Featured image via El Gouna Film Festival / Facebook
It’s that time of year ladies and gents! A time when movie stars put on their fancy dresses and tuxedoes for an evening of glamour. For the third year in a row, one of the leading festivals in the Middle East, El Gouna Film Festival, returns for a 9-day extravaganza of watching, analysing, and discussing a diverse range of almost 80 movies. With guests and participants from all over the world, the festival offers a valuable opportunity to expand our horizons and strengthen international bonds in the world of cinema and culture.
The agenda begins with the opening movie, Ad Astra, Brad Pitt’s latest film that was just released today across Cairo theatres. The subsequent days then consist of several workshops and three main competition categories: Feature Narrative, Feature Documentary, and Short Film. For each category, cash prizes reaching a maximum of 50k, 30k, and 15k USD respectively, will be awarded, as well as the singular “Cinema for Humanity” award along with 20k USD. Moreover, the festival is honouring popular Egyptian comedian, Mohamed Heneidy, and talented Palestinian director/producer, Mai Masry, with the “Creative Achievement” award for their well-deserved efforts.
The International Advisory Committee this year includes Egyptian icon, Yousra, and the beloved Hend Sabri, along with some influential international figures, such as American actor, Forest Whitaker, and German director, Margarethe von Trotta. As for the juries, the responsibility of President of Feature Narratives went to renowned Egyptian director, Khairy Beshara; Senegalese director, producer, screenwriter and actor, Moussa Touré, is in charge of documentaries; and finally, the short film category, headed by decorated Egyptian director Marwan Hamed. It is worth adding that the names of some of the jury members themselves are just as jaw-dropping as those at the helm.
This year’s entries encompass so many diverse plotlines from Jordan, Russia, Palestine, Lebanon, France, Argentina, Spain, and several others. So, get your snacks and drinks ready for a festival to remember. Also, be on the lookout for the Egyptian entries as well as all your favourite stars on the red carpet. Before the night begins, check out this video (courtesy of El Gouna Film Festival / facebook):