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CineGouna: The Platform Awards Ceremony



The closing of “CineGouna” Platform has finally arrived along with the awards ceremony as part of the Gouna Film Festival at the Marina Theatre. where various projects by directors and producers from the Arab world were competing for creative and financial support.

The ceremony was initiated by “Intishal El Tamimy” the Gouna Film Festival’s Director who thanked the Platform’s team as well as mentors, and the jury. He also gave a special thanks to “Bushra” the festival’s COO.

Presenting the awards was “Nada Howedi“ the Senior Springboard coordinator of the CineGouna platform. “Siza Zayed,” the CineGouna Bridge Manager also thanked her team including volunteers and festival organizers as well as the sponsors.

The Springboard Jury consisted of experts in filmmaking from all over the world who came to choose a winner in both the projects in development category and the ones in post-production. The winners received a CineGouna Platform Certificate and a cash prize of US $15,000. Additional awards are presented through local and regional institutions for a total of $250,000 US.

The first award was presented to a project in development called “Harvest” directed by “Ely Dagher” from Lebanon for a prize worth $15,000 US. This project also won the award presented by the Drosos Foundation by Omar Sameh worth another $15,000 US. The producer of the movie “Harvest” expressed his gratitude and stated that the Gouna Film Festival was the best festival he’s ever been to and thanked the jury “because they believe in cinematic documentary.”

The second project to win an award worth $15,000 US was a project in post-production entitled “A Long Breath” directed by “Remi Itani” from Lebanon.

The project that won the most awards was “Straight to The Goal” a film in development directed by “Tamer Ashry” from Egypt. The project won awards from the sponsors iProduction for $10,000 US, Ergo Media Ventures for $10,000 US, Waraq powered by Magic Beans for $5,000 US.

The project also won $15,000 from Film Independent and U.S Embassy and the chance for their screenwriter to participate in the Film Independent Forum Independent Spirit Awards Residency. And finally unlimited location shooting service provided by Dakhli West El Balad presented by Moshira Adel.

El Taher Media Production sponsored an award worth $15,000 which they presented to “Yalla, Baba!”, a project in development from Lebanon and directed by “Angie Obeid”. “

Mahmoud El Bat” from the Arab Radio & Television Network (ART) awarded $15,000 US to “Daughters of Abdul-Rahman”, a film in development from Jordan directed by “Zaid Abu Hamdan”.

Intishal presented the award sponsored by “Synergy Films” worth $10,000 US to “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, a film in development from Egypt and directed by “Mohamed Taher”. The film also won a $15,000 US sponsorship from Film Independent and U.S. Embassy for their creative producer to participate in the Film Independent Forum Residency.

“Captains of Za’atari”, an Egyptian film in post-production directed by “Ali El-Arabi” won an award worth $10,000 from “New Century Production” and another reward worth $10,000 from Cell Creative Media Solutions”. They also won the chance to participate in IEFTA’s Global Film Expression Initiative and a sponsorship to attend a partnering festival lab or workshop. “Plum Season”, a Moroccan project in development directed by “Rim Mejdi” also won the IEFTA sponsorship.

“Lagoonie Film Production” sponsored an award worth $10,000 presented by “Mohamed El A’ad” to “Severed Head”, a Tunisian film in development directed by “Lotfi Achour”.

Daughters of Abdul-Rahman”, a project in development from Jordan directed by Zaid Abu Hamdan won an award presented by “Lina El Rifai” from Rotana worth $10,000.

The biggest award was sponsored by OSN and was worth $50,000 US which they presented to “Mica”, a Moroccan film in development directed by “Ismaël Ferroukhi”. The filmmakers were humbled by this reward and were “happy to see Gouna selecting a wonderful project”.

Sherif Fathy” from Cell Post Production presented an award worth $10,000 and their post-production services to “Our Dark 70s”, a Moroccan film in post-production directed by Ali Essafi.

Looking For Sa’adah”, a Palestinian film in development directed by “Areen Omari” won $5,000 sponsored by Art City for Cinema and TV Production.

The ceremony was attended by Bushra, the festival’s COO, as well as filmmakers and actors like Saba Mubarak, Sara Abdel Rahman and the director Khairy Beshara.

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In a spectacular display of cultural revitalization and preservation, Egypt stunned the world with her Golden Parade. The royal procession rivaled those of  centuries past in extravagance and the awe it left in its wake. The official transference of 22 mummies, 18 pharaohs and four queens from The Egyptian museum in heart of Cairo to the next nucleus of Egyptian history and culture, The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. This momentous event came to being after a year long preparation in which the efforts of key individuals led to an unparalleled display which captivated millions across the globe. The colossal effort behind the scenes owe its thanks to several companies and individuals.

The phenomenal production by Kokoro Agency heads Production Designer and Art Director Mohamed Attia and partner Shady Ezz, oversaw the process to ensure the visually distinct nature of the Golden Parade. Following the event Mohamed Attia “The happiness and pride of the people come from how we as Egyptians are capable. That we’re capable of meeting the international standard, with it being accomplished yesterday before the eyes of every Egyptian and the world.” This substantial work stands as an example of Egyptian creativity and attention to detail which Shady Ezz remarked “after a year and a half worth of preparation, I’m delighted with the domestic and international reception”. Having successfully captured the grandiosity and awe inspiring spectacle of the Ancient Egyptians Kokoro and everyone involved in the production of the Parade have forged work that has earned the pride of Egyptians everywhere.

The visual journey that was embarked upon by every viewer who witnessed the parade was one guided by the hand of DOP and Director Mazen El Motagawel. Responsible for the vision of the event, his efforts ensured a spectacle that offered viewers a unique glimpse into the past, which he says “will never be repeated in a lifetime”. Through intricate rehearsals and preparation, he ensured that every second that was viewed on air deserved to be cemented in the minds and hearts of Egyptians. The parade necessitated a delicate touch and a carefully orchestrated sequence of events, which presented substantial challenges which required an unmatched creativity to ensure such a vision comes to fruition. He stated that “the lighting design was extremely technically demanding regarding how to manage lighting on such a grand scale, especially the coordination between the parade and the visual elements”. Mazen El Motagawel’s work was complemented by Ahmed El Morsi’s remarkable directing and filming the retelling of ancient Egyptian history by prominent Egyptian actors as well as the official anthem by the acclaimed artist Mohamed Mounir. All theses elements came together to mark a new chapter in modern Egyptian history in which it solidifies its identity. One that embraces the legacy of its past and its optimistic path towards achieving its potential.


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The Christmas Bazars and Festivities to Catch This Holiday




Christmas festivities has already invaded most parts of Cairo and it’s our favorite season for a good reason! Anywhere you go, you can spot the festive decorations and stunning Christmas lights.

If Christmas IS your favorite holiday and you’re looking to make the best out of it, here are the best places to celebrate the holidays in! The following are the bazars to catch and the places with the most stunning winter vibes.

Walk of Cairo

Walk of Cairo is Zayed’s newest addition and it has it all! It has the vibes and the best entertainment anyone can ask for. They have Egypt’s first Museum of Illusions, so get ready to have your mind blown away. They have the nicest, massive decorations and they have lots of fun games!

Mall of Arabia

Mall of Arabia has done a wonderful job upping their game! The Park at Mall of Arabia has everything you need, from fun rides to carnival games during the weekdays and on weekends too. Just passing by the mall, you will be blinded with magnificent Christmas lights, so you can only imagine how it looks from the inside!

Downtown Katameya

Enjoy plenty of activities at Downtown Katameya including foam clouds that you can indeed float on! VR competitions with a number of of IRL prizes, and a selfie booth where you can have your picture taken on their Christmas tree!

Arkan Plaza

Arkan Plaza in Sheikh Zayed gives you the ultimate dining experience with the best decorations and a huge Christmas tree! Catch the festivities there while dining at one of their top notch restaurants.

Zed Park

It’s all about Christmas at Zed Park plus the fun games and rides that you most certainly don’t want to miss!

Let the festivities begin and the good time roll! Happy holidays everyone.




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Christmas Concerts to be Held at Cairo and Alexandria Opera Houses




Both Cairo and Alexandria Opera Houses are set to celebrate Christmas with three concerts and ballet shows to be held on the 10th, 13th and 14th of December.

The concerts will be all about festivities and Christmas spirit, by presenting a selection of well-known musicals and international songs that are being presented for the very first time. They’re being prepared by Amir Awad, Osama Ali, and Imad Adel, under the supervision of Magdy Saber.

The Cairo Opera Troupe will present three concerts and ballet shows designed by Armenia Kamel, supervised by art director Iman Mostafa and directed by Abdullah Saad.

Cairo Opera Orchestra and the Cairo Opera Choir will also participate in the concerts, also with the participation of art shows performed by members of the Cairo Opera Ballet.

The concerts in Cairo will be held at the Cairo Opera’s Grand Theater and the third concert will take place in the Sayed Darwish Theater at Alexandria Opera.


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