Intishal al-Tamimi, manager of Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival (GFF), speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 19, 2020. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, preparations for holding the fourth edition of Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) are underway with anti-COVID-19 preventive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of participants, said the festival's organizers. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
CAIRO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Despite the coronavirus pandemic, preparations for holding the fourth edition of Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) are underway with anti-COVID-19 preventive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of participants, said the festival's organizers.
The festival, scheduled between Oct. 23 to Oct. 31, will screen 65 films, including 11 world premieres, and feature a multitude of workshops and panels.
"We will apply very strict anti-COVID-19 measures during this edition of the festival for the safety of everyone," Intishal al-Tamimi, manager of the GFF, told Xinhua.
"We have open-air theatres that will be used for screenings. We will also hold the festival's opening ceremony in a new location that is twice bigger than the one used in the past three editions. This will definitely help us keep the same numbers of invitees, participants as well as the public," al-Tamimi added.
The GFF's manager said that the red carpet will be designed in a way that would help maintain social distancing, stressing that El Gouna as a city is also well prepared to deal with any emergencies.
"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 to normalcy," al-Tamimi said.
He added that the festival managed to attract the best titles from around the world and some of them were present in Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian festivals.
Movies will be screened online intensively this year and some participants will join online discussions and seminars, the manager noted.
As one of the leading festivals in the Middle East, the GFF aims to showcase a wide variety of films while fostering better communication between cultures through the art of filmmaking.
The festival is also meant to connect filmmakers from the region with their international counterparts.
"We are collaborating with ministries of tourism, culture and health in order to make sure that all preventive measures are properly applied. We have changed some details to ensure the safety of everyone," Bushra Rozza, the festival's co-founder and chief operations and foreign relations officer, told Xinhua.
Bushra, who is also a famous Egyptian actress and singer, noted that most of the activities will be held outdoors, adding that there will be two open-air cinemas for screening the movies.
"For the indoor activities, we will make sure that all anti-coronavirus preventive measures are met perfectly to avoid infections," she pointed out. Enditem