EL GOUNA, Egypt, September 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Under The Slogan "Cinema For Humanity"
The first edition of El Gouna Film Festival ("GFF") inaugurated last week with a star-studded red carpet event that took place in the coastal city of El Gouna. International celebrities, including Forest Whitaker, Dylan McDermott, Michael Madsen, Emmanuelle Béart and Vanessa Williams attended the festival along with Egyptian and Arabic stars and filmmakers. Also in attendance in the festival was inspirational filmmaker Oliver Stone.
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The festival's slogan "Cinema For Humanity" reflected on its overall activities. GFF was established to underscore the role film plays in promoting cultural interaction. This was also supported by GFF's filmmaking business development and industry creative arm, CineGouna.
The CineGouna Platform, a creative business hub designed to support aspiring filmmakers in the MENA region, aims to nurture and support promising cinematic talents. The CineGouna Springboard is the project development and co-production lab offered by GFF. On the other hand, the CineGouna Bridge offers specialized panel discussions, round-tables, workshops and masterclasses presented by filmmaking professionals from around the world. Among the main speakers in the CineGouna Masterclasses were Forest Whitaker and Oliver Stone.
GFF presented a selection of recent films from around the globe with over 70 entries, including two World Premiers for the documentary "Soufra" by Thomas Morgan and Egyptian feature film "Photocopy" by Tamer El Ashry. The programme includes three main competitive sections as follows; the Feature Narrative Competition, the Feature Documentary Competition and the Short Films Competition. The festival offered competition winners monetary prizes exceeding US$ 200,000 in total.
The festival also paid tribute to three Egyptian, Arab and international leading film industry figures who have enriched the art of cinema in their own way, including international star and humanitarian Forest Whitaker, Egyptian movie star Adel Imam and Lebanese film critic Ibrahim Al Aris.
GFF Founder Naguib Sawiris said: "I've always dreamt about turning El Gouna into a hub for arts and culture. Now that we've launched GFF, the city is more complete and has almost achieved our full vision of creating a fully integrated society. I've always been a film lover, and GFF is a perfect representation of how I wanted to see the film industry in Egypt and the region. I look forward to hosting the next edition already."
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