27th October 2011. The Goethe-Institut Kairo announced today the opening of the third consecutive Arab Shorts Festival Event. The five-day festival will be opened on 27th October at 7:30pm and will last until 31 th October. The Festival will screen selected short films and video works from around the Arab world in order to promote the independent Arab cinema.
Although independent Arab cinema and media art has come a long way in a short period of time, it remains unfamiliar to many, including distributors, festival organizers and the mainstream media. The project Arab Shorts aims to support professional exchange and provide opportunities of watching Arab short films for broad audiences. Over three years, from 2009 to 2011, ‘Arab Shorts’ festival events have offered film-screenings, presentations and discussions.
In this year’s festival, 11 curators chosen from around the MENA region will present eight programs comprising a total of 48 films at the Goethe-Institut in Downtown Cairo. The event will host filmmakers and experts from the MENA region and Europe as special guests, as well as ‘Re-Moving Images’ a German guest program of the Arsenal-Institute for Film and Media Art Berlin/ Berlinale Forum. The opening ceremony will be attended by the Egyptian Minister of Culture Dr. Emad Abo Ghazi.
The event will also present opportunities for the public, film experts and journalists to discuss the films and the progress of the independent Arab cinema with industry professionals. A presentation by Alain Bieber of Strasbourg will introduce ‘arte CREATIVE’, a new network for contemporary culture.
In addition, ‘Lunchtime Talks’ will be held with four cinema professionals from Germany and the Arab region, who will speak on their work and the institutions they represent. The talks will be held in the ‘White Box’, set up in the courtyard, and will provide opportunities for individual discussions with the various speakers. Meanwhile, the films will be presented in the ‘Black Box’, the auditorium. Journalists and film professionals will also have the opportunity to view works from a selection of about 200 Arab short films by signing up individually or in a group for the ‘Viewing Lounge’.
The ‘Arab Shorts’ Festival Event is part of the Goethe-Institut’s ‘Arab Shorts’ project which seeks to support the independent film and media arts communities in the Arab countries. The goal of the project is to promote cultural production, dissemination and networking both within the region and with Europe.
The ‘Arab Shorts’ project as a whole includes commissioned, curated programs of short film and video art, an annual festival event featuring guests from both Arab and European countries, a web resource where films from Arab Shorts programs can be viewed from any computer anywhere, visits of Arab film experts to German film festivals and institutions and publications such as journals and catalogues.
Films presented at the ‘Arab Shorts 2009/10’ are accessible online (free of charge), while the films of “Arab Shorts 2011” are scheduled to be online soon. Please visit: www.arabshorts.net.