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.
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.