Among a plethora of up-and-coming cultural events, Future Shorts makes its mark among Egypt’s cinephiles as the country’s first ‘pop-up’ film festival with its third screening being held on Wednesday, 15 August.
The festival is dedicated to short films and showcases several international and often award-winning shorts usually with a local film to boot. The event was originally founded in 2003 in London but has since expanded to become a global event focusing on the community aspect of cinema.
The festival first came to Egypt in 2011 as Future Shorts Egypt, organised by Karim El Shaffei, Salma El Shaffei, Sara el Adl, and Mostafa Talaat and has received much attention with tickets selling out both times the event has been held.
The home event’s focus on the social aspect of cinema reportedly made it easier to export to other countries.
“We were very interested in the event,” Sara explained. “We emailed them, and they immediately said that we could host it in our home country. We were thrilled but we were also passionate; we saw a chance for change and keeping up with what was happening in the culture scene with music and art and we wanted to replicate that experience with film by introducing a new medium, the short film, to audiences in Egypt.”
It was also challenging though, Karim said, because it was hosted four times a year – spring, summer, fall, and winter – and was not confined to a specific location. “We also did not know what kind of audience we were going to get,” he added.
The organisers are discussing future plans to extend the event beyond Cairo and further integrate it within the cultural scene in Egypt with more screenings, varied locations, multiple cities, as well as providing Arabic subtitles and marketing it in Arabic to attract a larger home audience.
“We do not want to compromise the event’s main focus, which is clearly cinema, and in particular, this genre. So any future plans on expanding will be gradual as we become hopefully more established in the cultural scene,” they announced.
The summer season event will be held in Darb 1718, located in Old Cairo, and will feature live music and a surprise local film besides its compelling line-up of short films including BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee “A Morning Stroll”, Clermont-Ferrand winner “The Guest”, SXSW winner “Notes on Biology” and the Brazilian “Street Vendor Cinema”. Other films include “We Will Become Oil” from Romania, “Guet” from South Korea, “Tumult” from the United Kingdom, and “Fireworks” from the United States.
The event starts at 9:00pm and tickets sell for EGP 50 and will be sold at the door on a first-come, first-serve basis, so we recommend you show up early and not miss it.