An inspiring slate of movies in the festival’s line-up this year
In line with El Gouna Film Festival’s (GFF) mission to showcase a wide variety of films that tell powerful stories from the region and the world, the 4th edition of GFF continues to programme unique movies as well as newly discovered cinematic voices. The process of selection is still in progress, and at this stage, it includes a top-notch line-up of internationally acclaimed works.
Intishal Al Timimi, Festival Director said, “In spite of the current global challenges, we are committed to showcasing the best and most important works of the year from all parts of the world at the festival’s 4th edition. Thanks to the faith the international film fraternity has placed in us, I am pleased to declare that our search for the best movies is going very well so far.”
Amir Ramses, Artistic Director stated, “For the past three years, we have taken pride in including some of the most prominent cinematic works, and while the current global pandemic poses challenges to the day-to-day operations of many, we remain firm in our resolve to select and present the best works in the 4th edition of GFF.”
GFF is proud to announce that Bad Tales (Italy, Switzerland) by directors Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo is part of the festival’s line-up this year. The film won the Silver Bear Award for Best Screenplay at the 70th Berlinale.
Another gem in the GFF 2020 selection is Days of Cannibalism (France, South Africa, Netherlands), a hybrid documentary where Teboho Edkins sheds light on the barren canyons of the Thaba-Tseka district in sparsely populated eastern Lesotho. The film was part of the Panorama line-up at the 70th Berlinale.
The programme also includes Irradiated (France, Cambodia) by acclaimed director Rithy Panh, a documentary about people who have survived the irradiation of war. The film won the Glashütte Original Documentary Prize at the 70th Berlinale.
Delete History (France), directed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, tells the story of three neighbours who come to terms with the consequences of the new world of social media. It is an empathetic tribute to those who are “left behind”, who hold up a mirror to us all and our perceptions of reality. The movie won the Silver Bear Special Jury Prize at the 70th Berlinale.
Also among the selection is Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany, Netherlands), the contemporary retelling of Alfred Döblin’s classic 1929 novel of German modernism with the same title, directed by Burhan Qurbani. The movie won five awards at the 69th German Film Awards, and was part of the main competition at the 70th Berlinale.
Father (Serbia) by director Srdan Golubović focuses on Nikola, the father who is ordered to give up his two children to social services after his wife attempts suicide. The emotional feature was the winner of the Panorama Audience Award for Fiction Film, as well as the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 70th Berlinale.
Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut, Falling (United States, Canada), also joins this year’s edition. In addition to his acting work, critically acclaimed Danish-American Mortensen is also a painter, a poet, a photographer and a musician. In this feature film, he adds directing to his resume through exploring the fractures and contrasts of a modern family. The film has been announced in the line-up of the upcoming 45th Toronto International Film Festival.
Aurélia Rouvier and Seamus Haley’s collaboration, Banksy Most Wanted (France), is an in-depth portrait of the masked Robin Hood, Banksy. The film screened at the 19th Annual Tribeca Film Festival.
From the official selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival comes Samir Guesmi’s Ibrahim (France), a feature narrative about an adolescent dreamer who becomes involved in a shoplifting scam that lands his father, with whom he has a difficult relationship, with an unexpected debt. Now Ibrahim is prepared to do whatever it takes to make amends and gain his father’s respect.
Another Round (Denmark), follows four friends—all high school teachers—while they test a theory that supports the idea that they can improve their lives by maintaining a certain level of intoxication at all times. Thomas Vinterberg’s feature has been officially announced to compete at the 68th San Sebastián International Film Festival.
Another notable film is Ivan Ikić's Oasis (Serbia), a feature that shows us a glimpse of the lives of children born with intellectual disabilities, abandoned by their families and placed in specialized institutions. The film was announced among the 2020 Venice Days in-competition line-up.
The Whaler Boy (Russia, Poland, Belgium) by Philipp Yuryev is an adventure tale of young Chukchi Hunter Lyoshka who becomes spellbound by a stunning girl “from the computer”. His crush on such a faraway image prompts him to set on a dangerous journey to find his love. The movie was announced among the 2020 Venice Days line-up.
Peel (Switzerland) is an animated documentary by Samuel Patthey and Silvain Monney that follows the daily routine of a retirement home in an isolated location.
Pilar (Netherlands) is another short animation and the result of collaboration between Diana Van Houten, J.J. Epping and Yngwie Boley. This hand painted animation tells the story of a post-apocalyptic city where nature is slowly reclaiming the streets.
An international premiere, Influencer (Spain) is a short from Spain by director Rubén Barbosa. The film addresses the incident of one of the most popular influencers having her four million followers stolen.
And last by not least, Georgi M. Unkovski’s short, Sticker (Republic of North Macedonia) shares with us the experience of Dejan who, after an unsuccessful attempt to renew his car registration, falls in a bureaucratic trap that tests his determination to be a responsible father. The film competed at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival’s short film competition. It also won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2020 Brooklyn International Film Festival.
The 4th edition of GFF has been rescheduled to take place from October 23 to 31, 2020 at the resort town of El Gouna. The full programme of the 4th edition will be announced by the end of September, 2020.
About 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.