Regardless of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the 4thedition of the El Gouna Movie Pageant went forward this October, alongside Egypt’s Purple Sea’s coast.

Following COVID-19 protocols, comparable to common temperature checks and restricted seat capability for screenings, the pageant spanned 9 days.

One of many pageant’s founders, Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, instructed Euronews’ Daleen Hassan that internet hosting the occasion this 12 months was a sign of optimism for the filmmaking business.

“The choice to do the pageant was primarily based mostly on the truth that we wish life to go on,” he stated. “It’s a message of hope, a message of happiness and a message of defiance – and cinema is all about that.”

The businessman goes on to say that regardless of the COVID-19’s challenges, humanity should problem it.

“We are saying life should go on, or we give up, and keep in a darkish room with all of the psychological issues we will get, lose our job, lose our economic system,” he says. “What we attempt to do right here, is to proceed with our movie pageant to problem COVID-19.”

Display time

This 12 months’s theme was ‘The Tradition of desires,’ and the occasion boasted sixty-three characteristic movies, eighteen brief films and ten documentaries from all over the world.

To open proceedings, and premiering inside the newly-built Gouna Convention and Tradition Heart, was Tunisian movie director Kaouther Ben Hania’s film, ‘The Man Who Offered His Pores and skin’.

The story, which facilities round a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, who permits his again to turn out to be a canvas for a well-known tattoo artist, received the El Gouna Star for Finest Arab Narrative Movie.

“I’m actually glad to win this award in an Arabic nation, as a result of it’s a film a few refugee in Europe, however let’s say it’s with an Arabic viewpoint – which you understand will not be frequent,” stated Ben Hania, who additionally obtained $20,000 prize cash.

Scooping $50,000 and this 12 months’s prime gong of the El Gouna Golden Star for Narrative Movie, was Bosnian film, ‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’.

Written & directed by Jasmila Žbanić, the movie was beforehand showcased on the 77th Venice Movie Pageant.

Set towards the backdrop of the Bosnian Battle, the film tells the story of a United Nations translator known as Aida, as she tries to guard her household.

One other notable win included, ‘Days of Cannibalism’ by American director & author, Teboho Edkins, which received the El Gouna Golden Star for Documentary Movie and $30,000.

Sustainable filmmaking

As soon as once more this 12 months, the CineGouna Platform, was available to nurture and empower younger Arab filmmakers; facilitating conversations with international business specialists.

Underneath the umbrella of the platform, the CineGouna SpringBoard is a co-production lab, enabling Arab movie administrators and producers – with tasks in improvement or post-production levels – to search out artistic and monetary assist.

From this 12 months’s ninety-nine submissions, eighteen tasks have been chosen.

Jury members included, Clément Chautant, head of festivals on the Paris-based firm Indie Gross sales, Lebanese filmmaker Dima Al-Joundi and Jordanian filmmaker Layali Badr.

Winners included the Sudanese movie ‘Goodbye Julia’ by Mohamed Kordofani and the film, ‘Life Fits Me Nicely’ by Moroccan director, Al Hadi Ulad Mohand.

One other younger initiative current on the pageant is the Sasha Cellular Movie Pageant.

This new platform, in collaboration with TikTok, permits filmmakers to compete in 4 completely different classes with movies made on their cell phones.

As a way to attain a wider viewers, the movies in Sasha have been screened each in a digital and dwell format.

French connection

Attributable to journey restrictions enforced by the worldwide pandemic, few worldwide stars have been in attendance at El Gouna this 12 months.

French actor Gerard Depardieu, nonetheless, was current to obtain an honorary Golden Star Profession Achievement Award through the occasion’s opening ceremony.

Depardieu expressed his appreciation for the cinematic metropolis of El Gouna, evaluating its development to, “how the Pharaoh’s used to construct,”.

The 71-year-old additionally acknowledged the pageant for uniting completely different nations, ethnicities and highlighting the subjects of sectarianism, poverty, homelessness & warfare.

“You’ll be able to’t change the course of historical past, of centuries earlier than, by refusing different cultures,” he stated. “I feel we want refugees as a result of they’re the ‘new blood’. They convey us their tradition, which can wake us up sooner or later.” He instructed Euronews’ Daleen Hassan

Depardieu additionally believes on the significance of Arab Filmmakers whom he predicts will get shine by addressing essential social points.

“Younger filmmakers from the Arab world will shine a highlight on the issues of their youth, the issues of their lives,” says the actor. “And that is what cinema means, it’s attempting to point out one thing that’s indeniable.”

Spiritual commentary

In line with IMDb, Depardieu was twice awarded a César as Finest Actor, for his roles in ‘The Final Metro’ and ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ – a component which additionally earned him an Oscar nomination.

Depardieu has additionally not too long ago revealed a guide titled Ailleurs, an autobiography detailing the actor’s ideas on France, faith, and nature amongst different topics.

In his private life, the colorful character has explored plenty of religions together with Islam and Buddhism.

“The Quran is a guide that touched me notably with its humility and respect for others,” the actor instructed Encourage Center East. “[But] it was very tough to be a Muslim in Western nations. Religions are attention-grabbing, however they aren’t attention-grabbing when there may be the ‘satan of politics’ in it.”



Egyptian actress Lekaa shocked in an uneven night robe.

Emirati-Moroccan actress Mayssa dazzled in couture by Michael Cinco.

With contributions from Nancy Sarkis and Arthur de Oliveira.


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