Calgary Justice Film festival: An Interview with Bassem Hafez
We had the amazing opportunity to talk with Bassem Hafez, a professor at Mount Royal University who is committed to several non-profit organizations in Calgary. Bassem founded the Calgary Egyptian Association back in 2012, which has more than 4000 members. He joined the Calgary Arts and Culture Society, ICAI's Board, and is also the President of the Board for the Calgary Justice Film Festival, which is coming up in November.
When we asked him about his involvement with some non-profit organizations in Calgary, he mentions that it has been quite the journey from being a heavy metal drummer in his early years to an advocate of non-profit organizations, community, and social innovation. He added, “I started playing with art a little bit early”, as a band manager or as a public affair officer at the Canadian Embassy in Egypt; part of his job was always related to arts and culture.
In October, Bassem organized the 10th annual Calgary Arab Film Night, which was a success. The festival began with the opening night event “Canadian Eye on the Arab World”, featuring a screening of locally produced “Uncivilized”, a short documentary film directed by Rawd Almasoud. Bassem shared, “...one of our volunteers just graduated from the film and film production at SAIT. This was her graduation project - a nice thing."
This November he is involved in the Calgary Justice Film Festival, as President of the Board. It's a 3 day festival with some of the world’s best documentaries chosen from a submission pool of over 500 filmmakers from 100+ countries.
When we talked about the Calgary Justice Film Festival he said, “We are going to have lots of documentaries, lots of movies, lots of speakers, and on the site of the festival, we're going to have something called the Peace Fair, which invites organizations that are active in social and environmental justice around Calgary to exhibit as well as have tables and an exhibit throughout the day on the 19th and 20th at the River Park Church. It is an amazing experience”
What we had clear in our talk with Bassem is that this festival brings interesting stories about several topics important to all of us.
Among other things Bassem talked about other topics, “I’m starting to discover this artist inside me” he said, and mentioned to us he is writing his second play! It was a true pleasure to talk with Bassem about this event and his other passions. ICAI is truly lucky to have such a committed and passionate member of our board.
Don’t miss the 17th Calgary Justice annual film festival! Every screening includes discussions with the filmmaker as well as experts on the film's topic. Read more here!