Once upon a time, there was a dream of creating a huge event that could make Egypt a world hub for all human beings.
And the question was, what could make all the people get together despite their differences?
Art was the answer.
Filmmakers have the option to reveal their thoughts and culture through a movie, and from there, GFF is here.
The target was so simple that Gouna became a cultural hub, containing all the people’s differences in harmony, and so it is.
El Gouna is one of the most modern cities in Egypt; it was created in 1989 by Orascom Developments, and its owner is Samih Sawiris.
From the beginning, Gouna’s plans were to become a global city thus putting Egypt on the map.
Gouna takes a great spot on the Red Sea. European and American architects designed it and built it on global standards to become a world tourism hub.
The Start of El Gouna Film Festival
Naguib Sawiris, Samih Sawiris’ older brother, had brought up the idea of such a festival. And it was originally about bringing the world to Egypt, with all its cultures.
The Festival History
The first edition of the GFF was in September 2017, and it was a huge success.
A lot of filmmakers were participating from around the globe, competing in three different sections:
1. Feature narrative competition
2. Feature documentary competition
3. Short films competition.
From that time, GFF has become a yearly event, growing year after year, reaching more people from around the world.
The festival also was encouraging the young Egyptian and Arab talents by organizing the “CineGouna Platform”. Talents could be connected to some producers, directors, and distributors who will enhance the Cinema business in Egypt with some new talents with new mindsets.
For three consecutive years, the festival was held on time, until the last El Gouna Film Festival 2019.
But what about the 2020 festival, during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Due to what the world is facing, GFF organizers were about to cancel the event. But, the Sawiris family insisted to not cancel the festival this year due to COVID-19, but prepare with all needed precautions.
Naguib Sawiris claimed that this is going to be a good opportunity for people to cheer up and celebrate after a very stressful year, and since the last Gouna Film Festival 2019, people are waiting for the next one, so it’s going to be so disappointed if covid caused the cancelation of the festival this year.
Also, Samih Sawiris also claimed that even though it was difficult to organize the festival during a pandemic, but it was never impossible. Samih added that it’s a huge opportunity to prove to the world that Egypt is safe and could maintain such a huge event during difficult times.
What’s going to be different in El Gouna Film Festival 2020?
First of all, the Festival usually took place during September, as the last Gouna Film Festival 2019 had occurred from the 19th to the 27th of September.
But this year, the organizers had decided to delay the event a little bit to take place from October 23 to 31 2020. This should give them time to make the resort safe and ready to host all the festival guests, and to guarantee a safe and happy festival.
Also, a new conference and culture center did not exist during El Gouna Film Festival 2019.
Gouna Conference and Cultural center (GCCC), covering 8000 square meters, will host the main festival events. It provides wide-open spaces with a unique design that will give a new cinematic experience.
El Gouna Egypt Film Festival proved a huge success during three previous editions, consequently, everyone is waiting for the 2020 edition.
The Festival is taking some serious steps toward globalization, with a promising future to be one of the most successful film festivals worldwide.