El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) is pleased to announce the Call for Entries for the 5th edition of CineGouna Platform, which is scheduled to take place October 16-21, 2021 in the resort town of El Gouna. The deadline for receipt of submissions is July 15, 2021 for projects in development and August 1, 2021 for films in post-production. Entry form and complete information regarding eligibility for submission can be found on the following link: https://vp.eventival.com/elgounafilmfestival/5th-edition
Festival Director Intishal Al Timimi commented, “Over the past editions, CineGouna Platform supported 72 projects by helping their directors and producers meet with key industry names and professionals. They attended a number of meetings, pitch sessions, masterclasses and received financial support amounting a total of US $1,000,000. A large proportion of the participating projects, especially those in the post-production stage, were selected to participate at major international festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlinale and Toronto; strengthening CineGouna’s position as an important hub for international cinema professionals.”
Chief Operations and Foreign Relations Officer Bushra Rozza added, “For the 5th year in a row, CineGouna Platform continues to prove that it is an effective incubator for participating projects. We remain firmly committed to our mission to support Arab cinematic talents, and we aspire to continue to strengthen the spirit of cooperation that fueled our success in the past 4 years.”
During its 4th edition, CineGouna selected 12 projects in development (8 narratives and 4 documentaries) and 6 films in post-production (5 narratives and 1 documentary) on the basis of their content, artistic vision, and overall financial feasibility. These projects presented by GFF along with its partners and sponsors, were eligible for various awards totaling US$ 350,000. French sales agent Clement Chautant, Lebanese director and producer Dima Al-Joundi and Jordanian writer, director and journalist Layali Badr were members of the SpringBoard jury, while industry consultants and experts Rima Mismar from Lebanon, Jana Wolf from Germany, and Deema Azar from Jordan were the SpringBoard mentors.
Goodbye Julia by Mohamed Kordofani won the prize for best project in development, cash prizes by New Century Production, and Sparkle Media Services and a minimum guarantee from MAD Solutions & Ergo Media Ventures. Life Suits Me Well by Al Hadi Ulad Mohand received the prize for best film in post-production, a full DCP package from The Cell Post Production, and VFX services from Mercury Visual Solutions. Hamlet from the Slums by Ahmed Fawzi-Saleh received cash awards from Shahid, and Sparkle Media Services, as well as the Film Independent, and The U.S. Embassy award and the IEFTA award.
Bye Bye Tiberias by Lina Soualem won cash prizes from iProductions, Synergy Films, and Dakhli West El Balad. Hajj to Disney by Maha Al-Saati received the ART cash award and Seeking Haven for Mr. Rambo by Khaled Mansour won the cash prizes from Rotana, and Lagoonie Film Production. Streams by Mehdi Hmili received a cash award from Weyyak. I Am Here but You Can't See Me by Feyrouz Serhal was granted production services from Shahid.
The Maiden's Pond by Bassem Breche received a pre-sales award from OSN. A full film promotions package from The Cell Post Production went to Communion by Nejib Belkadhi. Big Boys Don't Cry by Muhammad Mustapha won the Film Independent and The U.S. Embassy award; while Take Me to The Cinema by Albaqer Jafeer won the DOX BOX award. Finally, The Day Of Arafah by Ala'a Al Qaisi won the IEFTA award.
CineGouna Bridge presented many successful events: master classes with key industry professionals including Indian actor Ali Fazal, Netflix’s Christopher Mack, Director Peter Webber, Egyptian DOP Ahmed El Morsy, and international animation supervisor Mena Ibrahim; panels by UNHCR, Sawiris Foundation and IEFTA, covering topics such as; Women Empowerment Through Film, and Digital Media in the Wake of a Global Pandemic; a screenwriting workshop offered by The U.S. Embassy and an acting workshop by Gerald James. In partnership with Gemini Africa, GFF also hosted the Uplift4GFF initiative, offering young entrepreneurs exposure, business leads, mentorships and partnerships opportunities.
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, especially through its industry arm, CineGouna Platform.
CineGouna Platform is an industry-oriented event created to support and empower Egyptian and Arab filmmakers and help them find artistic and financial support. CineGouna Platform presents the CineGouna SpringBoard and the CineGouna Bridge programs that provide opportunities for sharing and learning.