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What To Look Forward To at This Year’s Gouna Film Festival

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What To Look Forward To at This Year’s Gouna Film Festival
written by
Rawya Lamei
Image via El Gouna Hotels

The Gouna Film Festival is finally returning after a year-long hiatus, leaving cinema enthusiasts extraordinarily excited. One of the most prominent cinematic events in Egypt, with its star-studded red carpet and outstanding films screened, the festival’s sixth edition will take place from the 13th to the 20th of October. This year, we can expect a myriad of special events. Here are some of the most exciting things to look out for for Gouna’s Film Festival this year. 


Marianne Khoury Appointed Artistic Director

Image via Arab News

After Director Amir Ramses stepped down as GFF’s artistic director at the end of its fifth edition, Marianne Khoury was appointed in his place earlier this year, setting the event off to a great start. A prominent director and producer, as well as the niece of the late icon Youssef Chahine, Khoury has been monumental in the world of modern Egyptian cinema. Her portfolio includes some 30 films, with several documentaries revolving around themes of identity, memory, marginalisation and womanhood. Her latest documentary, Let’s Talk, premiered at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam in 2019.


Opening the Cinephile Accreditation

Image via El Gouna Film Festival

This year’s GFF will give cinema lovers the greatest treat imaginable. The Cinephile accreditation will allow those with the badge access to many film screenings, programmes of the CineGouna platform, and exhibition spaces, as well as the chance to meet regional and international figures in the cinema industry. Cinephile badge holders get three tickets per day for events, panels, and masterclasses, as well as four tickets per day for film screenings. You can register for the Cinephile badge through their website, and the badge costs 1000 EGP. 


Homage to Jane Birkin

Image via The Irish Times

The GFF is known for highlighting the best that cinema has to offer, which comes hand in hand with honouring the giants that shaped the industry into what it is today. In that light, the GFF will pay homage to the late icon Jane Birkin, who passed away in July aged 76. To honour the legacy of this iconic singer and actor, four of her films will be presented at the festival, namely Boxes (2007), Jane B. For Agnès V. (1988), Kung-Fu Master (Le Petit Amour) (1988), Jane by Charlotte (2021).


Honouring Sudanese Cinema

Image via Noise Film

Among the highlights of the upcoming edition of GFF will be the screening of gems from the world of Sudanese cinema. Criminally underrated, short and medium-length works of directors Suliman Elnour, Eltayeb Mahdi, and Ibrahim Shaddad have been restored by the Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst, Berlin. These works not only highlight the vitality of Sudan’s contributions to the world of cinema but are celebrated to provide a platform for incredible artists as they seek refuge amid the violence in their home country.


Honouring Marwan Hamed

Image via Al Ahram

You already know the man behind the masterpieces of modern Egyptian cinema, The Blue Elephant (2014) and The Yacoubian Building (2006). Hamed is this edition’s winner of the Career Achievement Award, following in the footsteps of previous iconic laureates like Adel Emam, Gérard Depardieu, and Saïd Taghmaoui, among other giants. This should come as no surprise since, over the past 22 years, Hamed has directed several of Egypt’s boldest, internationally acclaimed films and is considered among the greatest directors of modern Egyptian cinema.