The El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) has announced new dates for this year’s festival. While originally scheduled to take place in September, the festival will now run from Friday, October 23 to Saturday, October 31, taking into consideration stay at home orders and social distancing requirements on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
Set amid the breathtaking scenes of the luxurious Red Sea resort town, El Gouna in Egypt, this year’s event will take place at the new Gouna Conference and Culture Centre, which features 8,000 square meters of open space. In a bid to remain accessible to audiences and artists world over, the festival will also host a number of activities online.
Featuring a program of culture-shifting films, the festival has already received more than 800 submissions for works that are in development and post-production. While the final program will be revealed before the end of September, preparations are already underway for October’s festivities. Speaking to the wide-spread issues caused by the ongoings of Covid-19, director of the El Gouna Film Festival, Intishal Al Timimi notes that the execution of this year’s festival will not only act as a medium for storytelling and film but also as a much-needed sign of hope. “Several film festivals have been impacted by the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic and their return to the scene will send a positive signal that the world is on its way to normalcy,” said Al Timimi in a statement. “At GFF, we choose to live in this hope and positivity and continue our commitment to make a contribution to the development of cinema internationally and in the region and to ensure a safe yet enjoyable experience for all participants.”
Ensuring that the highest levels of safety will be afforded to attendees of the festival, organizers are already working on implementing never before seen health measures by way of social distancing and sanitization. Speaking to Al Monitor, Amir Ramses, the artistic director of the festival said, “we started preparations for the festival in late January and since last month our team has been working on how to achieve high health safety measures and social distancing in our theaters.”