Amir Ramsis - Egypt Today. Amir Ramsis - Egypt Today.

Ramses reveals to ET GFF’s movie line-ups, Youssif Chahine’s program

Tue, Sep. 4, 2018
CAIRO – 4 September 2018: With the clock ticking on the kick-off of the much-anticipated El Gouna International Film Festival, we keep hearing more on the festival’s programs and enviable line-ups.

On the sidelines of El Gouna’s Film Festival press conference, Egypt Today sat down with Amir Ramsis, the artistic director of the much-buzzed-about cinematic celebration, on more amusing bits.

Q: What’s going to be different about this year’s edition?

A: Rather than being preoccupied with how to realize a better go-getter, we are mainly seeking a scale-up in the quality of movies partaking in the festival’s different various competitions during its second edition. We had a very promising edition last year and we are looking forward to step up the game this year, with more than 80 distinguishable movies slated to screen this edition’.

We also have a whopping number of the internationally acclaimed movies, including award-winning Cannes movies as well as a handful of films that previously screened at the Toronto and Venice international film festivals.

I am extremely happy with the special programs announced to be held at the festival in honor of deceased international directors Youssef Chahine, Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini. I learned the art of making movies from Chahine, who I worked with for five years and Fellini, who has a very impactful influence on me as a director.

These programs will see the screening of each director’s respective movies and Chahine’s one will also celebrate outstanding music from Chahine’s movies.

In your viewpoint, how does the GFF help promote the cinema industry?

A: The GFF enables many international movies premiering in Egypt during the festival to screen in Egyptian movie theatres. Following the last year’s edition, up to 11-13 participant European movies later screened at the Panorama of the European Film.

El Gouna offers a distinguished platform for several worthy movies to be screened and displayed to the public, given the huge breakthrough witnessed lately in the cinema industry in the entire region and Egypt in particular.

What about the Egyptian movies participating in the festival’s official competition?

A: This edition will see “Yomeddine” competing in the festival's feature movie category, which is one of the movies that I am really proud of, and there is also “Al Helm El Bae’ed” (The Faraway Dream), which will partake in the festival’s documentary film category, and was previously selected to participate at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this year.

“Shoka Wa Sekina” (A Knife and Fork), featuring Menna Shalaby, Iyad Nassar and Asser Yassin, is participating in El Gouna’s short movies category. This movie was produced and made during the year following the first edition of El Gouna, where its script was awarded a grant support after it won the best short movie script award on the CineGouna platform.

Also, the makers of “Photocopy” are stepping in with “Ma Te’lash A’an El Hageb” (Ain’t nobody Better than You), which is slated to compete as well in the festival’s short films category.

Are the movies participating in the festival’s second edition better or worse in quality than the ones featured in last year’s edition?

A: The number of movies participating in this edition is larger than last year’s, which attests to the qualitative leap the regional cinema industry is making.

Top brass at El Gouna international Film Festival (GIFF) held a press conference on August 28 to announce the details of its second edition, which will take place at the resort town of El Gouna from September 20 to 28.


The press conference was attended by GIFF founder Naguib Sawiris, co- founder Samih Sawiris, GIFF director Intishal al-Tamimi, Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat, executive director of GIFF Amr Mansy and GIFF co-founder Bushra Rozza.

Born in 1979, Amir Ramses is an Egyptian renowned filmmaker and a board member of the El Gouna Film festival. His best-known work is an award-winning documentary on the history of Jewish communities in Egypt.

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