Qabila, the short film festival, has returned for a second season as a chance for young filmmakers to showcase their talent and network with others passionate about cinema.
The festival opened on Sunday at the Cairo Opera House’s El Midan Theatre with an opening performance by singer Maryam Saleh. This year has received 484 short films from 66 countries. The screenings began Sunday and will go on until 9 May in several venues which include the newly opened Zawya screen at Odeon Cinema in Downtown and the Goethe Institute Downtown.
“We started in March 2013 with 260 films from 20 countries and have since more than doubled that number,” said festival manager Yehia Kheleidy. “The festival was well received with jury members like Amr Salama and Ahmed Khaled Farouk. The goal is to encourage young people to make films and we stress in our call for applications for applicants to be between16 and 36 years old. Sometimes we get very good films that are by more established, older directors and we have to refuse them.”
The screenings at the Goethe will take place from 6pm to 9pm, while the Zawya screenings will be from 9pm to 12am. This year’s jury is divided into two committees, one for fiction and documentary which includes actor Amr Waked, filmmaker Ayten Amer and director of photography Victor Credi, and one for animation which includes Animation Expert Hany El Masry, Ahmed Fawzy, and Shweekar Khalifa.
The festival will host workshops, including one titled “filmmaking and intention” and another in cinematography hosted by Spanish filmmakers Josecho De Linares and Ivan Romero, respectively, for three days and then culminate with a final collaboration that focuses on the relationship between a filmmaker and their cinematographer. A third workshop focusing on young filmmakers who have projects in development will take place on 7, 8, and 9 May. The third workshop will be hosted by a German filmmaker of Egyptian origin called Samir Nasr.
The awards at Qabila this year include Best Short Fiction, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Animation, Best Egyptian Director, and Best “First Short Film” for Egyptian applicants. Organized in partnership with Tahrir Lounge, the festival’s awards are presented from the Mansour foundation, in addition to two special awards sponsored by Tahrir Lounge with a total of EGP 80,000 for all awards.
The two special awards will be given to the best two short films with themes that discuss the issues of tolerance and accepting the other in Egypt.
The festival features short films from all over the world, including Switzerland, Lebanon, Greece, Hungary, Syria, France, Spain and Egypt.
The Closing Ceremony, where awards will be announced, will take place Saturday 10 May at the Artistic Creativity Centre at the Cairo Opera House grounds at 7 pm.