Roundup: Egypt's week-long film festival concludes with 224,000-USD awards announced

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HURGHADA, Egypt, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The third edition of El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) concluded Friday night in Egypt's Red Sea resort town of El Gouna with a star-studded ceremony.

Held at the El Gouna's Marina Theater, winners of the GFF's awards were announced. The awards of the competitions for this edition amounted to 224,000 U.S. dollars.

The closing ceremony's surprise was the attendance of famous action star Steven Seagal. His participation was not previously announced by the GFF's management.

As one of the largest celebrations of the film industry in the Middle East, the event was held from September 19 to 27, during which more than 80 movies were screened.

During the festival, 12 films participated in the Feature Narrative Competition, nine in the Feature Documentary Competition, 23 in the Short Film Competition, as well as three in GFF's Special Presentations program.

The festival also screened 21 films in its Out of Competition section.

El Gouna Golden Star award for Narrative Film, worth 50,000 dollars, went to Sudanese film "You will Die at 20", while "Corpus Christi" by Polish director Jan Komasa won the award of silver star for Narrative Film.

The bronze star for Narrative Film went to "Adam", a film by Moroccan director Maryam Touzani.

The award of El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Narrative Film, a 20,000-dollar worth prize, went to "Papicha" by Algerian director Mounia Meddour.

For Feature Documentary Competition, Suhaib Gasmelbari's "Talking about Trees" won the golden star for Documentary Film worth 30,000 dollars.

The second and third prizes for Documentary Film went to Hassen Ferhani's "143 Sahara Street" and Aboozar Amini's film "Kabul, City in the Wind" respectively.

The award for the Best Arab Documentary Film went to "Ibrahim: A Fate to Define" by Palestinian filmmaker Lina Al Abed.

Meanwhile, the film "Exam" by director Sonia K. Hadad won the first prize in the Short Film Competition, while "Les Miserables" by Ladj Ly won the Cinema for Humanity Audience Award, set for a film that exemplifies a humanitarian theme.

"This year we were very lucky in attracting new movies that have not been shown anywhere else," Egyptian business tycoon and founder of the GFF, Naguib Sawiris, told Xinhua.

He added that the sessions of the GFF were very well attended and the speakers were highly recognized international figures.

"The interaction of the public with these workshops and sessions was amazing ... everything has been escalated to the maximum," the GFF founder said.

Meanwhile, Intishal al-Tamimi, manager of the GFF, said he is satisfied with the results and achievements of the festival, adding that the event had "a very good program."

"There was a great engagement between the program and the public ... all these results led to a very serious film festival and I think the GFF is the most attractive festival in the region," he said.

For the next edition, he said, the GFF management is ready to make more progress, bring in more films and invite more guests. Enditem

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