7 Egyptian films confirmed for El Gouna film festival


7 Egyptian films confirmed for El Gouna film festival

Photo from the first edition of the El Gouna Film Festival. Photo: Daily News Egypt

Founded in 2017, the annual El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) strives to shed light on new voices and support the development of Arab cinema, in addition to fostering a cultural exchange between filmmakers and their audiences.

Taking place on October 14, this year’s festival features a variety of inspiring films from the Middle East and North Africa. Egypt in particular stood out in this regard, with a total of seven confirmed submissions.


Photo: GFF website

Directed by Omar El Zohairy, this film was presented in the Narrative Feature Films competition and follows the life of a family struggling to adjust after their patriarch is turned into a chicken by a magician. The film won the 2021 Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize and the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize.


Photo: GFF website

Shown as part of the Egypt-Jordan Narrative Feature Film Competition and directed by Mohamed Diab, Amira follows the life of a teenage girl who believes she was conceived using smuggled sperm from her father, who is imprisoned. She later finds out that her father is, in fact, barren, which leads to a struggle over her sense of identity.

Captains of Za’atari

Photo: GFF website

Directed by Ali El Arabi, this documentary won three awards in the CineGouna Platform 2019. It was submitted as part of the feature documentary competition and tells the story of two men who find solace in their love of football as ‘they live in a refugee camp.

Back home

Photo: GFF website

This documentary tells the story of a woman who, after living abroad for ten years, finds herself trapped in her childhood home due to the pandemic. Directed by Sara Shazli and submitted in the Feature Documentary Competition, the moving tale features precious moments captured with the woman’s father on film.


Photo: GFF website

Featured in the Short Film Competition, this film tells the story of a young mother’s often uncomfortable interactions in the city of Cairo – a journey she has to endure on her own after her husband leaves to work in another city. The film is directed by Morad Mostafa.


Photo: GFF website

Directed by Ahmed Abd El Salam, this candidacy for the short film competition follows the life of a young woman who tries to flee her native country. Right before her departure, however, she experienced internal and external struggles; the first with itself, the second with a patriarchal society.

Full moon

Photo: GFF website

Selected as an “official selection out of competition”, this film features a starred cast of Khaled El Nabawy, Shereen Reda, Ahmed El Fishawy, Ghada Adel and Yasmin Raeis, among others. Directed by Hadi El Bagoury, the film follows five different love stories used to describe societal beliefs that can destroy a romance.

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