In line with El Gouna Film Festival’s mission of showcasing powerful cinematic works from the region, GFF is proud to announce that seven Egyptian films will screen during the festival’s upcoming 5th edition, the largest number since its inception. The festival is scheduled to take place from October 14 to 22, 2021 in the resort town of El Gouna.
Festival director Intishal Al Timimi commented: “We have always been keen to celebrate the best productions in the Egyptian film industry since our inaugural edition. This year, we are proud to have a total of seven Egyptian films selected across different sections. Some have received plaudits and acclaim at international film festivals around the world; others will celebrate their world premiere during the 5th edition of GFF. The diversity of the selection, which comprises documentary, narrative, and short movies, reflects the multitude of talented individuals behind the ever-flourishing Egyptian film industry, and the reason why it has been crowned as the Hollywood of the MENA region for over 80 years.”
Artistic director Amir Ramses added: “This year Egyptian cinema has had a strong presence at international festivals, and we pride ourselves for having one of the most acclaimed films in Cannes this year, Feathers, the internationally acclaimed CineGouna alumni Captains of Za’atari, and Amira by the eminent director Mohamed Diab, which is set to have its world premiere at the forthcoming Venice FIlm Festival. We will also celebrate the world premieres of Full Moon by the renowned Hadi El Bagoury, Back Home by the rising director Sara Shazli, Cai-Ber by Ahmed Abd El Salam and Khadiga by director Morad Mostafa. Our selection of this distinctive and varied lineup is a nod to the Egyptian film industry, the longest running in the Arab World and the centre of entertainment in the Middle East.”
Feathers/ Feature Narrative Competition
Directed by: Omar El Zohairy
The 2021 Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prix and FIPRESCI Award winner tells the story of Sami, an authoritative Egyptian father, who was turned into a chicken by a magician’s trick at his 6-year-old’s birthday party. The mysterious transformation sets his family off to a tragically funny adventure of self-discovery to survive without the patriarch.
Amira/ Feature Narrative Competition
Directed by: Mohamed Diab
Starring Saba Mubarak, Ali Suleiman, and Tara Abboud, the film
follows Amira, a bubbly 17-year-old who has grown-up believing she was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father. Her sense of identity is shattered when another attempt to conceive a child with her father’s smuggled sperm reveals he is infertile.
Captains of Za’atari/ Feature Documentary Competition
Directed by: Ali El Arabi
Winner of three awards at the 2019 CineGouna Platform this documentary tells the story of Mahmoud and Fawzi, who have been living in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan for five years. Despite their dire circumstances, they focus their energy on their first love — soccer. When Aspire Academy arrives at Za’atari to pick players for an international tournament, the two friends get the opportunity of their lifetime.
Back Home/ Feature Documentary Competition
Directed by: Sara Shazli
Sara’s father is nearly 80 years old and is full of life. When Sara’s plans turn upside down due to the global pandemic, she finds herself stuck in her childhood home with her parents after living abroad for ten years. As they spend months together in lockdown, Sara feels the need to capture the precious moments spent with her father on film. For the first time, Sara’s return to Egypt feels right.
Kadiga/ Short Film Competition
Directed by: Morad Mostafa
Khadiga, a young mother living alone with her baby, after her husband left to work in a remote city. On an ordinary day, she goes through the streets of Cairo to make a few visits where she feels uncomfortable with the surroundings.
Cai-Ber/ Short Film Competition
Directed by: Ahmed Abd El Salam
After numerous failed attempts to escape the status quo of her generation’s depression, Nour, 29, secretly arranges to flee her homeland. Hours before her departure, she embarks on a journey of struggles with a patriarchal society and a fight within to keep her hidden secret.
Full Moon/ Official Selection out of Competition
Directed by: Hadi El Bagoury
Starring an ensemble cast including Khaled El Nabawy, Shereen Reda, Ghada Adel, Ahmed El Fishawy, Yasmin Raeis, Ahmed Malek, Ahmed Hatem, Asmaa Abulyazeid, May El Ghety and Khaled Anwar; the film takes place on a lunar night where the societal beliefs that kill love are unveiled through five different love stories.