The El Gouna Film Festival will return to Egypt this year after stopping in 2022.
The organizers announced that the sixth session of the prominent Arab festival will be held in the Red Sea resort from October 13 to 20, while the festival’s industrial arm, the El Gouna Film Platform, will be held from October 15 to 19.
The festival, launched in 2017 by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris — whose brother Samih built the El Gouna resort in a desert area near Hurghada, a tourist city 250 miles south of Cairo — was canceled last year after five successful editions. Although no reason was given, the reason for the one-year hiatus may be due to the Red Sea region of Egypt being affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine, whose citizens account for about 40% of the beach tourists who travel to Egypt annually.
Since 2017, Artistic Director Intishal El Tamimi has rapidly put El Gouna on the international festival map, proving her mettle in promoting the cream of the cinematic crop in the region while providing key support in nurturing new works through El Gouna’s informal film market.
“After five successful editions, we wanted to take some time to re-evaluate the program, explore all our options and think about the best way to move the festival forward,” Al-Tamimi said in a statement. He added, “We are now back, fully rejuvenated, and inspired to resume our previous efforts to encourage the development of industry in the region.”
The festival said in the statement that the one-year break “allowed the festival management to reflect on the technical and organizational aspects of the festival and focus on strengthening the role the festival has played so far in developing the film industry at the regional and international levels.” .
From the administrative point of view, Amr Mansi, the co-founder of the Jones Festival, was appointed as the executive director of the event, succeeding Amal Al-Masry, who held this role during the last two editions of the event.
El Gouna is now back on what appears to be a solid financial footing and regaining its place on the increasingly crowded calendar of Arab film festivals at the end of the year. El Gouna will once again compete for pioneers, talent and top industry executives with other well-established events in Marrakesh, Cairo and the Saudi Red Sea Film Festival, all of which are scheduled to take place between October and December.
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