Tripoli, 21 October 2013:
The first ever Libyan festival for films shot entirely on mobile phones kicks off tomorrow in Benghazi.
Participants are coming from all over Libya, including Murzaq, Ajdabiya and Sebha, festival director Fathe Dawood told the Libya Herald. He added that 38 “talented and creative” young people were taking part in the festival.
Participants are bringing short films shot entirely on mobile phones, with a maximum length of five minutes. These will be shown during the first two days of the festival. “There were no set categories, they can bring their own films and ideas,” Dawood said. Films ranged from fantasy to documentary, he said, and some included current political topics.
“Some people have filmed assassinations,” he said, and another film – Oil Revolution in the Desert – charts the recent strikes and shut downs at the country’s oil fields.
The top seven films will be awarded prizes on the last day of the festival.
The festival also aims to boost filming skills. Young people will be encouraged to keep pace with new technological developments by attending workshops run by international and local experts.“We have two Sudanese and two Libyan experts,” Dawood explained. “One of the Libyans, Ali Forjany, is the owner of the first mobile phone institute in Libya.”
The festival will also include performances and stand-up comedy shows, although Dawood said these would be very short because “Libyans had had enough of listening to long speeches.”
The festival is starting small but thinking big. “This year it is an international competition, but next year we hope to make it international,” says Dawood.
The Ministry of Culture is the main sponsor of the festival, which is part of the Benghazi Capital of Culture campaign.
The festival runs from 22 – 25 October. It will be held at Benghazi’s only cinema – the Elephant House Cinema – at the tourist village on the outskirts of the city. [/restrict]