The organisers of El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) announced that the fourth edition will take place between 26 September and 1 October 2020.
One of the youngest and major festivals held in Egypt, the GFF is founded by businessman Naguib Sawiris, co-founded by Amr Mansy and actress Boushra who also serves as the event's COO. The festival's director is Intishal El Timimi.
Held at El Gouna, a luxurious Red Sea resort established by businessman Samih Sawiris, the GFF activities are organised by the industry arm, CineGouna Platform.
The announcement of the fourth edition's dates is made in conjunction with the opening of the festival’s call for entries. Works of all genres, forms, and lengths will be considered. Film submissions will open on 1 March and close on 15 July.
According to the numbers revealed by the festival's organisers, the GFF's third edition attracted 740 international filmmakers, buyers, distributors, sales agents, and 750 accredited local, regional and international media representatives.
The screenings and events recorded 33,000 footfalls. Eighty-three films representing 44 countries were screened; and prizes of more than $220,000 were awarded to the winning films of the competitive sections.
Over the past three editions, the GFF honoured luminaries such as superstar Mohamed Henedy and internationally acclaimed director and producer Mai Masri. The festival management bestowed the Variety Award upon Sudanese director Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose film Talking About Trees won El Gouna Golden Star for Documentary Film (2019).
Celebrating 100 years since the birth of legendary Egyptian writer Ihsan Abdel Quddous, GFF 2019 presented a specially curated exhibition honouring his memory. In addition, restored films by Ferid Boughedir, Walter Salles, François Truffaut and Federico Fellini were screened.
GFF signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with UNICEF to advocate for the rights of disadvantaged children across Egypt and the region, reflecting the belief in the power of cinema to bring a positive change to the lives of millions of children. A partnership agreement was signed with IEFTA to honour UNHCR and shed light on the refugee voices in the film industry.
In 2019 and for the first time, the festival hosted the jury members of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) as well as the jury members of The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC).
It is worth noting that five of the 2019 feature film selections received a total of 11 nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards.
“El Gouna Film Festival has been making some measured choices that are all geared towards managing and hopefully meeting the expectations of industry professionals, audiences and the media. Thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of the team, GFF has been able to attract first-rate slate of acclaimed films from established filmmakers alongside innovative works from emerging filmmakers. This, coupled with the international attention the festival receives from the world's film industry, talents, media and its growing audience, is surely a matter of pride,” stated El Timimi in a press release.
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