The closing of the first Gouna Film Festival was held on 29 September, concluding a week of screenings, talks and workshops with an award ceremony and a screening of the documentary Human Flow by Ai Wei Wei.
Following the red carpet event, the ceremony was presented by Egyptian actress Amina Khalil and was attended by many of Egypt’s film stars, young and old, including Nelly Karim, Dorra Zarrouq, Amr Salama, Hana Sheiha, Asser Yassin, Youssra, Mahmoud Hemeida, in addition to the international directors and actors presenting their films.
Egyptian actress Boushra Rozza presented the festival’s honourees; American actor Forest Whitaker, who received one of the festival's Career Achievement Awards, American director Oliver Stone and American actress, singer and fashion designer Vanessa Williams.
“I'm really here because I love Egypt. I think it's great that the theme of the festival is cinema for humanity, because that's exactly what Egypt has to offer. The culture the people, the warmth,” Williams said.
The Audience Award was the first of the awards to be presented, then the awards from the festival’s sponsors were announced; Film Factory for a documentary film, and Mentor Arabia for a short film, followed by the awards for the official competition.
On stage, Sameeh Sawiris, founder of El-Gouna, praised the festival’s organising team for their hard work in creating a festival of such quality, and expressed special appreciation for the governor of the Red Sea governorate, who greatly supported the festival and helped it navigate the bureaucracy.
Festival director Intishal El-Tamimi also expressed pride in the festival, saying that he and the team “reached for the stars in the first edition and are excited about doing even better in coming editions.”
Lastly, El-Tamimi thanked the festival’s audience for attending and making it what it was.
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