EL GOUNA: Egypt’s annual El Gouna Film Festival is returning this week with its fifth edition.
The star-studded event, which will kick off on Oct. 14 in Egypt’s resort town, will screen films from countries around the world including France, Germany, Russia, Finland, Australia and more. The festival will also show a selection of award-winning Arabic movies from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Tunisia and others.
From narratives to documentaries and short movies, here is a list of the films that the festival will present.
“Nour Shams” is directed by Faiza Ambah, an award-winning writer, director, and producer based in Saudi Arabia.
Her film is about an Uber driver in Jeddah named Shams, a single mother with two obsessions: her only child, Makki, and her African desserts.
Her son enters a hip-hop competition that could lead him to win an extended trip to France and could separate them for the first time. As the story unfolds, she is forced to choose between her son and finding herself.
Directed by renowned French-Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, the film tells the story of a former rapper, Anas, who takes a job at a cultural center in a working-class neighborhood in Casablanca.
Encouraged by their new teacher, his students try to free themselves from the weight of restrictive traditions in order to live out their passions and express themselves through hip-hop.
The film, which was in competition for the prized Palme d’Or, had its world premiere in the official competition of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
It is competing for the feature narrative award at El Gouna Film Festival.
‘Captains of Za’atari’
Egyptian filmmaker Ali El-Arabi’s “Captains of Za’atari” is competing for the feature documentary award.
Set in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, the film follows best friends Mahmoud and Fawzi, who remain hopeful of becoming professional soccer players and practice day in and day out to this end.
When a world-renowned sports academy visits, both friends get a chance to make their dream come true. At that point, their stories take an unexpected turn.
El-Arabi’s first feature documentary, the film was nominated for multiple awards, including the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
“Full Moon,” which will premiere at the event, is directed by Egyptian filmmaker Hadi El-Bagoury, the director behind the Coco Chanel play led by Egyptian star Sherihan.
While following social media, radio presenter Mourad comes across multiple stories, including that of Dr. Alia, who was sued after being accused of having an affair with an assistant professor. His research draws attention to something called the “full moon,” which is rumored to destroy love.
Egyptian director Omar Al-Zuhairi’s film won the Nespresso Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week in July.
The 115-minute film tells the story of a magic trick gone wrong at a children’s birthday party, with the authoritative father of the family turning into a chicken.
The film, competing for the feature narrative award, is an Egyptian-French-Dutch-Greek production and Al-Zuhairi’s first feature-length work.