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The Middle East is getting a new film festival.
Located in a resort town by the Red Sea, the first edition of the El Gouna Film Festival is set to take place Sept. 22-29, and has been launched under the slogan “Cinema for Humanity.”
The new event has come with the backing of Egyptian telecom billionaire Naguib Sawiris plus actress and producer Bushra Rozzo, alongside Amr Mansi, CEO of I-Events, and producer Kamal Zadeh. Intishal Al Timimi, a widely-respected figure in the regional film industry and previously director of Abu Dhabi’s now-shuttered SANAD fund, will act as the festival director.
Although the El Gouna Film Festival will be largely funded through private sector sponsors, it will also be presented under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.
“We are honored to be announcing the launch of the El Gouna Film Festival, which aims to activate the cinematic and cultural scene in El Gouna and create the opportunity to develop, encourage and support all contemporary forms of creative expression in the MENA region, especially for the younger generations,” said Sawiris.
He added that the festival would focus on highlighting the work of Egypt and Arab cinema’s new generation of filmmakers, saying: “Seeing that the world is suffering from serious conflicts across different regions, art has always been a means of uniting people; thus, the chosen theme for the GFF is ‘Cinema for Humanity’ as we aspire that this festival will have a positive impact on our society at large and will position us as leaders in the filmmaking industry.”
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