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El Gouna symposium discusses the role and impact of film festivals.

CAIRO – 24 September 2019: On the side lines of the Gouna Film Festival, the “Gouna Symposium” is Kicking off it’s third day of discussion sessions.
The session “The role and the impact of film festivals” had participants from around the world who agreed that festivals like this one doesn’t require any particular criterion, and that’s for the sake of giving drama and art a free platform to express itself.
They also urged film makers to orient themselves to the most convenient festivals that serves them well at each point of their careers.
That vastly depends on their relavent experiences, current circumstances..etc that positions them in the film industry. Also, they advised to have leading and well experienced film marketer on the team when applying to festivals as (s)he plays a fundamental role in marketing a film to the festivals committee.
During the round table discussion, the participants of the session all agreed that if a film gets rejected from a festival by any means it does not mean that that film has failed, it only means that every festival has its unique theme and direction.
From that we learn that it’s the film maker’s full responsibility to understand that very well and act upon it by applying to relevant festivals and markets the film to its target audience effectively. For instance some of the local festivals have a clear direction of including and viewing commercial films only! So that of course that means if a film maker tried to register a foriegn movie that discusses a western affair, they will definitely fail at getting in.
The session also discussed on the role of festival organizers and curators in maintaining good relationships with all actors and film makers around the world, as it’s the only way to keep the festival running and sustainable.
For example the programmers of Toronto International Film Festival (tiff) are closely monitoring what is happening on electronic platforms that are related to the film industry to keep themselves up to date with all the new and innovative ideas out there in search of creating new ties and coming up with contemporary themes.
The session was attended by a number of internationally renowned figures in the industry; Cameron Bailey the famous film critic and tiff festival programmer, Nashen Moodley the director of Sydney Film Festival, Mark Beranson editor in Cinema Scope mgazine and the director of Vancouver Film Fest and Shayna Weingast associate programmer of Film & television for the Tribeca Film Festival and Sitora Alieva director of the Sochi international film festival.
The discussion did not overlook the importance of the Arab drama industry, since Arab films have started to become involved in major festivals around the world.
This is a good indication of this industry in the whole Arab region. The speakers agreed on the important principle that the entry of the film only for the festival in itself is a success of this work, but at the same time did not diminish the importance of obtaining prizes, which definitely benefits the film, and adds to the film’s special luster.
The creators of major festival festivals around the world predicted that the gap between documentaries and drama films would be diminishing over time, so that all films would be able to compete without restriction from those that held back each festival's interest.



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