European film grant competitions invite entries

Entries invited for Robert Bosch Stiftung film award

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).

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Festivals show Arab films to audiences around the world

Arab Film Festival 2013 Australia

Arab Film News Digest: 25-31 May 2013   Film festival news continues as Arab film festivals open in Marseille, France; Pleasantville, New York in the USA; and later, in June, the Arab Film Festival  takes place in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.  Meanwhile, the 16th edition of Egypt’s Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts in Suez Canal city is back from 4-9 June showing 52 films from around the world and, according to the organisers, 10 world premieres.

The first International Festival of Arab Cinema began straight after the Cannes Film Festival in the French Mediterranean city of Marseille organised by Arab cultural association Aflam. In the USA, Pleasantville’s Jacob Burns Film Center opened its Contemporary Arab Cinema Series on Thursday with Safinez Bousbia’s documentary about long-lost Algerian Chaabi musicians El Gusto. The series is organised by Dubai-based Lina Matta and runs 30 May to 5 June 2013.

Down under, the 10th Arab Film Festival Australia (27 June to 14 July 2013) will open at Sydney’s Parramatta Riverside Theatre with the Australian premiere of Yousry Nasrallah’s After The Battle, which tells the story of the Tahrir Square protests in 2011, the ‘Battle of the Camels’ and the aftermath of the protests. The Festival aims to share stories and culture of the Arab world with Australian audiences, including a programme of six feature films and five short films from 10 countries. The Festival opens first in Sydney followed by a tour taking in Canberra (4-7 July) and Melbourne (12-14 July).

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