In just three years, the El Gouna Film Festival has become an international barometer for upcoming Arab filmmakers. After being put on hold due to the pandemic, the festival’s fourth edition has officially been announced.
“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,” stated Intishal Al-Timimi, the festival’s director, 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”.
For those who can’t make it to this year’s event (which will now run from October 23 – October 31 in its usual home of El Gouna, the Red Sea resort town) the festival is taking lockdowns around the globe into consideration by making a part of its programming accessible online. The physical event is due to take place at the Gouna Conference and Culture Centre, an 8,000 square metre space that allows for attendees to adhere to social distancing requirements.
Safely in their socially distanced seats, attendees can expect to see some of the best Arab films in the region. El Gouna Film Festival has grown to become the platform responsible for amplifying the visibility of some of the best Egyptian films and Arab movies in the world, namely critics favourite ‘You Will Die at Twenty’.
The festival’s organizers announced that they’ve received more than 800 submissions so far, and they’re looking for more. Submissions for both feature-length and short films are open until July 15, with plans to announce the full program by the end of September.