The lineup includes films from Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Tunisia.
El Gouna Film Festival has selected 16 Arab films for the fifth edition.
The festival is scheduled to take place from October 14 to 22, 2021, in the resort town of El Gouna.
The lineup includes films from Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt,
Set for its world premiere, The Sea Ahead (Lebanon) by Ely Dagher tells the story of a young woman who makes her way back to her parent’s house in the middle of the night, leaving a bad experience behind. Feeling cornered, her anxieties resurface, leading her to find solace in another part of the Beirut life she had forsaken.
Nabil Ayouch’s Casablanca Beats (Morocco) is another addition to the Feature Narrative Competition. Selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Casablanca Beats tells the story of how former rapper Anas takes a job at a cultural centre in a working-class neighbourhood in Casablanca. Encouraged by their new teacher, his students try to free themselves from the weight of restrictive traditions, in order to live their passions and express themselves through hip-hop.
Costa Brava (Lebanon) by Mounia Akl tells the story of the free-spirited Badri family, who have escaped the toxic pollution of Beirut by seeking refuge in the utopic mountain home they have built. But unexpectedly, a garbage landfill is built right outside their fence, bringing the trash and corruption of a whole country to their doorstep. As the trash rises, so do tensions between leaving or resisting—threatening their idyllic home and family unity. The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.
Feathers is an Egyptian-French-Dutch-Greek production and Al-Zuhairi’s first feature-length work.
The 2021 Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prix and FIPRESCI award winner tells the story of Sami, an authoritative Egyptian father, who was turned into a chicken by a magician’s trick at his 6-year-old’s birthday party. The mysterious transformation sets his family off to a tragically funny adventure of self-discovery to survive without the patriarch.
Palestinian film Amira, by director Mohamed Diab, features a pan-Arab cast, including Saba Mubarak, Ali Suliman, Tara Abboud, who lands her first cinematic leading role as Amira, Kais Nashif and Waleed Zuaiter.
The film follows Amira, a bubbly 17-year-old who has grown up believing she was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father. Her sense of identity is shattered when another attempt to conceive a child with her father’s smuggled sperm reveals he is infertile.
Other films include The Blue Inmates (Lebanon) by Zeina Daccache, Captains of Za’atari (Egypt) by Ali El Arabi, Back Home (Egypt) by Sara Shazli, Nour Shams (Saudi Arabia) by Faiza Ambah, Night (Jordan, Palestine) by Ahmad Saleh, Samer Battikhi’s Arnoos (Jordan), Bilel Bali’s A Dike (Tunisia), Tallahassee (United States, Lebanon) by Darine Hotait, Khadiga (Egypt) by Morad Mostafa, Ahmed Abd El Salam’s Cai-Ber (Egypt), and Full Moon (Egypt) by Hadi El Bagoury.