After being postponed twice, the sixth edition of the El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) is all set to go ahead on December 14. Running until December 21, a “special edition” of the star-studded affair will take place in a seaside resort in the tourist town of Hurghada.
The festival will feature its previously announced lineup while dedicating a special program to Palestinian cinema in collaboration with the Palestine Film Institute. “Additionally, a fundraising dinner is planned to gather donations for humanitarian aid efforts in Gaza in coordination with the Egyptian Red Crescent during the festival,” read a statement from GFF.
Festival director Intishar Al Timimi added: “Through these compelling films, we aim to open a window into the rich and complex tapestry of Palestinian life. It is our hope that these stories will resonate with audiences, fostering empathy and understanding. By providing a platform for these voices, we contribute to a broader conversation about the shared human experiences that connect us all.”
The festival’s international lineup features highly acclaimed titles from both, emerging and established directors. Among the highlights are Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes; Nicolas Philibert’s documentary On the Adamant, winner of the 2023 Berlinale Golden Bear; and Guto Parente’s The Strange Path which won four major awards at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.
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Also taking center stage at this year’s El Gouna Film Festival are a number of restored short and medium-length films from the Sudanese Film Group. According to the festival, the films directed by auteurs Suliman Elnour, Eltayeb Mahdi, and Ibrahim Shaddad, “have been painstakingly restored by the Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst, Berlin. Their effort and dedication to preserving these cinematic treasures deserve not only acknowledgment but also applause.”
Additionally, legendary actor and singer Jane Birkin will be honored at the festival following her passing in France in July 2023 at the age of 76. As part of the festival’s philosophy of celebrating iconic talents of the past and the present, a selection of some of Birkin’s greatest films will be screened at the event. “Jane Birkin was not only an iconic actress and singer but also a symbol of freedom and artistic innovation,” says Marianne Khoury, artistic director of the festival. “Her work transcended borders and generations, making her a timeless figure in the world of art. It is our privilege to celebrate her legacy and share a part of her remarkable journey with our audience at the El Gouna Film Festival.”