Honoring the Egyptian film industry of the future, the second edition of the El Gouna Film Festival welcomed regional and international stars at the balmy seaside resort town for the eight-day competition. Actors Owen Wilson, Sylvester Stallone, and Clive Owen were greeted by Arab stars, including Yousra, Shereen Reda, Bouchra (COO and co-founder), and Mona Zaki, to mingle on yachts and hotel beaches before changing into red carpet attire that highlighted regional brands Georges Hobeika, Kojak Studio, Yousef Al Jasmi, Basil Soda, and Arwa Al Banawi. The opening and closing ceremonies were held at the open-air theater located in Marina and continued into the early hours at the hotel La Maison Bleue.
Originally printed in the November 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia
Following its successful debut edition, the festival was a celebration of life in the midst of crisis, where cinema bridges cultures and mirrors the potential creativity in this part of the world. It is “cinema for humanity” that celebrates human potential and achievements, while being anchored in everyday struggles.
Throughout the packed festival, 80 films were screened. It honored the works of Egyptian director Dawoud Abdel Sayed and Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha. It commemorated the 25th and 10th anniversaries of Federico Fellini’s and Youssef Chahine’s passing, respectively. It also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ingmar Bergman. Stallone received the career achievement award. The ultimate winner was A Land Imagined “for having given voice to a silent community.” The film, directed by Siew Yeo Huaw, was awarded US $50 000. Meanwhile, Another Day of Life, directed by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow, and Yomeddine, directed by AB Shawky, took home the cinema for humanity award, with a prize of US $10 000, having moved the jury with their humanitarian themes. Shawky also nabbed the El Gouna Star for the best Arab narrative. The best actor and actress awards went to Mohamed Dhrif and Joanna Kulig. Aquarela, directed by Victor Kossakovsky, was awarded the El Gouna Gold Star for documentary film for “capturing the beauty and cruelty of ranging oceans”
Founded by magnate Naguib Sawiris, the festival has established itself as an annual celebration of Arab and international cinema. We spotlight the Arab actors at El Gouna in the gallery above.
Words: Alexandria Gouveia, Caterina Minthe, Christine Van Deemter
Photography: Ämr Ezzeldinn
Production: Snap Fourteen
Video Assistant: Adam Mostafa
Furniture: Ebony & Ivory Design
Rug: Kahhal 1871