El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) announced the recipient of the GFF Award at the Final Cut Venice 2023, an initiative aimed at supporting films in post-production from Africa and select Middle Eastern countries.
This year, the coveted award goes to the extraordinary Arab project, Sudan, When Poems Fall Apart, a Franco-Tunisian co-production directed by Hind Meddeb and produced by Echo Films.
A work currently in progress, it offers a profound portrait of Sudan, seamlessly weaving together the stories of Shajane, Muzamil, Maha, and Rufaida.
This documentary serves as both a tribute to Sudan as a living poem and a heartfelt love letter to the country. As their narratives unfold and intertwine, the film meticulously reconstructs the fragments of an ongoing revolution and the resilient voices of youth battling against oppressive forces.
In recognition of this outstanding project, GFF is pleased to award a cash prize of US $5,000 to support its post-production journey, along with an exclusive invitation to attend CineGouna Platform 2023 as a guest project. The Final Cut in Venice Workshop, where this award was presented, serves as a vital platform for filmmakers in the production stage, facilitating the post-production process and fostering invaluable partnerships with producers, distributors, post-production companies, and festival programmers.
As we continue to champion Arab talent and contribute to the growth and success of Arab cinema, sponsoring this award remains deeply rooted in GFF's philosophy. We are dedicated to fostering an environment where filmmakers from the Arab world can thrive and share their powerful narratives with a global audience.
In addition to celebrating the winner of the GFF Award, we extend our warmest congratulations to the remarkable team behind SHE WAS NOT ALONE, a project hailing from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the USA, Directed by Hussein Al-Asadi and produced by Ishtar Iraq Film Production.
SHE WAS NOT ALONE is a poetic meditation on the life of Fatima, a nomadic woman living alone in Iraq's wetlands with her beloved animals, the film compellingly explores the ecological collapse and the difficult choices faced by its characters. The film in post-production is already selected for CineGouna SpringBoard, where it will have the opportunity to contend for awards and grants from GFF and other influential industry stakeholders.
Speaking about the relevance and significance of this award Intishal Al Timimi, Festival Director GFF said "We are thrilled to recognize and support the exceptional Arab film project Sudan, When Poems Fall Apart at the Final Cut Venice 2023. This award underscores our commitment to nurturing creative voices in the Arab cinema landscape and forging lasting connections within the global film industry. Congratulations also to the teams behind She was Not Alone, that we are expecting at CineGouna SpringBoard next month. We also congratulate the project Carissa (South Africa) for deservedly winning the Final Cut Venice Award. We eagerly anticipate their future contributions to the world of cinema."
About El Gouna Film Festival (GFF)
One of the leading festivals in the MENA region, GFF aims to showcase a wide variety of films for a passionate and knowledgeable audience, while fostering better communication between cultures through the art of filmmaking. Its goal is to connect filmmakers from the region with their international counterparts in the spirit of cooperation and cultural exchange. El Gouna Film Festival has gained a reputation for showcasing a diverse lineup of films from around the world, including a strong emphasis on Arab cinema. The festival aims to promote and support the industry's growth in the region and provide a platform for filmmakers to showcase their work. The festival is also committed to the discovery of new voices and strives to be a catalyst for the development of cinema in the Arab world, especially through CineGouna Platform, an industry-oriented event created to empower Egyptian and Arab filmmakers and help them find artistic and financial support. CineGouna Platform presents the CineGouna SpringBoard and the CineGouna Bridge programs that provide opportunities for sharing and learning.