El Gouna Film Festival Launches its First Edition in a Night Filled With Glamour and Festivities
· International, Arab and Egyptian stars attended the launch event
· Legendary actor Adel Imam receives a Career Achievement Award
· Lebanese critic Ibrahim Al-Aris receives a Career Achievement Award
· The launch featured the Egyptian premier of Egyptian movie, Sheikh Jackson
El Gouna, Egypt – 23 September, 2017: The first edition of El Gouna Film Festival inaugurated tonight with a star-studded red carpet event in the coastal city of El Gouna, which was aired live exclusively via ON TV. International celebrities, including American actors Dylan McDermott and Michael Madsen and French actress Emmanuelle Béart attended the event along with Egyptian and Arabic stars and filmmakers.
During the opening ceremony, Egyptian mega star Adel Imam received a special Career Achievement Award which was handed to him by El Gouna Film Festival Founder, Engineer Naguib Sawiris, and Egyptian superstar Youssra. A special tribute video featuring Egyptian movie stars such as Mona Zaki, Ahmed Helmy, Ahmed Fahmy, Menna Shalaby, Ragaa El Gedawy, Essad Younes and many others paid tribute to the legendary actor through a special video on the occasion, as well as old clips from Imam’s famous films.
The festival also honoured Lebanese critic Ibrahim Al-Ariss during the event for his important contributions to cinema and culture in the Middle East through his regional and international influence. Al-Ariss was honoured by Tunisian-Egyptian movie star and Member of El Gouna Film Festival’s International Advisory Board Hend Sabry.
The El Gouna Film Festival showcased the local premier of the Egyptian film, Sheikh Jackson, directed by Amr Salama. The movie celebrated its international premier days ago during the Toronto International Film Festival where it received excellent reviews.
El Gouna Film Festival Co-Founder, Samih Sawiris, stated: “We are happy to have all of you with us to witness the first edition of the Festival. We hope this event sends a message to regional and international artists that El Gouna Film Festival will honour true cinema and talents around the globe.”
During his speech, El Gouna Film Festival Founder, Engineer Naguib Sawiris said: “I want to thank everyone on the Executive Board for their relentless efforts that helped make this event happen and to result in this amazing night. I have always been a movie lover and this is the main reason why I founded this festival, I am honoured to have worked with everyone on this experience and I look forward to a very successful first edition which will help energize us to host the festival annually.”
Egyptian movie star, Co-Founder and COO of El Gouna Film Festival Bushra Rozza said: “I want to thank all of the international filmmaking figures that have made it all the way from the U.S.A. and Europe to join us for the first edition of the El Gouna Film Festival. We’ve been working with a vision to live up to the expectations for a film festival that was born to compete with other established international film festivals from day one. We look forward to welcoming both national and international talents in coming years, and hope we can continue to honour the art of cinema through El Gouna Film Festival’s future editions.”
El Gouna Film Festival Director Intishal Al Tamimi said: “El Gouna Film Festival pays special attention to provide relevant tools and networking opportunities to young filmmaking talents in the MENA region through its unique support platform CineGouna, and we take the workshops and panels very seriously as our main role through this important initiative.”
American actor Michael Madsen commenced the festival and said: “Many people told me that it wasn’t safe to fly here, but since I’ve arrived to El-Gouna, I found that this wasn’t true what so ever. Movies are an interesting way to reach immortality and a perfect messenger to promote mutual understanding and hence El Gouna Film Festival’s slogan; Cinema For Humanity.”
During the ceremony, Egyptian band Fabrica performed a special number reviving international and Egyptian musical cinematic gems. The event was hosted by Egyptian television host Nardine Farag and co-hosted by Egyptian movie star and comedian, Ahmed Fahmy.