Awards Annoucement: 15th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentary and Short Film 23-28 June 2012

The Jury of the 15th Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentary and Short Film which took place between 23-28 June 2012 is proud to announce the Award winning filmslisted below. The Jury President Hans-Christian Mahnke, Head of AfricAvenir Namibia, sais in his speech that the task of the Jury is to choose n"the ‘primus inter pares’, the best amongst equals. This job was tough. We were presented a variety of films with a high standard (…) You (the filmmakers) have made a statement, also against the background of our current times in the world in general, but also in particular in the times Egypt is facing currently, going through the birth-pains of the aftermath of a revolution, a society and nation trying to find its feet on the ground again. nWe don’t know yet, none of us here tonight, knows, where this will lead Egypt and the region, but one thing is for sure. Whatever the outcome will be, IT will not work, if we don’t see and respect the point of views of THE OTHER. 
How do we do that? One tool, one medium, is the medium of film.
nThe festival and its theme enable us to learn about places, societies, cultures, people, languages, challenges, experiences, histories, and points of view from all walks of life, from all corners of this mother earth.nWatching films, talking films, mingling and networking, brings us together. It builds bridges, it makes us communicate with each other, and shares knowledge and perspectives amongst us, hence it helps us to understand THE OTHER a bit more, a bit deeper, a bit closer, a bit different than before. It adjusts our own parameters in our heads; it opens our hearts and minds. This festival and its films is THE WAY TO THE OTHER. In this way the festival, the filmmakers, and the audience are building bridges for now and future generations to come, be it now, in 50 years or 5000 years."n|+| read the full speech (pdf)nAwardsnCategory: Long documentaries
Best Film, awarded with 3000 USD and Golden Tablet
The Virgin, the Copts and Me, 2011, 82 min, France – Qatar, directed by Nami Abdel Messeeh

In its uniqueness the film broadens the possibilities of making a creative documentary integrating fictionalized elements in a very entertaining but nevertheless wise and philosophical manner. The film reveals the basic realities of Egyptian society and the challenges of making films in a humorous way. The filmmaker has to be applauded for the well created and implemented script and for the sympathetic way it deals with the sensitive issues addressed in the film.nJury Prize, awarded with 2000 USD
Planet of Snail, 2011, 85 min, Korea, directed by Seung-Jun Yi

The film succeeds in gaining our attention by allowing us into a world, unknown to the majority of us. The film warmly paves the way and creates an atmosphere for us to be able to explore the lives of two physically challenged persons. As the film proceeds, they, who at first sight seem so different from us, get so close to us, that in the end we identify ourselves with them just to find that their lives are fulfilled and enjoyable as by any other person. The film offers an avenue for viewers to experience different possibilities of communication and of living in harmony with the world around us.nCategory: Short Documentaries
Best Film awarded with 3000 USD and Golden Tablet
With Fidel whatever happens, 2011, 50 min, Spain, directed by Goran Radovanovic

With Fidel whatever happens is a film about a country and its people which live by its own limited means. An emphatic film, with a sweet grotesque undertone, that transcends the barrier of logic through its meticulous, poetic and intimate rapport with his chosen characters that defy time. Resistance, revolution, melancholy, defiance is synonyms the film managed skillfully to bring into their Cuban and human perspective.

Jury Prize, awarded with 2000 USD
On the road to …. Downtown, 2011, 53 min, Egypt – Qatar, directed by Sherif El Bandary

Against the background of the Egyptian revolution and the current political state of affairs in Egypt as a common denominator, On the road to …. Downtown follows few individuals and their perspective on downtown Cairo, its history and current state of affairs. Across different generations, sexes, classes, languages, religions, following the parallel lines of these individuals, unconnected but yet linked by their own experience of downtown Cairo, the film pays homage to a district and it’s life.  Like a mosaic, the stories fall into place and paint a picture of a diverse, rich, warm and providing district, with its complex inner dynamics.nSpecial Mention
War Reporter, 2011, 60 min, Croatia, directed by Silvestar Kolbas

Framed by the autobiographic story of the photographer, cinematographer, and reporter Silvestar Kolbas, who worked as cameraman for the Croatian National Television at the beginning of the Serbian Croatian war in 1991, and against the background of the filmmaker’s family, War Reporter brilliantly manages to highlight the madness of this war by intertwining his personal and professional life and the witnessed change of the affected communities living in the war zone. 

Category: Short film
Best Film awarded with 3000 USD and Golden Tablet
Gobbel, 2011, 19 min, Romania, directed by Raluca David

In regards to filmmaking Gobbel distinguishes itself exceptionally on all levels. The film, an excellent told parable, perfectly plays with irony spiced with a satirical touch in a moving way without any flaws in cinematography and storytelling. From beginning to end, the film draws us into the topic of life and death and how human beings can be selfishly overlooking the value of a fellow community member.nJury Prize, awarded with 2000 USD
Hatch, Austria, 19 min, directed by Christoph Kuschnig

Using brilliant acting, sound, story, casting, camera work and pace, the film Hatch shows two couples and how their outside circumstances and personal needs force them into committing acts of desperation. The needs of the four individual, as a driving force behind their actions, unexpectedly connect the two couple. The drama unfolding draws us into the story, due to the compassionately directed and presented film.nSpecial Mention
Edwige, 2011, 15 min, Algeria – France, directed by Mounia Meddour

Edwige is as a film mastering all aspects of filmmaking techniques and storytelling in a beautiful way.  Visually impressive, the story tells of unrequited love by a maid and how she tries to overcome that feeling by becoming the desired object. Through the film, the director promises us commitment to quality feature filmmaking.

Category: Animation
Best Film awarded with 3000 USD and Golden Tablet
Grand Café, 2011, 9 min, Romania, director Bogdan Mihailescu

A delicate and lyric animation which pays tribute to cinema in the figure of Charles-Émile Reynaud, a pioneer in animation and filmmaking techniques in the XIX century, fameless today, yet equally significant as the Lumiere brothers. The superb edited homage manages to tell the story of Reynaud and his times, with well chosen music, shades and lights, and cuttings in black and white with an acute dose of color, and hence keeping a dialogue with the period of its subject. As Mihalescu compassionately shares the belief in the craftsmanship and profession of Reynaud, who was ousted by the cinematograph and suffered dearly due to the lapse of appreciation of his art by the public, Mihalescu appropriately portrays Reynaud’s uniqueness and his irreplaceable contribution towards filmmaking and sensitizes the viewer about society’s handling of art and its creators in general.nJury Prize, awarded with 2000 USD
Domestic Fitless, 2011, 13 min, directed by Hardi Volmer

Modern and contemporary, it mixes fake architecture of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, when the idea of a sculptural body was widely spread, with the lifestyle of the XXI century. The film must be read as a critic to industrial capitalism, neoliberalism and the worshipping of consumerism, where the rational use of time and the body reaches a point very close to totalitarian political systems, crushing any individual characteristics and creative and artistic needs. Domestic Fitless shows that in this highly controlled society, beliefs, behavior and creativity are all “embedded” in official political and economic policies, leaving no room for any creativity, art, debate, and behaviors seen as unsuitable to a world such as described by George Orwell in his book 1984. 


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