Through its industry hub, CineGouna Platform, El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) has remained committed, since its inception, to empowering filmmakers from the MENA region, by offering them opportunities to receive creative mentoring to fine-tune their scripts and works-in-progress, as well as making financial support accessible with the help of its various specially designed activities and awards. Several CineGouna Platform alumni have made their mark regionally and internationally by winning acclaim and awards at prestigious international film festivals.
Taking into account the new norms as well as the limitations that are imposed upon all international film festivals and the whole world in 2020, GFF remains committed to supporting the industry by empowering the development of cinema during these difficult times.
For the 4th year in a row, the business and industry-oriented platform continues its mission to support regional projects through CineGouna SpringBoard, the project development and co-production lab which has received 99 submissions for its 2020 edition—65 projects in development and 34 films in post-production.
After careful reviews by a committee of Arab and international experts, 18 projects have been chosen (12 in development, and six in post-production) on the basis of their content, artistic vision, and overall financial feasibility. The best project in development and film in post-production will receive a CineGouna Platform certificate and a cash prize of US $15,000 each. In addition, participating projects stand to win other grants funded by GFF’s partners and sponsors. It is worth mentioning that over US $240,000 were awarded to the winning projects at the 3rd edition of CineGouna SprinBoard.
Festival Director Intishal Al Timimi said, “CineGouna Platform was conceived and inaugurated alongside GFF’s first edition, a powerful testimony of the festival's commitment to engage positively with the stakeholders in the national and regional film industries. We are proud that CineGouna has managed to become an important hub that launches film initiatives in the Arab world, attracting the most ambitious filmmakers. The 18 most promising projects this year from the MENA region will be presented to film experts, producers, funding organisations during the upcoming 4th edition of GFF.”
Co-founder and Chief Operations and Foreign Relations Officer Bushra Rozza added, "Aware that artistic and financial support are only the beginning, we strive to provide these talented filmmakers with learning and networking opportunities that will help them take their projects to the next level through a carefully planned programme of mentorship sessions, workshops, panel discussions and master classes."
GFF is pleased to announce the final list of selections representing countries from the Arab world for the 4th edition of CineGouna SpringBoard. Selected feature narrative projects in development are Goodbye Julia by Mohamed Kordofani (Sudan), Hajj to Disney by Maha Al-Saati (Saudi Arabia), Hamlet from the Slums by Ahmed Fawzi-Saleh (Egypt), I Am Here But You Can't See Me by Feyrouz Serhal (Lebanon, Spain), Obliteration by Karim Moussaoui (Algeria), Roqia by Yanis Koussim (Algeria, France), Seeking Haven for Mr Rambo by Khaled Mansour (Egypt), The Day of Arafah by Ala'a Al Qaisi (Jordan), The Last Man by Muhammad Salah (Egypt, Brazil).
The feature narrative films in post-production are Communion by Nejib Belkadhi (Tunisia), Harvest by Ely Dagher (Lebanon, France), Life Suits Me Well by Al Hadi Ulad Mohand (Morocco), Streams by Mehdi Hmili (Tunisia), and The Maiden's Pond by Bassem Breche (Lebanon).
The selected feature documentary projects in development are Big Boys Don't Cry by Muhammad Mustapha (Egypt, Germany), Bye Bye Tiberias by Lina Soualem (Palestine, France), and The Mother of All Lies by Asmae El Moudir (Morocco). Last but not least the selected feature documentary in post-production is Take Me to the Cinema by Albaqer Jafeer (Iraq, Egypt).
GFF Artistic Director Amir Ramses said, “Not only am I proud to be part of this ongoing initiative, but I remain in awe of the innovative and creative projects that—year after year—continue to reveal talents and brilliant ideas that emerge from the region."
The 4th edition of GFF has been rescheduled to take place from October 23 to 31, 2020 at the resort town of El Gouna. While the activities and events organized by CineGouna Platform will run from October 25 to 30, 2020.
CineGouna Platform is an industry-oriented event created to support and empower Egyptian and Arab filmmakers and help them find artistic and financial support. CineGouna Platform presents the CineGouna SpringBoard and the CineGouna Bridge programmes that provide opportunities for sharing and learning.
El Gouna Film Festival
One of the leading festivals in the MENA region, GFF aims to showcase a wide variety of films for a passionate and knowledgeable audience, while fostering better communication between cultures through the art of filmmaking. Its goal is to connect filmmakers from the region with their international counterparts in the spirit of cooperation and cultural exchange. The festival is committed to the discovery of new voices and strives to be a catalyst for the development of cinema in the Arab world especially through its industry hub CineGouna Platform.