The first El-Gouna Film Festival (GFF) kicked off on Friday evening in Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of El-Gouna, hosting dozens of movie stars and filmmakers.
The annual GFF is seen as an attempt to revive Egyptian cinema.
Scheduled for Sept. 22-29, the GFF film gala will screen 69 films from 36 countries, including 16 feature films, 18 short films and 12 long documentaries, in addition to 19 films outside the official competition and four in a special program.
During the opening ceremony, Adel Imam, a superstar and top comedian in Egypt and the Arab world, received the Career Achievement Award in appreciation of his rich cinematic history.
“Our slogan this edition is ‘Cinema for Humanity,’ and our aim is to employ cinema to promote humanitarian values and bring them back to our society,” said GFF Founder Naguib Sawiris. “Adel Imam has brought joy to this nation and drawn smiles on many faces, and he has always been a defender of our unity against extremism and terrorism, and this is why we are paying tribute to him.”
The GFF also plans to honor American actor and director Forest Whitaker for his distinguished artistic and humanitarian careers at the closing ceremony.
The gala presented “Sheikh Jackson” as its opening movie, which is directed by Egyptian filmmaker Amr Salama.
The film is to be released in Egyptian cinemas later this month and has been put forward by Egypt as a candidate for a best foreign film Oscar nomination.
Stars attending the opening ceremony included: Egyptian actors Adel Imam, Ahmed Malek, Ahmed El-Fishawy and Farouk El-Fishawy, Tunisian singer Latifa, Egyptian actresses Yosra El-Lozy, Hala Sedki, Elham Shahin and Bushra, Palestinian-Jordanian actress Mais Hamdan, and Lebanese actress Cyrine Abdel Nour.
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