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4th El-Gouna Film Festival kicks off despite 'hardships of the cinema industry this year'
Published in Ahram Online on 24 - 10 - 2020

In a breathtaking yet cautious ceremony, El-Gouna Film Festival (GFF) held the opening ceremony for its fourth edition at its newly launched cultural hub, the Gouna Conference and Cultural Centre (GCCC).
The ceremony opened on 23 October evening with the voice of Lebanese singer Rami Ayash in an uplifting emotional song.
The ceremony was presented by Helda Khalifa, sending love from Beirut to Egypt in these unusual times.
In a very moving gesture, El-Gouna Founder Samih Sawiris paid tribute to the late CEO of Orascom Khaled Bishara.
Renowned set designer Onsi Abou Seif received a Career Achievement Award and dedicated it to his late mentor, celebrated Egyptian filmmaker Shady Abdel-Salam.
4th El Gouna Film Festival opening ceremony (Photo: Soha Hesham)
Egyptian singer Farah Debany sang a song accompanied by a short film in the background recalling the ones who left us this year including Ragaa Al-Geddawy, Mahmoud Yassin, Magda, Montaser Bellah, George Sidhom and Samir Bahzan.
The GFF's director Intishal Al Timimi gave a speech about the hardships of the cinema industry this year; however, his brilliant team overcame all these hard circumstances and made this edition possible. As Al-Timimi underscored during the previous press conference, "The festival will succeed this year and it will be an investment for years to come. We worked hard this year to present a unique edition despite the challenging circumstances.”
During the opening ceremony, the acclaimed actor Khaled El-Nabawy granted the Omar Sharif Award to French-American actor Saïd Taghmaoui, who had the chance to know Sharif personally and acted alongside him in the film Hidalgo in 2004.
Shereen Reda gave an emotional speech about her late father Mahmoud Reda, founder of Reda troupe for folk dancing, followed by a folk performance of the famous Luxor Baladna, originally by Reda troupe.
4th El Gouna Film Festival opening ceremony (Photo: Soha Hesham)
The opening film was The Man Who Sold His Skin, directed by Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania. The film stars Yahya Mahayni, Dea Liane, Monica Bellucci, Koen de Bouw, Darina Al Joundi, and Christian Vadim.
The 4th edition of El Gouna Film Festival is taking place between 23 and 31 October 2020.
The organisers revealed that the festival will hold many of its activities at outdoor venues, amid the “challenging circumstances” of the coronavirus pandemic.
The festival will also enhance its virtual capabilities to allow greater online participation.
4th El Gouna Film Festival opening ceremony (Photo: Soha Hesham)
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