The Cinema for Humanity Audience Award at the El Gouna Film Festival honours 'Goodbye Julia', directed by Mohamed Kordofani from Sudan.
The El Gouna Film Festival concluded its 2023 edition with a dazzling awards ceremony, applauding exceptional cinematic accomplishments from around the world. Overcoming various challenges, the festival showcased a lineup of 90 films, captivating audiences and industry professionals alike. Expressing gratitude to the esteemed juries for their dedication to the rigorous selection process, GFF celebrated outstanding achievements across various categories.
The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) Jury, featuring Indian film critic Shubhra Gupta, Norwegian Producer Ingrid Lill Høgtun, and scriptwriter and anthropologist Dr. Malaak Swed, focused on acknowledging excellence in Asian cinema. The prestigious NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film was awarded to From Abdul to Leila, directed by Leila Al Bayaty, a filmmaker of Iraqi origin based in France.
The FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Jury, including Polish film critic Ola Salwa, South African film critic Stephen Aspeling, and Egyptian journalist Zein Alabedin Khairy, celebrated outstanding debuts from Africa, Asia, and South America. The coveted FIPRESCI Prize at GFF 2023 was claimed by Hollywoodgate, directed by Ibrahim Nash’at, a Germany-based Egyptian filmmaker.
The Short Film Jury, comprised of filmmaker Lucy Kerr, Tunisian actress Mariam Al Ferjani, short film curator Céline Roustan, British-Lebanese actress Razane Jammal, and Lebanese filmmaker Wassim Geagea, spotlighted creativity and vision in storytelling. Notable winners included Les Chenilles from Lebanon (France) for Best Arab Short, At Last, the Day from Argentina for the Bronze Star, The Red Sea Makes Me Wanna Cry from Jordan for the Silver Star, and Cross My Heart and Hope to Die from the Philippines for the Golden Star.
The Feature Documentary and El Gouna Green Star Jury, featuring renowned producer Catherine Dussart, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, Sudanese cinema pioneer Ibrahim Shaddad, US-born Egyptian filmmaker Sherief Elkatsha, and producer Lamia Chraibi, recognised excellence, innovation, and social impact. The Green Star Award was claimed by The Buriti Flower from Brazil, while Machtat from Tunisia won the Best Arab Documentary Film.
The Cinema for Humanity Audience Award celebrated the feature-length film Goodbye Julia directed by Mohamed Kordofani from Sudan, embodying humanitarian themes and resonating with the festival’s film-loving audience.
The Feature Narrative Jury, comprising filmmakers and actors from around the world, recognised exceptional storytelling, performances, and cultural contributions. Outstanding achievements included If Only I Could Hibernate from Mongolia winning Best Actor for Bottsooj Uortaikh and Transient Happiness from Iraq earning Best Actress for Parwin Rajabi.
Other notable winners in this category included A Strange Path from Brazil for the Bronze Star, A Greyhound OF A Girl from Italy for the Silver Star, and In Our Day from South Korea, which received the prestigious El Gouna Star for Best Narrative Film.
As the festival bids farewell to a spectacular sixth edition, Intishal Al Timimi, Festival Director, expressed gratitude to every filmmaker, acknowledging the passion and creativity embedded in each film. Recognising the indelible mark left by every entry, Al Timimi emphasised their valuable contribution to the collective legacy of the El Gouna Film Festival.