013 – This year’s Ismailia International Film Festival began in the Northern Egyptian town of Ismailia on June 4th, promising five days of documentaries and short films. However, it was an anti-government protest that kicked off the event, with opening night fans calling for the resignation of Egypt’s new minister of culture Dr. Alaa Abdel-Aziz, a week after the minister called for a ban on ballet performances. The film festival opened with Bart Layton’s fim The Imposter, a documentary drama about a French serial imposter who impersonated over 500 people.
Meanwhile, two film grant competitions invited film entries from the Arab world. Medimed 2013 has called for documentary film project entries from the European Union, the Middle East or Maghreb countries produced in 2012/13 (deadline 30 June). The Robert Bosch Stiftung, one of the largest philanthropic foundations in Germany, is to award three grants to film projects to young filmmakers in it’s 2014 Film Prize for International Cooperation. Entries must have both German and Arab nationals on their teams and produce part of their entry in Germany (deadline 30 September).