The El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt launched its fourth session, the day before yesterday, to be the first film festival to be held on the ground in the Arab region since the Coronavirus declared a global pandemic last March.
The festival, which raises the slogan “Cinema for Humanity”, displays about 65 films from more than 40 countries in various competitions and programs. The movie “The Man Who Sold His Back” by Tunisian director Kawthar Ben Haneya, was chosen for the opening ceremony, after winning two prizes from the Venice Film Festival.
The opening ceremony was held in the open theater of the El Gouna Center for Conferences and Culture, which was newly built in the tourist resort overlooking the Red Sea, in the presence of a large number of movie stars, who overlooked the red carpet of the festival, including the Lebanese Stephanie Saliba, the Syrian Kinda Alloush, the Moroccan Mayssa Maghribi, the Tunisian Aisha Ben Ahmed, Jordanian Munther Rayahneh, Laila Elwi, Yosra, Ilham Shaheen, Belba, Ahmed El-Sakka and Khaled Al-Nabawi from Egypt
The ceremony included artistic performances, including a song by the Lebanese Ramy Ayyash entitled “Doki Ya Mazika”, and another performed by the opera singer Farah Al-Dibani in French and Arabic as a tribute to the artists who left in 2020 entitled “Love Story”, in addition to a dance performance inspired by the work of the late Mahmoud Reda.
The festival honored the French actor Gerard Depardieu and the Egyptian landscape designer Ansi Abu Seif with the “Creative Achievement” award, while the French-American actor of Moroccan origin Said Taghmaoui received the Omar Sharif award.
“There were difficulties at all levels … but these difficulties made us more determined to confront them and overcome them,” the festival’s director, Enchell Al-Tamimi, said in the opening speech.
He added: “Among these difficulties is the inability of a group of guests who were expected to arrive yesterday and today, either because of special measures in some countries, or because some of them were infected with the Corona virus, but despite all this we were able to collect this large number with us here.” .
In addition to the film screenings, the festival program includes four panel discussions, three specialized lectures, in addition to two workshops, one on writing a short film script, and the other on acting.
The festival, which will last until October 31, is holding an exhibition of the works of the landscape designer Ansi Abu Seif, who presented a number of the most important Egyptian films, such as: “The Mummy”, “Alexandria Violin and Violin”, “Kit Kat”, “The Thief of Joy” and “Land Fear, the “days of Sadat” and “treasure”.
The El Gouna Film Festival, which was launched in 2017 and gained a good international reputation within a few years, collided with various difficulties this year. Prevention of the Corona virus.
65 films from more than 40 countries in various competitions.
The opening saw a tribute to the artists who left in 2020.
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