El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) in collaboration with the Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) celebrates Arab cinema by hosting the biggest Arab retrospective program in the European continent at the 23rd edition of PÖFF, which takes place from November 15 to December 1, 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia.
The opening ceremony of PÖFF was attended by GFF Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder Ms Bushra Rozza as well as GFF Founder Mr Naguib Sawiris, who presented PÖFF's official candle toTiina Lokk-Tramberg, Member of the Board Festival Director of PÖFF; who should present it at the closing ceremony to the representative of the guest country that will host the retrospective program next year.
Engineer Naguib Sawiris expressed his happiness to visit this beautiful country for the first time and stressed on the importance of such collaborations between festivals to support Arab cinema.
GFF in collaboration with PÖFF hosts In Focus: Sizzling Arabia a program dedicated to showcase a selection of the best productions of the past decade and a few very recent works that shouldn’t be missed. This program, which is curated by GFF Director Mr Intishal Al Timimi, is the fruit of GFF’s stated objectives and collaborations to further support and promote Arab Cinema around the world.
The program included a total of 14 films, six of which were produced in 2019 like; PÖFF’s opening film Adam directed by Mariam Touzani, Samir’s Baghdad in My Shadow, Algerian director Mounia Meddour’s Papicha, Feras Fayyad’s The Cave, Sudanese director Suhaib Gasmelbari’s Talking About Trees; the recipient of El Gouna Golden Star for Documentary Film at the 3rd edition of GFF, also GFF’s Golden Star winner You Will Die at Twenty, Amjad Abu Alala’s first cinematic experience.
From previous years the program will showcase; Faouzi Bensaidi’s Death for Sale (2011), Hany Abu-Assad’s 3rd feature film Omar (2013), Iraqi Odyssey (2014) by Samir, Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb (2014), Mohamed Ben Attia’s debut feature Hedi (2015) ,Leyla Bouzid’s first film As I Open My Eyes (2016), Saudi cinema’s feature Barakah Meets Barakah (2016) by director Mahmoud Sabagh and last but not least The Reports on Sarah and Saleem (2018) by director Muayad Alayan.
Launched in 1997, the Black Nights Film Festival has grown to be one of the biggest film festivals in its region, screening around 250 features and more than 300 shorts and animations, and seeing an attendance of 80,000 people annually.