CAIRO - 26 September 2021: As part of its enduring efforts to showcase the best works that international cinema has to offer, El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) is delighted to announce the selection of a variety of international films that will be shown in its highly anticipated 5th edition, scheduled to take place from October 14 – 22, 2021, in the resort town of El Gouna.
The increased number of films that were released at international film festivals this year facilitated the selection process.
This is especially noticeable given the diversity in artistic styles, themes, and geographical variation in addition to a balance between selecting films by globally distinguished directors and aspiring filmmakers whose films have achieved recent successes and garnered renown within the international film community.
From the official competition of the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, two French films are participating in GFF: Stéphane Brizé’s Another World and Audrey Diwan’s Happening.
Another World tells the story of Philippe, an executive for an industrial conglomerate, as he faces a difficult moment that puts his life, family and career on the edge and pushes him to make choices that are difficult on all levels. While the 2021 Venice International Film Festival Golden Lion winner Happening revolves around Anne, a young French woman who tries to get a then-illegal abortion in 1960’s France.
Also from the 2021 Venice International Film Festival official competition, Mexican director Michel Franco’s Sundown. Showcasing the director’s awaited return, the film stars Tim Roth, who plays the role of Neil Bennet, the rich Briton vacationing with his family at a luxury resort in Acapulco, while seemingly appearing like he wants for nothing.
Following the custom of Franco’s films, the film’s events escalate and gradually unfold without being disclosed through dialogue via a death in the family, forcing Neil to return home, which he tries to postpone.
From Finland, GFF has confirmed the participation of Teemu Nikki’s The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic, an extraordinary film about Jaakko, a blind and wheelchair-bound man who wants to meet his girlfriend Sirpa, who lives far away. Despite his extreme disability and the fact that he has never left his house without help, Jaakko decides to accept the risk, transforming what seems like an ordinary trip into an extraordinary road-trip film, which won the Audience Award at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival.
Another film participating in GFF is Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment No.6, which takes place entirely in a train compartment, in which an extremely private human bond forms between a young Finnish woman and a Russian miner. Despite the fact that they don’t seem similar on the outside, the trip reveals their longing for a human connection. This film won the Grand Prix at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
Made by the famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou, One Second, which opened at the 2021 San Sebastián International Film Festival, is another addition to GFF. Set during the Cultural Revolution in China, the film tells the story of an unidentified prisoner who escapes from a labor camp and risks everything to find a stolen film reel that features a clip of his long-lost daughter. On his journey, he meets a miserable orphan girl, haunted by her own loss.
From Croatia, Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s Murina is also participating. The film revolves around an old family friend’s visit breaking the isolation of a father and daughter on a Croatian island, while tensions rise. The film won the Camera d'Or Award at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
Another addition from the 2021 Cannes Film Festival is Kira Kovalenko’s Unclenching the Fists, which tells the story of a young woman who struggles to break free from the chokehold of her family in a former mining town in North Ossetia, despite the fact that she loves her family as much as she rejects it.
Also participating in GFF is Jacques Audiard’s most recent film, Les Olympiades, which was shown at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. The film’s story takes place in Paris, where Emilie meets Camille, who is attracted to Nora, who suddenly befriends Amber. Three girls and a boy redefine what love truly means in the modern age.
Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival, Dénes Nagy’s Natural Light. Set during World War II, the film tells the story of a simple farmer who works as a soldier in the Hungarian army and ends up witnessing a horrific mass massacre.
Lastly, famed German actress and director Maria Schrader’s I Am Your Man is also among the selection. The film tells the story of Alma, a researcher at the famous Pergamon Museum, who is persuaded to participate in exceptional research to obtain her research grant. In this research, Alma will be required to spend three weeks with a humanoid robot that’s designed to fit her personality and needs, with the artificial intelligence needed to be her perfect companion.