The fourth day of El Gouna Film Festival witnessed an intense schedule of events and shows. It began with a virtual master class by Christopher Mack entitled Pitch Realization Master Class by Netflix, where Mack presented to the participating writers some of the best practices on how to create and document the best presentation files for series and movies centered on the character. A panel discussion entitled Women’s Empowerment Through Film was also held, focusing on the participants' personal journeys in filmmaking. French director Dorothée Myriam Kellou; Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby; Indian actress Richa Chadha; Palestinian director Najwa Najjar; and General Director of DOX BOX, Jihan El Tahri participated, under the moderation of Raya Abirached.
The day’s screenings included a variety of films, including the red carpet screening of Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Mica in its international premiere, with the presence of its director; in addition to the films Tragic Jungle by Yulene Olaizola, winner of the award for best foreign-speaking film in the Horizons competition of the 77th Venice International Film Festival; In Between Dying by Hilal Baydarov, which participated in the Official Competition of the same festival. In addition, the fourth day witnessed the screening of Notturno by Gianfranco Rosi and Truffle Hunters by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, as well as The Big Hit by Emmanuel Courcol, one of the official selections of Cannes International Film Festival in 2020.
Another panel discussion IEFTA: A Filmmaker's Journey from Film Lab to VOD Platfrom was held as a virtual meeting with leading industry professionals to get an overview of what to expect in the filmmaker's journey to complete their film. The panel’s participants included Office Manager for Filming Europe, Angelica Cantisani; marketing and PR executive Riaya Aboul Ela; Manager of the Cairo Film Connection at Cairo Industry Days, Meriame Deghedi; Head of Education of IDFA, Meike Statema; Joint Managing Director of Moviehouse Entertainment, Gary Phillips; and consultant for Fintage House, David Zannoni. It was moderated by Emma Smith.
Press conferences were also held for a number of films, including the press conference for The Man Who Sold His Skin, which was held at the Technical University of Berlin in Hall (G15) at 1:00 p.m. Director Kaouther Ben Hania talked about the source of her inspiration for the idea of the film; a work of art, as well as her choice of actors, namely Yahya Mahaini and Monica Bellucci. Bellucci had agreed to play the role after watching Ben Hania's previous film. A press conference for the Palestinian film 200 Meters was also held in the presence of its director Ameen Nayfeh and producer May Odeh. Additionally, a press conference for short films was also hosted. Among the attendees were the filmmakers of Shakwa, which was shown internationally for the first time at El Gouna Film Festival; and I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face, the first Egyptian film to be at Official Selection of short films in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 50 years.
Highlights of the Fifth Day (Tuesday, October 27) of El Gouna Film Festival
The fifth day will witness the screening of a variety of films, on top of which is the special screening of Charlie Chaplin's The Kid, creatively presented by El Gouna Film Festival as the first show of its kind in the Arab film festival scene. The film screening will be accompanied by a live orchestra led by renowned Egyptian Maestro Ahmed El Saedi, who will lead the performance of the film score live during the show. The concert takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Festival Plaza. As part of the Official Competition, Quo Vadis, Aida? by Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić will be screened at 6:00 p.m. at Sea Cinema 1. The film had its world premiere at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.
As for events, the day’s activities will commence at 10:30 a.m. with a panel discussion entitled Digital Media in the Wake of a Global Pandemic, which will explore how the global pandemic—with its dark aspects in these difficult circumstances—would allow for organizations, companies and governments to use electronic platforms to provide products and services and continue operations, while consumers adapt to the new normal. Participating in the discussion are Dominique Delport, VICE Media’s President of International & Global Chief Revenue Officer; Tarek Hosny, co-founder and CEO of Minly; Jakob Mejlhede and Moon Baz, Strategic Partner Manager for Media Publishers for Facebook in the MENA region. The panel will be moderated by Ahmed Abbas, founder and CEO of DigiSay.
At 12:30 p.m., a master class will be held by director of photography and film director Ahmad Al Morsy, entitled Visual Storytelling and Adapting to Changing Conditions. The master class will be moderated by film director Karim El Shenawy. At 6 p.m., another virtual panel discussion titled Equity and Access: Changing the Hollywood Narrative presented by the US Embassy and Film Independent. The participants of film and television executives will explore concrete methods to make a difference in Hollywood and beyond. They include Wei Chen, Program Manager for the Rideback TV Incubator; Karin Chien, president of dGenerate Films; Mel Jones, producer, director and writer; Dani Melia, producer; and Tilane Jones, President of ARRAY, a multi-platform arts and social impact collective. The panel will be moderated by American director, Angel Kristi Williams.