The second edition of El Gouna Film Festival kicked off last night, Thursday 20th in El-Gouna, Red Sea where the festival is expected to take place till the Friday 28th. The opening ceremony didn’t fail to impress us. Here are some of the main moments that took place so far:
- El Alam Gouna
The festival started with the song “El Alam Gouna” (The World is Gouna), which featured a number of our most beloved celebrities including Yousra, Asser Yassin, Mohamed Mamdouh, Ahmed Malek, Ahmed Dawoud, Chico, Hesham Maged, Mona Zaki, Yamine Raies, Dina Al Sherbiny, Sherif Mounir, Tamer Habib and Menna Shalaby among others. Being #11 trending on YouTube in less than one day, the song has a double meaning in “Gouna” delivering the implicit message that the world came to us and that we are proud to welcome everybody to our glamorous festival.
- Raya; the perfect presenter & our stars as jury members
International star presenter Raya Abi Rached took the pleasure of presenting the opening ceremony of the festival starting with how her love for cinema evolved from just being an “escape from reality” to being “the most effective tool to face reality”. She appeared on the red carpet and on stage with a stunning look and moved during presenting between the festival celebrities and gave each the praise they deserve.
Abi Rached also presented the jury members of the festival’s different competitions, among who were the Egyptian stars Mona Zaki, jury member of the feature competition and Ahmed Malek, jury member of the short movies competition.
- Minister Appearances
This year, three Egyptian Ministers; Minister of Culture Enas Abdel Dayem, Minister of Tourism Rania El Mashat and Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly attended the Gouna Film Festival representing the government at such an important event. “The song said the world is Gouna, but we want to send a message that the world is Egypt, and the world is actually in Egypt thanks to the festival” said El Mashat, while also shedding light on how the officials in the ministry are keen that entertainment serves as a fundamental part of the revitalization of tourism.
Also during the ceremony, Dr. Enas Abdel Dayem expressed her wish in organizing a music festival in Gouna, besides the film festival, asking Mr Samih Sawiris to grant her wish.
- Opening Movie
The festival opened with Thomas Lilti’s French movie, The Freshmen, which takes us into how too many candidates chase too few seats in admissions to medical courses in France.
- Dorra Bouchocha, Daoud Abdel Sayed & Yousry Nasrallah
The Festival’s Creative Achievement Award was granted to Egyptian director Daoud Abdel Sayed who gave a word while renowned director Yousry Nasrallah held the mic for him in one of the most emotional moments of the festival so far.
It’s notable to mention that another Creative Achievement Award went to the Tunisian producer Dorra Bouchocha, who is said to be the first woman from her country to ever take up movie production.
- Honoring Gamil Ratib
El Gouna Film Festival operation manager Boushra asked the attendees to stand for a minute of mourning over the loss of Egyptian veteran actor Gamil Ratib, who passed away on 19 September, leaving a 65 year legacy of unforgettable work.
- Bizarre Looks & Moments
The person behind half of the comics on social media now is Tunisian star, Imen Cherif, who appeared in a weirdly designed dress. Imen is in the Festival for her movie; “Weldi”, which is participating in the festival’s competition.
Also, Amr Saad came out with an African hair look, which we don’t understand yet.
Last but not least, Maya Diab kisses Adel Emam’s hand in appreciation of who he is and what he has been to the world of cinema.
- Clive Owen
British actor, producer and Golden Globe winner Clive Owen received the Omar Sharif prize, which is a new prize in this year’s festival named after the renowned Egyptian artist.
- Festival Stars & Movies
The second edition of GFF is hosting close to 450 guests from film celebrities and filmmakers from all over the world. We see a number of Arab stars including Nadia Elgendy, Lebleba, Mona Zaki, Yousra, Dorra, Dina ElSherbiny, Saba Mubarak, Ahmed Malek, Ahmed Fahmy, Amr Abdel Galil, Sherif Ramzy, Ezzat Abouof, Hanan Motawa, Reham Abdel-Ghafour, Aisha Ben Ahmed, Maxim Khalil, Ghada Adel, Yasmin Sabry, Hana Shiha, Akram Hosni, Rasha Mahdy, Nelly Karim and Khaled Al-Sawy, along with many many others.
A handful of Hollywood stars were also present and we are yet to see Patrick Dempsey, Owen Wilson and Sylvester Stalone, who will receive the Career Achievement Award
The festival is set to screen about 80 movies in total from over 30 countries including the Egyptian “Yomeddine”, the Danish “The Guilty” and the Polish “Mug”. It will also give special attention to films with humanitarian content.
The program includes three competitive sections (Feature Narrative Competition, Feature Documentary Competition, and Short Films Competition).
In addition, the festival is celebrating the great director Youssef Chahine, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his death and will screen his movie El Mohager (The Emigrant).
In parallel to the screenings, there goes the “CineGouna platform”; a creative hub designed to support talents, with the aim of enhancing business opportunities for the Arab cinema.
The opening of #GFF18 was full of remarkable moments, Naguib Sawiris hilarious speech, the couples that showed us to remind us that love is real, and much more. This festival runs under the slogan of “Cinema for Humanity”, and the 2nd edition of El Gouna Film Festival is leaving us with all the pride in the world and we can’t wait to see what more it has in store for us.