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5 Major Highlights from El Gouna Film Festival

Everything you might have missed

El Gouna might be best known for its crystalline waters and its electric party scene, but there’s more to the tiny coastal Egyptian town: it’s home to one of the region’s biggest film festivals.

Despite the pandemic, the fourth edition of the El Gouna Film Festival went off without a hitch. The festival, which marked its end on October 31, commemorated and celebrated the best of Arab cinema; and we’ve rounded up all its major highlights for you.

200 Metres Wins Big

Palestinian director Ameen Nayfeh’s film 200 Metres was awarded five honours during the closing ceremony. The moving film, which also premiered in the 77th Venice Film Festival, is a story of a Palestinian family that are only 200 metres apart, yet separated by the apartheid wall. 

Charlie Chaplin Gets a Nod


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#GFF20 LIVE FROM THE ‘ A SALUTE TO CHARLIE CHAPLIN’ CONCERT // #ElGounaFilmFestival @ElGounaRedSea // #GFF @orascomdevelopment

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The festival paid a tribute to Charlie Chaplin with a musical concert.

Tunisian Film Scores a Major Award

Tunisian film director Kaouther Ben Hania’s film The Man Who Sold His Skin, won ‘Best Arab Narrative Film’. The film follows the journey of a young Syrian refugee in Lebanon who provides his body as a canvas to a tattoo artist.

Women’s Empowerment Found a Home in El Gouna


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#GFF20 LIVE [PANEL DISCUSSION] WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT THROUGH FILM While the film industry is becoming a fairer and more level playing field, there’s still much work to be done when it comes to women in the industry. What about the female editors, DOPs and other personnel? Are they getting a fair chance? What about fair and equal pay? What about funding opportunities? What about festival film selections and awards? This was the topic of conversation in today’s ‘Women’s Empowerment Through Film’ panel, in which @RayaOfficial led a fascinating discussion with actors, @mennashalaby and @therichachadha, writer/director @najwanajjarofficial, General Director of Dox Box Jihan El Tahri, and journalist, filmmaker and representative of the Sisters in Film organisation, Dorothee Myriam Kellou. Stay tuned for more throughout the Week and click on the link on bio to find out more about all the #CineGounaPlatform panels, masterclasses and workshop programme! @ElGounaRedSea @orascomdevelopment #ElGounaFilmFestivalOfficial #GFF

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The El Gouna Film Festival hosted a talk on ‘women’s empowerment through film’, led by no other than TV host Raya Abirached, along with actresses Menna Shalaby and Richa Chadha, director Najwa Najjar, and more fascinating women in the film industry.

The Best Documentary is Algerian

Algerian director Lina Soualem’s documentary Their Algeria was named the best Arab Documentary Film. The film follows the lives of Soualem’s grandparents, who decide to separate after 62 years of living together. 

Other winners include:

El Gouna Golden Star for Narrative Film: Quo vadis, Aida? by Jasmila Žbanic

El Gouna Silver Star for Narrative Film: Bad Tales by Damiano D’innosenzo and Fabio D’innocenzo

El Gouna Bronze Star for Narrative Film: In Between Dying by Hilal Baydarov

El Gouna Star for the Best Actress: Jasna Djuricic, Quo vadis, Aida?

El Gouna Golden Star for Documentary Film: Days of Cannibalism by Teboho Edkins

El Gouna Silver Star for Documentary Film: Softie by Sam Soko

El Gouna Bronze Star for Documentary Film: Truffle Hunters by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw

El Gouna Golden Star for Short Film: Being My Mom by Jasmine Trinca

El Gouna Silver Star for Short Film: Blue Frontier by Ivan Milosavljević

El Gouna Bronze Star for Short Film: Sër Bi by Moly Kane

El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Short Film: I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face by Sameh Alaa

NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film: In Between Dying by Hilal Baydarov

FIPRESCI Award: 200 Meters by Ameen Nayfeh

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