Following in the footsteps of its previous 3 editions, El Gouna Film Festival, in its 4th edition, summons some of the most talented international and Arab filmmakers, film critics, and experts to select the winning films in its 3 main competitions. With the participation of acclaimed films by celebrated and influential directors, in addition to exciting and innovative films by emerging filmmakers, the process of selecting the award winners proves to be a challenging task.
The Feature Narrative Competition jury includes the iconic Egyptian actor, writer, and producer Asser Yassin, and award-winning Sudanese filmmaker and screenwriter Amjad Abu Alala, whose feature film You Will Die at Twenty (2019) won the Lion of the Future award at the 76th Venice Film Festival and El Gouna Golden Star for Narrative Film at the 3rd edition of GFF, in addition to over 15 awards from international festivals. Rodrigo Sepúlveda also honors the jury all the way from Chile. His latest feature, My Tender Matador (2020), has been selected at some of the most prestigious international film festivals, in addition to screening at the 4th edition of El Gouna Film Festival’s Official Selection out of Competition. Producer Thierry Lenouvel, Co-founder and General Delegate of Cinemed (Mediterranean Film Festival) Montpellier, shares his knowledge as a regular at major film festivals. From England, director and producer Peter Webber, who recently directed the acclaimed TV epic Kingdoms of Fires, joins as the head of jury with his extensive experience in feature films and television.
The Feature Documentary Competition jury consists of acclaimed Egyptian director Marianne Khoury, who has produced and co-produced around 30 feature films and documentaries that won awards at regional and international festivals; award-winning editor and director Simon El Habre, member of Beirut DC and winner of international prizes for his documentaries The One Man Village and Gate #5; and Swedish producer and programmer Freddy Olsson, senior programmer for the Göteborg Film Festival, where he served as chairman for many years, In addition to Bernard Karl, director of the Berlin-based independent film festival Around The World in 14 Films and the Head of the International Program at the Munich International Film Festival (Filmfest München). Iin addition to accomplished producer Marie-Pierre Macia, former director of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight) in Cannes, who heads the jury.
Notable figures from the Arab and international film world are also members of the Short Film Competition jury: world-renowned Indian actor Ali Fazal, who caught the attention of the global audience in the award-winning Victoria & Abdul (2017); French screenwriter and producer Guillaume de Seille with decades of experience in television and in producing more than 50 international arthouse films selected at major festivals; Syrian actress Kinda Alloush with her unique portfolio of more than 15 films and over 20 television series; and Mareme N'Diaye, accomplished Sénégalese actress who appeared in Maman(s) (2015) by Maïmouna Doucouré, which was crowned with over 60 awards and honors around the world, in addition to many other iconic roles. And the jury is headed by Tunisian filmmaker Raja Amari, who was announced a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, in addition to being named President of the Jury at the Gan Foundation for Cinema in France.
Additionally, the 4th edition of El Gouna Film Festival welcomes the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) jury, which consists of Andrey Vasilenko, curator, programmer, and film critic based in Moscow; Rome-based director and curator Italo Spinelli; and Egyptian writer and film critic Magdy El Tayeb. This year also marks GFF’s second time to host an International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) jury, the members of which are Rami El-Metwalli, film journalist and critic from Egypt; Bitopan Borborah, award-winning novelist and film critic; and Pierre-Simon Gutman, film director and deputy editor of the film review magazine l'Avant Scène Cinéma.
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.