The sixth edition of the El Gouna Film Festival is set to open this December with ten AFAC-supported films from Morocco, Sudan, Iraq, Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt featuring in its line-up.
Premiering in the Feature Documentary Competition section is Iraqi director Leila al Bayaty’s “From Abdul to Leila”. The film recounts the odyssey of Leila, a French woman of Iraqi origin. Following an accident and years of exile Leila reconnects with her father, a dissident of Saddam Hussein, by learning Arabic and singing her story, driven by an irrepressible desire to live.
Another odyssey, from Tunisia this time, takes two sisters on opposite paths while their mother navigates between the two. All three are machtat (wedding musicians). “Machtat” by Tunisian filmmaker Sonia Ben Slama will also screen in the Feature Documentary Competition section of the festival.
On its part, the festival’s Feature Narrative Competition section will showcase two AFAC-supported films. “Indivision”, by Moroccan director Leila Kilani, follows Lina who lives with her father Anis and grandmother Amina in a decrepit mansion over the hills of Tangier. Lina and Anis’ shared passion for birds will generate unpredictable events. The second feature film, “Goodbye Julia”, by Sudanese filmmaker Mohamed Kordofani, tells the story of two women who represent the complicated relationship and differences between northern and southern Sudanese communities.
Three film projects in development, and three others in post-production, will screen in the framework of the festival’s industry platform, CineGouna Springboard. Among the films in development are “So the Lovers Could Come Out Again” by George Peter Barbari (Lebanon); “The 4 Choices of Albert - A Free Soul” by Hala Galal (Egypt); and “Theft of Fire” by Amer Shomali (Palestine). The films in post-production include “Land of Women” by Nada Riyadh (Egypt); “She Was Not Alone” by Hussein Al-Asadi (Iraq); and “Sudan, When Poems Fall Apart” by Hind Meddeb (Tunisia).
AFAC’s Grants Manager Soleil Gharbieh will be present at the festival from December 17 to 21. Follow our social media stories and posts for updates and films screening times, or visit the festival’s official website.