El Gouna Film Festival: Hend Sabri named Best Actress at closing ceremony

Bartosz Bielenia, meanwhile, took home the trophy for Best Actor on the final night of the cinematic celebration

The El Gouna Film Festival has wrapped up for another year, with the closing ceremony for the third annual event held in Egypt last night.

Stars including Tara Emad, Elisa Sednaoui, Amina Khalil, Shereen Reda and Dorra Zarrouk walked the red carpet on the final night of the film festival, held in the resort town on the Red Sea coastline.

The cinematic celebration, which opened on Thursday, September 19 and finished on Friday, September 27, screened a range of regional and international works during its programme.

In the closing ceremony, filmmakers from around the world were feted in a star-studded awards gala, with Sudanese director Amjad Abu Alala⁣'s You Will Die at Twenty walking away with the coveted El Gouna Golden Star for Narrative Film.

The self-taught filmmaker's debut feature, which tells the story of a man who grows up haunted by a Dervish prophesy predicting his untimely death, also screened at this year's Venice Film Festival.

The El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Narrative Film, meanwhile, went to Algeria's Mounia Meddour for Papicha.

The film, which screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is set in Algiers in 1997, when the city was in the hands of extremists who wanted to establish an oppressive state. Amid all this, the film’s protagonist Nedjma, a young university student with a passion for style, decides to then organise a fashion show with young women on her campus.

The El Gouna Star for Best Actor was awarded to Poland's Bartosz Bielenia for his role in Corpus Christi, a drama focused on a man who has spiritual awakening while serving a sentence for second-degree murder.

Hend Sabri was honoured with the El Gouna Star for Best Actress for her work on Noura's Dream, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

The film, directed by Tunisia's Hinde Boujemaa, sees Sabri play the titular character, a woman trying to find long-­overdue happiness while her abusive, small-time criminal husband is in jail.

Also walking away with trophies on the night were Sudan's Suhaib Gasmelbari⁣, who won the El Gouna Golden Star for Documentary Film for Talking About Trees, and Jordan's Lina Alabed⁣, who was awarded the El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Documentary Film for Ibrahim: A Fate to Define.

⁣Sonia Haddad⁣'s Exam won the El Gouna Golden Star for Short Film, while Zain Duraie⁣'s Give Up the Ghost, a taboo-breaking tale of a young wife struggling with her mother-in-law's assumption that she is infertile, landed the El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Short Film.

Nadine Labaki stars in Oualid Mouaness's first feature film '1982'. Abbout Productions; Tricycle Logic; Mad Dog Films

A Special Jury Mention was given to Alvaro Gago Diaz⁣'s 16 December while the FIPRESCI Award was handed to Oualid Mouaness for 1982, the Nadine-Labaki-starring film which tells the story of a boy who is anxious about winning over a school crush.