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Check out Some of Today’s Screenings at the Gouna Film Festival

arts arts & culture cairo cinema cinemas egypt Egyptian Women Egyptians El Gouna Film Festival event feature features film films GFF movies
Check out Some of Today’s Screenings at the Gouna Film Festival
written by
Kareem Sheta

Featured image: White on White via imdb

As most of us know, the third edition of the Gouna Film Festival commenced last Thursday and since then, photos and clips have been plastered across all social media channels. We’ve still got around five days to go until the closing ceremony, so to utilise the time efficiently, we’ll be updating you with a synopsis of the daily events. Based on the website’s guide and some additional research, we will start today with summaries of a few of the 25 competing documentaries, feature narratives, short films, and official selections of the competition, including Egypt’s entry, When We Are Born.

American Skin (United States-Feature Narrative)

The movie tells the story of a marine veteran, Lincoln Jefferson, who works in a fancy high school. One night, he and his son are stopped by the police. Things go horribly wrong and his boy ends up getting shot and killed. When the distraught father finds out that the guilty police officer will not be convicted, he decides to avenge his son’s life on his own. Variety Magazine states, “It’s meticulous in its re-creation of the contours and details that have been repeated, over and over, in a grisly horrific pattern in incidents like this one. The film fully immerses us in the terror, the agony, the rage, and the thirst for justice that have come to be symbolized by the #BlackLivesMatter movement.”

Untouchable (United Kingdom-Feature Documentary)

The shocking and scandalous documentation of the rise and fall of Hollywood persona, Harvey Weinstein. The plotline depicts how the co-founder of Miramax and former film producer built up his power for decades, how he tried to conserve that power at any cost after the allegations, and the resulting consequences of those actions and decisions. One of the reviews on IMDb says, “I thought it was going to be too slow when the documentary began but when it wraps you up and takes you on a ride telling a heartbreaking, appalling story. Using interviews from actual women who were attached, as well as former employees, it bolsters its case perfectly.”

When We Are Born (Egypt-Official Selection Out of Competition)

The movie features three Egyptian characters, each with their own hopes and dreams that are constantly influenced by personal and societal factors. Egypt Today asks the rhetorical question, “Will these characters make the best choices for themselves and the people they love?” “When We Are Born” is written by Nadine Shams and directed by Egyptian director, Tamer Ezzat. It also stars Amr Abed, Sameh el-Serety, Ebtihal el-Serety, Salma Hassan, Amir Eid,and others.

16 December (Spain-Short Film)                                                         

The short film tells the story of “La Manada” (The Pack), where a group of five men raped a young girl, Lucia, who was on her way to pick up her brother in Pamplona. According to the description, the movie is “a cry for support to build an institutional and social framework in which all women feel safe and secure”. The Locarno Film Festival, where 16 December premiered, wrote, “Through a very precise direction and choice/change of point-of-view, Gago (director) embarks with us on an intense and strongly emotional motorbike ride.”

White on White (Chile/France/Germany/Spain-Feature Narrative)

The movie portrays the tale of experienced portrait photographer, Pedro, who goes to Chile to photograph a plantation owner’s bride-to-be on the night before the wedding, only to discover that she is just a little girl. With such an intriguingly unusual plot twist and so many awards already, we can’t imagine what bizarre events may unfold. According to IMDb, White on White has won three prizes and one nomination at the Venice Film Festival, including Best Director.