After a one-year hiatus, Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival is returning in October later this year and will run from October 13-20.
Founded in 2007 by the billionaire Sawiris brothers, actress and producer Bushra Roza, producer Kamal Zadeh and entrepreneur Amr Mansi the festival has been a catalyst for the development and recognition of Arab cinema. The management has always aimed to connect filmmakers in the region not just with their international counterparts but also with opportunities that they might not have had otherwise. Committed to always finding new and diverse voices El Gouna Film Festival is an integral part of the Arab film industry and a leading platform for culture and the arts.
It is no surprise that its cancellation last year was met with dismay around the region. In a statement, the organizing committee revealed that the decision was a result of “current global challenges” that prompted a need to “develop an integrated strategy that will live up to the growing expectations of the festival as a leading platform for film, art, and culture.” Now, the festival is finally back and seems to be even better than before.
Intishal Al-Timimi, the festival’s art director, revealed in a statement that the break had “allowed GFF’s management to reflect on the artistic and organizational aspects of the festival and to focus on consolidating the role GFF has played so far in the development of the film industry.”
Samih Sawiris reassured fans and those in the film industry, “I am committed to nurturing it [El Gouna Film Festival] so that it may continue to contribute to spurring [the] growth of film and filmmakers: locally, regionally and globally.” The statement also contained an announcement about Amr Mansi being the festival’s new executive director. The entrepreneur is well-known for being the CEO of events, one of Egypt’s leading event management companies, and for other projects such as his appearance on Shark Tank Egypt. “I am excited for this year’s edition, which will be a milestone in the festival’s history,” Mansi stated. “We are determined to create an unforgettable experience for all stakeholders and set a high standard for future editions.”