El Gouna film festival kicks off with glamorous opening ceremony

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Hosted by TV personality Nardine Farag, the opening ceremony began at 10 p.m., preceded by an opening speech, which was followed by the presentation of a short documentary titled Five Years of GFF. The film contained an assortment of highlights from the festival over its last four editions, including clips from its most important events and guests, including several prominent Arab and international filmmakers.

After the film, Major General Amr Hanafy, Governor of the Red Sea Governorate, took the stage to deliver his speech commending the Egyptian government’s efforts to support arts and culture, which was quickly followed by a speech. by engineer Samih Sawiris. , founder of El Gouna, with superstar Youssra, member of the international advisory board of the GFF, on the ambitions of the GFF.

Further speaking of his insistence on having a music festival soon, engineer Samih Sawiris, founder of El Gouna, said: it’s more special.

Presented by Egyptian actor Sayed Ragab, the next segment of the opening ceremony featured a video tribute in remembrance of the works of stars and filmmakers who died earlier this year, such as Samir Ghanem, Dalal Abdel Aziz, Wahid Hamed, Ezzat El Alaili, Ramses Marzouk, Moufida Tlatli and Jean-Paul Belmondo.

In a subsequent speech, GFF Director Intishal Al Timimi said: “We are proud of what the GFF has achieved in past editions and we hope the work will improve in the years to come. In addition, we are also proud of the position we have achieved and as engineer Samih Sawiris said, the next edition of the GFF will be more difficult as we are always looking for challenges to come up with a different GFF edition.

After Al Timimi’s speech, a video montage presenting the most important works participating in the competitive sections of the GFF in its 5th edition was presented. He then began to present the juries of the 5th edition of the El Gouna Film Festival, as members of these juries, starting with the members of the jury of the Green Star Award of El Gouna, followed by the juries of the GFF Short Film Competition, Feature Documentary and Feature Film Competition. Narrative competition.

Amir Ramses, artistic director, and Bushra Rozza, co-founder and director of operations and foreign relations, took the stage to take a group photo with the juries and the director of the GFF, Intishal Al Timimi.

Following this, Tunisian star Hend Sabri presented the GFF’s Career Achievement Award, which was presented to Egyptian actor Ahmed El Saka, who took the stage and received the award in addition to delivering a speech.

El Saka said: “I would like to thank the El Gouna Film Festival for commemorating me with this prestigious award.”

Additionally, he spoke of a group of friends who persisted in making their dreams of being on the big screen come true.

He added: “In the late 1990s modern cinema saw the light of day with films like An Upper Egyptian at American University, which was an innovation. I am proud to have participated in this moment and I dedicate this award to Samir Ghanem and Dalal Abdel Aziz and to Onsi Sawiris, who raised three sons who achieved the impossible. My third dedication is to my father, Salah El Saka, who taught me humility and how to relate to people no matter how famous you are. I would also like to dedicate this award to my wife, Maha Al Sagheer, and to a lady who knew how to maintain a solid home, Nadia El Sorougy, my mother. Finally, I would also like to dedicate this award to my colleagues.

A short video showcasing El Saka’s career as well as his contributions to improving the action film genre was featured, including praise from outstanding directors and artists, such as Said Hamed, Amr Arafa and Mona. Zaki.

Under the guise of commemorating the great Egyptian actor Samir Ghanem, who died dearly on May 20, 2021, the famous actress Lebleba gave a speech on the late cinema icon, which was followed by a video celebrating her long and illustrious artistic career.

As the ceremony drew to a close, engineer Samih Sawiris, founder of El Gouna, and Egyptian superstar Youssra, member of the GFF’s International Advisory Board, took the stage to deliver the final speech, in which Sawiris thanked the Ministry of Health and Population for supporting the GFF during its 4th edition – an experience that international film festivals have taken as an example. He also congratulated the Red Sea Governorate, which has been a critical factor in the success of the GFF.

as well as to announce the start of the 5th edition of the GFF, which will last eight days and will include film screenings of the most important international and regional films, as well as workshops, masterclasses and special events hosted by a horde of the most famous. eminent local and international industry experts.

After the opening ceremony, Egyptian artist Mohamed Ramadan took the stage to present the last segment.

The activities of the 5th edition of the GFF will begin on October 15, 2021, including the screening of acclaimed films, such as the Finnish film The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic by Teemu Nikki, winner of the Audience Award of the International Film Festival Venice 2021 Armani Beauty and a participant in the GFF narrative feature film competition, which will be screened at Sea Cinema 1 at 3:15 p.m.

In addition, the Moroccan film Casablanca Beats by Nabil Ayouch, which participated in the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and competed for its Palme d’Or, will be screened. The film’s red carpet will begin at 5.30 p.m. and its screening will take place at 6.30 p.m. at the El Gouna Conference and Culture Center (GCCC).

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of famous Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski, the 5th edition of the GFF will organize a retrospective exhibition presenting his life and his cinematographic works, curated by the prestigious decorator and artistic director Onsi Abou Seif.

The retrospective exhibition for Kieślowski is expected to be presented through a cinematic lens that brings the works on display to life, with 23 framed posters from the Łódź Film Museum, all inspired by the director’s films. In addition, it will incorporate original material from the established film archives of the Cinémathèque française, with 50 photos, including posters of Kieślowski’s iconic films, their filming locations, the filming process, as well as photos of the director himself. .

A highlight of the retrospective exhibition will be the screening, in a loop, of a documentary film which doubles as a mosaic of the life, thoughts and filmography of the late director, entitled Krzysztof Kieślowski – I’m So- So, directed by Krzysztof Wierzbicki. The film will be screened in Sea Cinema 3 at 3.15 p.m. in addition to the special presentation program including four other Kieślowski films.

Regarding special events, a press conference for star Ahmed El Saka, recipient of the GFF Career Achievement Award, will be held. An Egyptian actor with a unique artistic imprint, El Saka painted a portrait of modern Egyptian cinema for three decades, in which he presented dozens of films, television series and plays. It is important to note that the press conference will be held at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts at 12 noon.

El Gouna Film Festival

One of the main festivals in the MENA region, the GFF aims to present a wide variety of films for a passionate and informed audience, while promoting better communication between cultures through the art of cinema. Its objective is to connect filmmakers from the region with their international counterparts in a spirit of cooperation and cultural exchange. The festival is committed to the discovery of new voices and strives to be a catalyst for the development of cinema in the Arab world, in particular through its industrial platform CineGouna.


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