Through its CineGouna Platform, El Gouna Film Festival continues to empower Arab filmmakers in their quest to acquiring artistic and financial support. This business and industry-oriented event provides CineGouna SpringBoard and CineGouna Bridge, offering opportunities for learning and experience sharing.
Within the activities of the seventh day of the festival, October 29, 2020, the closing ceremony of CineGouna Platform was held at the Festival Plaza, where the committee announced the winning projects and films.
For its 4th edition, CineGouna SpringBoard received 99 submissions (65 projects in development and 34 films in post-production) from all parts of the Arab world. A panel of experts reviewed the submissions and made a selection of 12 projects in development (9 narratives and 3 documentaries) and 6 films in post-production (5 narratives and 1 documentary) on the basis of their content, artistic vision, and overall financial feasibility.
Competing directors and producers have submitted their projects and films to producers, sponsoring institutions, distributors, film sellers and festivals programmers, for their technical advice. In addition, one-on-one meetings were held between filmmakers, industry experts and consultants to develop scenarios or incomplete versions of films and enhance opportunities for regional and international cooperation. The CineGouna SpringBoard jury consisted of Clément Chautant, French sales agent and Head of Festivals at the Paris-based company Indie Sales, Lebanese director and producer Dima Al-Joundi, and Jordanian writer, director and producer Layali Badr.
Goodbye Julia by Mohamed Kordofani (Sudan) won the prize for best project in development (CineGouna Platform Certificate and a cash prize of US $15,000); and Life Suits Me Well by Al Hadi Ulad Mohand (Morocco) received the prize for best film in post-production (CineGouna Platform Certificate and a cash prize of US $15,000).
The award-winning projects and films of the CineGouna SpringBoard Sponsorship prizes were also announced, and they are as follows:
Hamlet from the Slums by Ahmed Fawzi-Saleh (Egypt) received a prize of $20,000 from Shahid and a prize of $10,000 from Sparkle Media Services, as well as participation in the Film Independent Virtual Residency award from Film Independent and The U.S. Embassy, in addition to participation in one of IEFTA's partner development lab or workshop from IEFTA.
Bye Bye Tiberias by Lina Soualem (Palestine, France) won a $10,000 prize from iProductions, a $10,000 prize from Synergy Films, and $10,000 from Dakhli West El Balad by Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment.
Hajj to Disney by Maha Al-Saati (Saudi Arabia) received a $10,000 prize from Arab Radio & Television Network (ART); and Seeking Haven for Mr. Rambo by Khaled Mansour (Egypt) won a prize of $10,000 from Rotana, and another $10,000 from Lagoonie Film Production.
A $10,000 prize from New Century Production, a $30,000 prize fund— a minimum guarantee from MAD Solutions & Ergo Media Ventures, and a $10,000 prize from Sparkle Media Services also went to Goodbye Julia by Mohamed Kordofani (Bahrain, Sudan). On the other hand, Streams by Mehdi Hmili (Tunisia) received $10,000 from Weyyak. I Am Here But You Can't See Me by Feyrouz Serhal (Lebanon, Spain) was granted $80,000 worth of production services from Shahid.
The Maiden's Pond by Bassem Breche (Lebanon) received an award in the form of $50,000 pre-sale from OSN; and Life Suits Me Well by Al Hadi Ulad Mohand (Morocco) won a $10,000 worth of a full DCP package from The Cell Post Production, and $30,000 worth of VFX services from Mercury Visual Solutions. Another $10,000 worth of a full film promotions package from The Cell Post Production went to Communion by Nejib Belkadhi (Tunisia).
The feature documentary film in development Big Boys Don't Cry by Muhammad Mustapha (Egypt) received a participation in the Film Independent Virtual Residency presented by Film Independent and The U.S. Embassy; while the feature documentary Take Me to The Cinema by Albaqer Jafeer (Iraq, Egypt) received an editing residency for a period of up to 10 weeks coupled with tailor-made consultancy sessions from DOX BOX. Finally, The Day Of Arafah by Ala'a Al Qaisi (Jordan) won a participation in IEFTA's Global Film Expression initiative, presented by IEFTA.
CineGouna SpringBoard is a project development and co-production lab that offers opportunities to find creative and financial support for Arab film directors and producers with projects in development or films in post-production. It received long-form fictional and documentary projects in development, and post-production films that were submitted at the specified submission time.