After a one-year hiatus, the much-missed El Gouna Film Festival (Oct. 13 – 20) is back and poised to make an increased impact. Joining beloved festival director Intishal Al-Timimi this time around is esteemed Egyptian producer-director Marianne Khoury in the artistic director position.
Khoury’s long-time championship of female filmmakers and themes finds an echo in the impressive first wave of programming just announced. Of the 19 features, 10 boast a distaff helmer or co-director.
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The kudo-laden titles include “Anatomy of a Fall” from Justine Triet (Golden Palm, Cannes), “On the Adamant” from Nicolas Philibert (Golden Bear, Berlin), “Scrapper” by Charlotte Regan (Grand Jury Prize, Sundance), “Stepne” from Maryna Vroda (Best Director, Locarno) and “The Strange Path” from Guto Parente, which claimed every prize in Tribeca’s international competition.
Among the other buzzed-about auteur titles are Todd Haynes’ “May December” and Wang Bing’s epic documentary “Youth.” Emerging talents Tibor Bánóczki and Sarolta Szabó offer dystopian hybrid-animation “White Plastic Sky,” while a robust documentary selection includes Tatiana Huezo’s “The Echo” and Sylvain Georges’ “Obscure Night – Goodbye Here, Anywhere.”
Among the gems by debuting and sophomore talent are Delphine Deloget’s “All to Play For,” Nelson Yeo’s “Dreaming & Dying,” Lucy Kerr’s “Family Portrait,” Zoljargal Purevdash’s “If Only I Could Hibernate,” Vladimir Perisic’s “Lost Country,” Lila Avilés’ “Totem” and Lubdhak Chatterjee’s “Whispers of Fire and Water.”
Rounding out the announced titles are “The Buriti Flower” from João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora, and “The Shadowless Tower” from Zhang Lu.
Al-Timimi says: “We sought, as always, films that resonate with authenticity, challenge conventional narratives, and spark conversations across cultures. Each film we have selected is a testament to the filmmaker’s unique voice and perspective, embodying the essence of our festival’s commitment to innovation, diversity, and the celebration of the art of cinema.”
Noting that El Gouna always strives to celebrate the full spectrum of cinema, Khoury adds: “With this lineup, we are not only paying homage to the masterful works of established filmmakers but also championing the voices that shape the future of our industry. This year’s selections promise a cinematic journey that resonates with both the seasoned cinephiles and those eager to explore new horizons.”
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