El-Gouna Film Festival opens submissions for fifth edition

Eslam Omar , Eslam Omar , Sunday 21 Mar 2021

The Egyptian festival has launched a special award for environmental films

Gouna Film Festival
Archive photo from 4th El Gouna Film Festival opening ceremony, 23 October 2020

Submissions for El-Gouna Film Festival (GFF) opened on Sunday for the festival’s upcoming fifth edition, scheduled to take place between 14 and 22 October at the touristic Red Sea resort, with a special award for environmental films.

“This year GFF will introduce a special award for environmental films to be included in its $234,000 total cash prize,” reads a statement published by the GFF on Sunday.

The main categories of the competition also include the Feature Narrative Competition, Feature Documentary Competition, Short Film Competition, Official Selection out of Competition, and Special Presentations.

The call for entries will be open for eligible participants until mid August through the Egyptian festival’s official website.

In the last four editions, dozens of regional and international filmmakers were among the participants, with juries including prominent names like Deborah Young, Osama Fawzy, Nelly Karim, Carlo Chatrian, Kamel Al-Basha, Khairy Bechara, Nashen Moodley, Moussa Touré, Resul Pookutty, Marwan Hamed, Peter Weber, Asser Yassin, Ali Fazal, and Raja Amari.

“GFF will continue to host the FIPRESCI as well as NETPAC juries. For the second year, GFF will present the Khaled Bichara Award for Egyptian Independent Filmmakers,” added the statement about the award inaugurated during the fourth edition, aiming to commemorate the name of the acclaimed late thinkers.

The GFF continues to build on the collaborations it has initiated to empower Arab filmmakers, promote projects and films at various stages and enhance co-production and distribution opportunities, especially outside the Arab world.

Last week, the GFF revealed they extended collaboration with the Final Cut in Venice workshop by offering a US $5,000 cash prize and an invitation to participate in the GFF’s industry arm CineGouna Platform for an Arab project in the upcoming September event.

The GFF stated earlier that its upcoming edition, running under strict safety measures against COVID-19, would continue to follow the same approach adopted in the past four years “thanks to the continuous support of filmmakers and Arab and international cinema professionals, or the public, media, and critical rallying.”

The fourth edition, which included a rich program, was the first public event to take place at the newly established Gouna Conference and Culture Centre, where most of the activities where held, including the opening and closing ceremonies, daily red-carpet events, premieres, and networking events.

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