Wearing two hats, Amir Ramses is both writer and director of the selected Egyptian film entry for CIFF (Cairo International Film Festival 2020). We tore this talented man away from his other role, that of the artistic director of El Gouna Film Festival, to learn more about his film. Amir Ramses
By Aliaa Elsherbini
How has El Gouna Film Festival honed its approach in terms of film selection?
El Gouna Film Festival has made it its annual quest to carefully curate quality cinematic works as well as highlight captivating emerging and established talents in order to showcase their works with our audience of filmmakers, industry experts, and cinephiles.
For GFF’s upcoming 5th edition, we kept this same vigor and thirst for world-class films, which culminated in a festival program that comprises 75 films. With a focus on quality over quantity, GFF continues to refine the Egyptian cinematic sphere in innovative ways, as it leads the vanguard of change in film in the MENA region.
GFF also focuses on underscoring the mark film leaves across social communities as well as the filmmaking one. Under the umbrella of its championed cause of Cinema for Humanity, GFF has been doling out its Cinema for Humanity Audience Award, which highlights films that exemplify humanitarian themes as well as those that aid us in remembering what life is truly about. Amir Ramses
In addition to this, GFF has also meticulously supported multiple artistic and humanitarian causes through the activities of its industry arm, CineGouna Platform, which aims to support and empower Arab and Egyptian filmmakers through artistic mentorships and opportunities for financial assistance.
CGP also includes yearly discussions and thought-provoking panels, which included timely, highly complex topics such as: Women Empowerment Through Film, which highlights the importance of female representation and telling the stories of women through the film medium.
For our 5th edition, El Gouna Film Festival will maintain and innovate these factors that represent its core theme.
What are the new additions that El Gouna Film Festival is employing for its 5th edition?
This year, we will steadily maintain the attributes that culminate in its theme of Cinema for Humanity through its film program as well as through the inauguration of its very own environmental award, El Gouna Green Star. Amir Ramses
El Gouna Green Star came into being after one fruitful post-screening seminar during the 4th edition of GFF. Integrated into GFF’s annual program, this award will highlight films, across all sections, that share knowledge or raise awareness on issues relating to the environment as well as issues that relate to ecology or wildlife. It will also be considering films that tackle sustainability and its importance.
It’s notable that one of the films eligible for El Gouna Green Star Award, Mounia Akl’s Costa Brava, Lebanon, has received Toronto International Film Festival’s NETPAC Award, which makes us look forward even more to this upcoming edition.
Through this award, El Gouna Film Festival hopes to inspire thought-provoking dialogue regarding the prevalent yet undiscussed environmental issues plaguing our communities.
How does El Gouna Film Festival plan to develop in future editions?
With every new edition, El Gouna Film Festival plans to surpass the editions that came before through a dynamic artistic program, appealing panels, and unique activities that turn each edition of GFF into an experience of its own.
In the realm of film that engages human sensibilities as well as satiating our audience’s cinematic palate, GFF constantly revitalizing its tenets with new additions that aid it in realizing its main mission of celebrating life and influencing it as positively as it can—a mission it will continually keep upholding.
This year, GFF has invigorated its assets through El Gouna Green Star Award and a diverse program that handpicked the finest films that international and regional cinema had to offer. Amir Ramses
For the upcoming editions, we hope to carry on with the same stamina and artistic integrity to integrate even more inspiring elements that will create a memorable experience for our attendees.