The 2020 El Gouna Film Festival has been postponed for one month, due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The festival’s management announced on Monday that its fourth edition will take place on 23 October, instead of 24 September as previously planned.
The decision to postpone the festival was taken to deliver a safe festival experience to its guests and audiences. The festival’s programme will be announced by the end of September 2020.
In a statement, Intishal Al Timimi, Director of the El Gouna Film Festival, said that “several film festivals have been impacted by the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and their return to the scene will send a positive signal that the world is on its way back to normality”.
“At GFF, we choose to live in this hope and positively continue our commitment to make a contribution to the development of international and regional cinema, whilst ensuring a safe yet enjoyable experience for all participants,” he added.
The festival will be the first public event hosted at the Gouna Conference and Culture Centre (GCCC), which covers 8,000 sqms of open space. It provides a unique and spacious atmosphere for a unique and modern cultural and cinematic experience.
Bushra Rozza, the festival’s Chief Operating Officer, said that organisers are in constant dialogue with key industry players and other international film festivals to study how film festivals are adapting to the current situation.
“Our team participated in the virtual Marché du Film (the Cannes Film Market), not only to meet sales agents and producers to source their films, but also to study the experience of a digital-only film market,” Rozza said. “Furthermore, the members of the team will be attending autumn-time film festivals to bring to the region the best and newest crop of films.”
The El Gouna Film Festival had earlier announced that it would be extending its submission deadline for films. The extension is to give candidates until 25 June to submit their works, while films in the post-production stage can be submitted until 10 July.