Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival Announces Return After One-Year Break

Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) has announced its return for a sixth edition from October 13 to 20, 2023 after a one-year hiatus.

The future of the festival, unfolding in the Egyptian Red Sea Resort of El Gouna, had looked uncertain over the summer following the cancellation of its 2022 edition in the wake of a difficult fifth edition marked by a political backlash over the selection and resignations.

Launched in 2017, the event developed into a key film event for the Middle East and North African film industry over its first five editions as well as a destination for non-MENA film and TV professionals to connect with the region.

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Intishal Al Timimi, who has led the festival from the start, returns as festival director.

“After five successful editions, we wanted to take some time to re-evaluate the programme and explore all our options and reflect on how best to take the festival forward,” he said.

“We now return, totally re-energized, and inspired to resume our past efforts to encourage the development of the industry in the region.”

The event will be held as before under the patronage of Samih Sawiris, creator of the El Gouna resort, under the banner of his holiday destination development company Orascom Development.

His brother, the media and property tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who spearheaded the launch of the festival in 2017, will also continue to lend his support.

 “I believe that El Gouna Film Festival has been an important artistic, creative, and cinematic activity in the region. I am committed to nurturing it so that it may continue to contribute to spurring the growth of film and filmmakers: locally, regionally and globally,” said Samih Sawiris.

With the return of the festival, I renew my faith in the belief that the arts and creativity are critical to the development of society. I am excited that El Gouna will continue to be the home of one of our most constructive cultural endeavours.”

In related news, GFF announced that festival co-founder and entrepreneur Amr Mansi has been appointed the event’s Executive Director.

It said the appointment was in line with the festival’s mission to offer its delegates, guests and participants a productive experience which in turn will grow and strengthen its role as a catalyst for the development of the industry in the region.

 “I am excited for this year’s edition, which will be a milestone in the festival’s history. We are determined to create an unforgettable experience for all stakeholders and set a high standard for future editions,” said Masri.

“The El Gouna Film Festival is a testament to Egypt’s dedication to the film industry and its potential to make an impact on the global stage.”

Mansi succeeds Amal El Masri, who served as the festival’s Executive Director during the fourth and fifth editions.

“I would like to thank Amal for the significant role she played and for her great contributions during the past two editions of the festival,” said Samir Sawiris.

El Gouna Film Festival was founded in 2017 by Naguib Sawiris, in collaboration with actress and producer Bushra Rozza; CEO of I-Events Amr Mansi and film producer Kamal Zadeh.

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