1st El-Gouna Film Festival kicks off with Sheikh Jackson and strong winds

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Sep 2017

The 1st El-Gouna Film Festival opened with Amr Salama's Sheikh Jackson, giving the film its Egyptian and Arab premiere

El Gouna Film Festival
Director Amr Salama posted this photo on his Instagram account -- amrmsalama -- with the caption "First picture from the red carpet of Sheikh Jackson premiere at the opening of ElGouna Film Festival"

Strong winds came upon El-Gouna during the opening of the inaugural El-Gouna Film Festival, running between 22 and 29 September. 

The organisers chose Amr Salama's Sheikh Jackson for the opening evening, granting the film its Egyptian and Arab premiere. 

The film had its world premiere at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival, which closed recently. 

Set on the day of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, and centering on a sheikh who was dubbed "Jackson" by his friends during his schooldays, the film explores the emotions stirred by the popstar's death, sparking a series of existential questions within the sheikh. The film stars Ahmed El-Fishawy, Ahmed Malek, Maged El-Kedwany, and Amina Khalil.

Sheikh Jackson has been nominated to represent Egypt in the foreign films section at the next Oscars in 2018.

The brainchild of Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, the El-Gouna Film Festival is held in the tourist resort on Egypt's Red Sea coast, which was developed by Samih Sawiris and Orascom Hotels and Development.

The opening ceremony was attended by Sheikh Jackson's large crew in addition to many other stars of Egypt's film industry, including actors and actresses such as Adel Imam, Sherif Mounir, Khaled El-Nabawy, Ezzat Abo Auf, Yousra, Elham Shahin, Hend Sabry, Dalia El-Beheiry, Nahed El-Sebai and Hala Shiha, among others. The guests also included a number of Arab and international cinema personalities.

The festival honoured three remarkable personalities this year, Egyptian actor Adel Imam, Lebanese film critic Ibrahim Al-Aris and American actor Forest Whitaker, each with a Career Achievement Award.

The festival continues with numerous films from Egypt, the Arab world and international scene, in addition to workshops. 

Check the festival full programme below:

PROGRAMME: El-Gouna Film Festival, 23-25 September

PROGRAMME: El-Gouna Film Festival, 26-29 September

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