EL GOUNA FILM FESTIVAL 2023 WRAPS UP A WEEK OF CINEMATIC SPLENDOR, REVEALING WINNERS ACROSS MULTIPLE CATEGORIES
El Gouna, December 21, 2023 - El Gouna Film Festival concluded its 2023 edition with an impressive awards ceremony that celebrated outstanding cinematic achievements from around the world. Despite the challenges, this year's festival showcased 90 films, captivating audiences and industry professionals alike. GFF extends heartfelt appreciation to the esteemed juries who lent their expertise to this rigorous selection process.
As the curtain falls on the 2023 El Gouna Film Festival, we proudly announce the winners across various categories, each recognized for their outstanding contributions to cinema.
The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) Jury, composed of leading Indian film critic Shubhra Gupta, accomplished Norwegian Producer Ingrid Lill Høgtun, and script writer and anthropologist Dr. Malaak Swed, dedicated their efforts to acknowledging excellence in Asian cinema. Their choices reflected the diversity, depth, and artistic achievements of the region.
The NETPAC AWARD FOR BEST ASIAN FILM at GFF#2023, goes to FROM ABDUL TO LEILA, directed by LEILA AL BAYATY, filmmaker of Iraqi origin, based in France.
The FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Jury, featured Polish film critic Ola Salwa, South African film critic Stephen Aspeling, and Egyptian journalist Zein Alabedin Khairy. This discerning panel celebrated outstanding debuts from Africa, Asia, and South America.
The FIPRESCI PRIZE at GFF#2023 goes to HOLLYWOODGATE directed by Ibrahim Nash’at Germany based Egyptian filmmaker.
SHORT FILM COMPETITION
The Short Film Jury, including filmmaker Lucy Kerr, Tunisian actress Mariam Al Ferjani, dedicated short film curator Céline Roustan, British-Lebanese actress Razane Jammal, and Lebanese filmmaker Wassim Geagea, focused on talents in the short film format. Their selections highlighted creativity, vision, and a fresh perspective in storytelling.
The EL GOUNA STAR FOR BEST ARAB SHORT was awarded to
LES CHENILLES directed by Michelle & Noel Keserwany from Lebanon (France).
The EL GOUNA BRONZE STAR FOR SHORT FILM, was won by AT LAST, THE DAY directed by Carolina Vergara from Argentina.
The EL GOUNA SILVER STAR FOR SHORT FILMS, was won by THE RED SEA MAKES ME WANNA CRY directed by Faris Alrjoob from Jordan.
And the EL GOUNA GOLDEN STAR FOR SHORT FILM was awarded to CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE directed by Sam Manacsa from Philippines.
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION & EL GOUNA GREEN STAR AWARD
The Feature Documentary AND El Gouna Green Star Jury, comprising renowned producer Catherine Dussart, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, Sudanese cinema pioneer Ibrahim Shaddad, award-winning US born Egyptian filmmaker Sherief Elkatsha, and passionate producer Lamia Chraibi, deliberated on the best in non-fiction filmmaking. Their choices reflect a commitment to excellence, innovation, and social impact.
THE EL GOUNA GREEN STAR AWARD for GFF#2023 was won by THE BURITI FLOWER directed by João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora from Brazil.
EL GOUNA STAR FOR BEST ARAB DOCUMENTARY FILM was won by MACHTAT directed by Sonia Ben Slama from Tunisia.
EL GOUNA BRONZE STAR FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM went to ON THE ADAMANT directed by Nicolas Philibert from France.
The Jury decided to award two remarkable films with the EL GOUNA SILVER STAR FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM. The awards were won ex-aequo by
NON-ALIGNED: SCENES FROM THE LABUDOVIC REELS directed by Mila Turajlic from Serbia & SEVEN WINTERS IN TEHRAN directed by Steffi Niederzoll from Germany.
And the top honours of EL GOUNA GOLD STAR FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM went to HOLLYWOODGATE directed by Ibrahim Nash’at.
THE CINEMA FOR HUMANITY AUDIENCE AWARD at the El Gouna Film Festival honors a feature-length film that embodies humanitarian themes. The GFF#2023’s film loving audience awarded the CINEMA FOR HUMANITY AWARD at GFF#2023 to GOODBYE JULIA (WADA'N JULIA) directed by Mohamed Kordofani, from Sudan.
FEATURE NARRATIVE COMPETITION
The Feature Narrative Jury, comprising Geneva-based Indian Filmmaker Anup Singh, along with Jordanian luminary Saba Mubarak, internationally acclaimed US based Palestinian actress Yasmine Al-Massri, French-Lebanese actress Manal Issa, and acclaimed Egyptian filmmaker Omar El Zohairy, represented a diverse range of perspectives and cinematic traditions. Together, they selected the winners in this category, recognizing exceptional storytelling, performances, and cultural contributions.
EL GOUNA STAR FOR BEST ACTOR was won by Bottsooj Uortaikh from the film IF ONLY I COULD HIBERNATE directed by Zoljargal Purevdash from Mongolia. This first Mongolian film to be selected in Cannes tells the story of the poor but prideful teenage boy Ulzii (Bottsooj Uortaikh) who is determined to win a Physics competition for a scholarship.
EL GOUNA STAR FOR BEST ACTRESS went to Parwin Rajabi, - for her remarkable portrayal of a woman who has never experienced any attention from her husband…, tills she falls ill, - in TRANSIENT HAPPINESS directed by Sina Muhammed from Iraq, who is also the winner of EL GOUNA STAR FOR BEST ARAB NARRATIVE FILM.
The EL GOUNA BRONZE STAR FOR NARRATIVE FILM was awarded to A STRANGE PATH directed by Guto Parente from Brazil.
The EL GOUNA SILVER STAR FOR NARRATIVE FILM was won by A GREYHOUND OF A GIRL directed by Enzo D'Alò from Italy.
And the EL GOUNA GOLD STAR FOR BEST NARRATIVE FILM was awarded by the jury to IN OUR DAY directed by Hong Sangsoo from South Korea. In this 30th addition to his impressive filmography, he masterfully depicts two separate and alternating conversations: one between an actress and an amateur and the other between an old poet and a fan.
These distinguished films were selected by our wonderful juries, who dedicated their time and expertise to recognize excellence, creativity, and impactful storytelling. Each award, GFF hopes, will contribute to the continued growth and success of these talented filmmakers.
Bidding farewell to the captivating films that graced the program, of GFF’s 6th edition Intishal Al Timimi, Festival Director, stated, “We acknowledge the contributions of every filmmaker who shared their creations with us. The spirit of the festival cherishes the passion, dedication, and creativity embedded in every film, recognizing that each holds a unique place in the tapestry of this extraordinary cinematic journey. While only some may have received the awards, every film has left an indelible mark in our minds and hearts and have made a precious contribution to the collective legacy of this year's El Gouna Film Festival."
The El Gouna Film Festival expresses once again, its gratitude to all participants, jurors, and attendees for making this cinematic celebration a resounding success. We look forward to another year of showcasing exceptional films and fostering cultural exchange through the art of filmmaking.
For more information, visit: www.elgounafilmfestival.com.
About El Gouna Film Festival
El Gouna Film Festival, founded in 2017, is 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 CineGouna Platform, an industry-oriented event created to empower Egyptian and Arab filmmakers and help them find artistic and financial support. CineGouna Platform presents the CineGouna Bridge program that provides opportunities for sharing and learning and the CineGouna SpringBoard, a project development and co-production lab. New this year is the CineGouna Market, including the Short Film Lounge, a place creating a link between emerging and established filmmakers.
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