The Intl. Emerging Film Talent Assn. (IEFTA) returns to El Gouna, Egypt, with two ongoing partnerships at the fifth film festival, running Oct. 14-22.
For the fifth year, IEFTA and its Global Film Expression Mentorship program will participate in the CineGouna Platform, which enables Arab film directors and producers with projects in development or films in post-production to find creative and financial support.
And for the third year in El Gouna (after two years in Cannes), IEFTA and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees are presenting Refugee Voices in Film. This year’s program explores how filmmakers use different film formats, including narrative, documentary and animation, to depict stories of refugees around the globe.
The fest at the Egyptian resort town of El Gouna, on the Red Sea, has a longtime mandate of “cinema for humanity,” and the programs and films selected reflect this.
Established in 2006, IEFTA has driven institutional change and built programs by partnering with festivals and film labs across the world. Filmmakers have represented Africa, the Middle East/North Africa region, Europe and Asia.
Global Film Expression discovers and nurtures emerging filmmakers from less fortunate economies. IEFTA has been selecting filmmakers for its mentorship, working with the festival, the CineGouna program, and the region’s directors and producers.
Among alumni of the program are several filmmakers who’ve found international distribution: Ali El Arabi, “Captains of Zaatari” (Egypt); Kesmat El Sayed, “My Mohamed Is Different” (Egypt); May Odeh, “200 Meters” (Palestine); and Ruba Atieh, “A Home of One’s Own” (Lebanon).
“Captains of Zaatari” (shown in the photo) will be presented in competition at the festival. It will also be eligible for the annual Cinema for Humanity Audience Award, which honors films that exemplify humanitarian themes.
Refugee Voices is an example of GFF’s mandate on Cinema For Humanity. A one-hour screening will follow a 30-minute panel and Q&A with UNHCR representatives and the filmmakers who collaborated on these stories.
Refugee Voices in Film includes short stories presented on the day of the panel. They include “The Journey,” “Samira’s Story,” “Zahra & Nura’s Story,” “Haweya’s Story,” “Teklebrhan’s Story,” “Eritrean Stories — Narratives inspired by True Events — Khadija’s Story” and “Amina & Sahra’s Story.” The films were selected by IEFTA and UNHCR.