The 4th El Gouna Film Festival ran from October 23rd to 31st. Based in the seaside resort of Gouna, Egypt, this annual event shows new films from around the world. Its aim is to encourage intercultural interaction and understanding through cinema.
This year’s theme was “Man and dream”. The highlight of the opening evening was the screening of Kaouther Ben Hania’s L’Homme qui a vendu sa peau. 63 feature films, 18 shorts and 10 documentaries were screened – with each screening carefully respecting the health measures in force.
More than 18 awards were presented at the closing ceremony on October 30th.
Among the award-winning films, L’Homme qui a vendu sa peau received the El Gouna Star for Best Arab Narrative Feature. Jasmila Žbanic’s Bosnian film Quo vadis, Aida? received the Golden Star for Best Feature while Jasna Djuricic won the Star for Best Actress in the same film, which is about a UN translator, Aida, trying to save her family during the 1995 Bosnian War.
The Golden Star for Best Short went to the Italian director Jasmine Trinca for Being My Mom and Best Arabic Short to Egyptian Sameh Alaa for I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face.
Palestinian film-maker Ameen Nayfeh won the FIPRESCI Award and the Cinema for Humanity Audience Award for 200 Meters. The film’s main actor, Ali Suliman received the Star for Best Actor. Directly inspired by the director’s own experience, 200 Meters is about two people, Mustafa and Salwa, husband and wife, who live in two Palestinian villages 200 metres apart. But as well as the distance, the two villages are separated by a wall. One day, Mustafa receives news that his son has been involved in an accident. At the checkpoint he is refused entry and has to stay on the other side.