Yomna Khattab’s “Fifty Meters” (Egypt) was the big winner at the CineGouna Platform, the El Gouna Film Festival’s industry arm created to support and empower Egyptian and Arab filmmakers and help them find artistic and financial support.
This year, the CineGouna Platform disbursed awards worth $300,000 across 13 projects in development and seven films in post-production. The platform operates the SpringBoard and Bridge programs. The SpringBoard jury included Lebanese producer and film critic Mohamed Soueid, Nina Lath Gupta, former CEO of India’s National Film Development Corporation and Moroccan director and screenwriter Ismaël Ferroukhi.
“Fifty meters” won a $10,000 full film promotion package from The Cell Post Production, a $10,000 cash grant from Trend VFX, $10,000 from Synergy Films, $15,000 cash grant for script development from Mariam Naoum and Sard Writing Room, $5,000 worth of post-production services from BEE Media Productions, $10,000 from Cult, $1,000 for locations services from Clackett and a $7,000 master’s degree U.S. scholarship from Gemini Africa. The project also won an opportunity from the Arab Cinema Center to participate in the Rotterdam Film Lab.
“A Quarter to Thursday in Algiers” (France) by Sofia Djama won the Best Project in Development award, which carries a cash prize of US $15,000 and a CineGouna Platform certificate and $2,000 worth of in kind services from Clackett. “They Planted Strange Trees” (Palestine) by Hind Shoufani won the Best Film in Post-Production award, which carries a cash prize of $15,000 and The Indie Deer’s cash grant of $10,000.
“Haysh Maysh: False Drama” (Morocco) by Hicham Lasri won $30,000 as a minimum guarantee on film distribution from MAD Solutions and Ergo Media Ventures as well as a $5,000 cash grant from the Malmö Arab Film Festival.
“Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore” (Egypt) by Morad Mostafa won a $5,000 cash grant from Gemini Africa as well as EGP 50,000 ($3,180) from The Cell Post Production and was selected for the International Emerging Film Talent Association’s (IEFTA) Global Film Expression initiative. “Women of My Life” (Iraq/Switzerland) by Zahraa Ghandour won a $10,000 cash grant from Maqam Production Films and was also selected for IEFTA’s Global Film Expression initiative.
“Searching for Woody” (Egypt) by Sara Shazli won a $5,000 cash grant from BEE Media Productions in addition to $2000 worth of services from Clackett.
The $50,000 cash grant per sale from Egyptian TV network OSN prize went to “A Song for Summer and Winter” (Syria/ Denmark/Germany/U.S.) by Talal Derki and Ali Wajeeh. The film also won a full DCP package worth $10,000 from The Cell Post Production.
“Hanging Gardens” (Iraq/U.K./Palestine) by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji won $30,000 worth of services and color-grading package from Mercury Visual Solutions, while “Hyphen” (Lebanon) by Reine Razzouk won a $10,000 cash grant from Clackett.
“Happy Lovers” (France/Morocco) by Hicham Lasri won a $10,000 cash grant from Rotana, while Arab Radio and Television Network (ART) gave its $10,000 cash grant to “SINK” (Jordan/Sweden/Canada/France) by Zain Duraie.
“My Father’s Scent” (Egypt) by Mohamed Siam won a $10,000 cash grant from New Black, while “The Blind Ferryman – Al Baseer” (Iraq/Switzerland) by Ali Al-Fatlawi won $5,000 worth of post-production services from Hecat Studio.
Additionally, the jury gave a special mention to “Abo Zabaal 1989” (Egypt) by Bassam Mortada.
The filmmakers presented their films to producers, organizations, distributors and festival programmers to get their artistic guidance and had one-on-one meetings with industry experts and consultants.