Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival can be Cannes of Mideast: Hollywood’s Dylan McDermott

Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) has a chance of becoming the Cannes of the Middle East, Hollywood star and Golden Globe Award winner Dylan McDermott said in an interview with Xinhua during the event.

The week-long event that kicked off on Sept. 22 screens about 69 films from around 40 countries, including 16 feature films, 18 short films and 12 long documentaries, in addition to 19 films outside the official competition and four in a special program.

“I am here to support and bring some awareness to this festival and I think it has a real chance of becoming a very brilliant film festival especially in the Middle East,” McDermott told Xinhua, hailing the gala’s opening ceremony as “beautiful” and “pretty well done.”

McDermott said that the distinguished participation and the neat organization seen in the first GFF qualify it to be as renowned in the Middle East as France’s Cannes Film Festival in the world.

“I love film festivals and I love going to movies. I have been a juror at Tribeca Film Festival and I went many times to Cannes and Sundance festivals. I just enjoy festivals in general,” said the Hollywood star.

The ongoing first edition of the GFF is mainly founded and funded by Egyptian business tycoons Naguib Sawiris and his brother Samih Sawiris. The latter is the founder of El Gouna town, a two-decade-old Red Sea resort north of world famous Hurghada resort city, where the gala is held.

The new film festival gathers Egyptian, Arab and international stars and moviemakers including top Egyptian comedian Adel Imam, veteran Egyptian actress Yousra, Arab stars Hend Sabry and Hiam Abbass and Hollywood stars Forest Whitaker and McDermott, besides dozens of others.

“I think that cinema is very important. I think it breaks down all of areas, about xenophobia, racism and preconceived notions,” said McDermott, adding that watching a movie sometimes makes the audience learn about and from other cultures.

The American movie star said that a festival like the GFF with the various films it screens is “a chance to look at the Middle East in a real way.”

He added that through such festivals and their various unique movies the audience get to see how other people live and understand their problems and sufferings.

“So, it is very important for people to be open and watch movies, for sometimes you get to be transported into another culture and learn from that culture through a movie,” McDermott told Xinhua.

Original Post : New China

About the author: Thomas Yates

After finishing his Business Management degree Tom was looking to join a progressive company where he had the opportunity to have his own ideas listened to and implemented. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time as Rivermead Global were looking at taking somebody on and in 2009 Tom joined the company. If you are looking at buying a property in Egypt or Turkey you have come to the right people. Read our Ultimate Guide To Buying Property In Hurghada