The 1st Edition of Hurghada Youth Film Festival
Thursday، 21 September 2023 - 12:00 AM
The festival, which will be held from September 21 to 27, is organized by Funoon for Culture and Media Foundation under the auspices of the Egyptian ministries of culture, tourism, antiquities, youth and sports and the Red Sea governorate.
The festival is headed by the screenwriter Mohamed El-Bassousy.
The festival features more than 20 films from 28 countries, which will be screened in the festival's three competitive segments: feature film competition, short film competition, and student film competition. They were chosen from more than 300 submissions.
The festival is also presenting numerous talks and workshops that target young and aspiring filmmakers.
The festival witnesses the attendance of officials from the ministries of culture, tourism, antiquities, youth and sports, the Red Sea governorate, a constellation of stars, and critics.
It also witnesses the participation of a number of stars and artists. This includes Egypt's renowned actor and president of the Cairo International Film Festival, Hussein Fahmy, Safia Al-Omari, Elham Shaheen, Dalia El-Beheiry, Hani Salama, Mahmoud Hamida, Amir Shaheen, Ahmed Wafik, Samira Mohsen, Sabry Fawaz, Mustafa Haridi, director Omar Abdel Aziz, head of the Federation of Artistic Syndicates, Sulaf Fawakherji, and Dr. Khaled Abdel Jalil, advisor to the Minister of Culture for cinema affairs.About Hurghada International Youth Film Festival
Hurghada International Youth Film Festival is an annual festival organized by Funoon for Culture and Media Foundation under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, supported by Egyptian and international public and private institutions in Hurghada, Red Sea Governorate, Egypt.
Hurghada International Youth Film Festival aims at promoting Egyptian cinema, cinematic culture, and support the work of young filmmakers or tackles issues related to youth situation in Egypt and the world, as well as introducing cinematic works from various geographical regions.
The festival management has chosen the Sunrise Garden Beach Hotel to be the venue for the festival, as the hotel’s marina area will host the opening and closing ceremonies.
Writer and screenwriter Mohamed El-Basousy , head of the festival, said: “The choice of Sunrise Garden Beach Resort came after an on-site inspection of a large number of hotels and tourist resorts, and it was found with the work team that Sunrise is the most suitable place for the festival and its activities to be held because it has a privileged location and high-quality service, as well as a marina inside the Sea, which will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, and a global stage will be built specifically for this event, which enjoys media sponsorship and great press and television coverage, in addition to the major platforms in Egypt and the world, as it is the first qualitative festival in the region.”
The opening ceremony
The ceremony began by showing clips from Egyptian cinema classics, then reviewing the list of jury members and various competitions.
The opening ceremony of the festival was performed by the Spice Mix band, led by the music distributor Hamada Al-Bili, and an operetta was presented, “Dream of Youth Cinema,” written by the poet Moheb Ghbar, composed by Bilal Muhammad, and musically arranged by Hamada Al-Bili. The opening ceremony witnessed the screening of the short film “Barsoum is Looking for a Job,” directed by Mohamed Bayoumi.
The festival administration chose the statue of Tutankhamun “Alka” as the festival’s prize.
The festival also allocated a green award, awarded by the jury of the official competition for the best film that addresses environmental issues. This is in addition to developing the catalog and program of performances printed on the cards of the festival attendees, which is known as the “QR Code,” within the framework of supporting environmental conservation initiatives.
The feature film competition jury includes filmmaker Jivan Avetisyan (Armenia), director Salah Issaad (Algeria), and actress Dalia El-Beheiry (Egypt).
The short film competition jury consists of director Roman Dorofeev (Russia), artist Omar El-Jaser (Saudi Arabia) and actor Sabry Fawaz (Egypt).
The student film competition jury consists of Khaled Bahgat, Hanan Youssef and Ghada Gobbara.
The management of the Hurghada Youth Cinema Festival, in its first and inaugural edition honoured the star, Hani Salama. This is in recognition of his diverse and distinguished cinematic journey.
Salama expressed his happiness and appreciation for being honoured during the first edition of the festival. He stated that this honour means a lot to him, especially since it comes from a distinguished festival for a very special cinema that is only seen in festivals and occupies a leading position in major awards competitions.
Salama confirmed that cinema fundamentally relies on youth through its themes and stars. It is a constantly renewed industry that cares not only about the commercial side. He also pointed out that holding an international film festival in the city of Hurghada is a cultural and artistic beacon that illuminates the Egyptian arts sky. Therefore, this honour is a source of great happiness for him.
For his part, writer and screenwriter Mohammed El-Basousy, head of the festival, said that the nature and specificity of the festival-imposed standards in choosing the honorees, including that the star has a portfolio of works that have achieved his fame and success, in addition to other works that he presented in his career. These standards were fully available in Hani Salama, who deserves to be at the forefront of our choice to honour in this edition.
It is noteworthy that during his career, Hani Salama presented many distinguished cinematic works that earned him numerous awards and accolades both inside and outside of Egypt. He began his career with world-renowned director Youssef Chahine in 1997, with the film “El Massir” which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. This is where Hani took his first artistic steps and began to discover the world of major festivals.
Following that, Hani presented his second experience with Youssef Chahine in the film ‘The Other’ (Al-Akhar) in 1999. This was a new beginning towards professionalism and establishing himself. He then moved to a world not far from Chahine’s, with his unique experience with director Khaled Youssef in the film ‘Al-Asefa’ (The Storm) in 2001.
After achieving great success at Youssef Chahine’s school and gaining widespread recognition, Hani moved on to a different type of school in the film “Elsellem wel te’ban” (Snakes and Ladders) with director Tarek Alarian. This film marked a major qualitative leap in the cinema industry in terms of filming and directing, and it was a critical and popular success.
In the same year, Hani presented the film “Friends or Business” (‘As’hab Walah Business’) with director Ali Idris, which also received wide critical and popular attention.
Hani’s works varied across different film schools throughout his career, producing a number of distinguished works that continue to resonate with audiences today. His collaborations with director Khaled Youssef yielded several notable films, including “Enta Omry,” “Ouija,” and “Kheyanah Mashruah.” Hani’s final film was “Chief Omar Harb,” which garnered numerous awards.
Hani also excelled in psychological drama with the 2009 film “Al-Saffah,” directed by Saad Hendawy. This work completely changed Hani’s style and surprised his audience with a new approach.
Regarding his latest cinematic work, he collaborated with screenwriter Tamer Habib and director Hady El Bagory to produce the film “The Right One” (Wahed Sahih). The film premiered at the Dubai Film Festival and has since been showcased in numerous other festivals.
The management of the Hurghada Youth Cinema Festival, in its first and inaugural edition honoured the Syrian star, Sulaf Fawakherji, in its first edition
Sulaf Fawakherji expressed her happiness at being honored at the Youth Film Festival, in its first session, which represents a case of looking forward to the future.
The Syrian artist indicated her pride in participating in establishing a festival held in Egypt, which she considers her second country and her starting point in the arena of Arab art, stressing the depth of the relationship between the Egyptian and Syrian peoples.
For his part, writer and screenwriter Mohammed El-Basousy, head of the festival, said that honoring Sulaf Fawakherji at the Hurghada Youth Film Festival is a celebration of a special experience in Arab cinema, through which she presented a number of important works on the cinema screen in Egypt and Syria as an actress and director.
It is noteworthy that Sulaf Fawakherji is a Syrian actress. She studied in the Department of Archeology at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Damascus. She also studied plastic arts at the Adham Ismail Institute of Arts in Syria. She began her artistic career when she was in the third year of her university studies, when director Raymond Boutros chose her to star in his film “El Terhal” She then presented the film “Nassim al-Roh” with director Abdel Latif Abdel Hamid, and after that, her works on the big screen continued, which numbered 15 films.
“Sulaf” was a distinguished presence on the Egyptian cinema screen through the films “Halim” and “Leilet El-Baby Doll “, while a large number of series were presented in television drama between Syria and Egypt, most notably Asmahan, Birth from the Loin, Cleopatra, Sticks of Tears, And others.
Sulaf went through the experience of directing and producing through her film “Cherry Messages”, which participated in a number of film festivals.
The festival also honoured the Armenian director Jivan Avetisyan, a multi-talented artist as a producer, screenwriter, and sound engineer, and winner of several film awards, numbering 20, including Best Narrative Film for his latest film, Gateway to Heaven, which he received from the Ontario International Film Festival in 2021.