Even as festivals world over are going virtual owing to the global health crisis, Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival to be held at end of this month, is set to be among the first sizeable physical film events to be held in Covid era. It will have a few actors, directors and producers physically attending the same with all safety protocols in place.
Interestingly, the Shorts Film Competition Festival will be judged by actor Ali Fazal along with other globally renowned talent as the jury. And he would be accompanied to the festival by his girlfriend, actor Richa Chadha, who will be a part of a panel discussion about women empowerment. The couple will fly out next week.
Looking forward to being on the panel, Chadha says, "It's an important dialogue that must be had to help popular culture move in the right direction. With the rising number of powerful female voices across the world, it's important to discuss, debate and relearn norms. The narrative in 2020 must speak about gender equality which will only come from empowering the women who've been given the short end of the stick for far too long."
The Fukrey and Section 375 actor will also be talking about her journey in the Hindi film industry, challenges she faced, choices she made and the impact it had on the kind of roles that came her way.
Fazal, too, is excited to be on the jury with eminent personalities. "It has been a fairly grim year for all of us across the world. The fact that I'll be attending an on ground physical event is a reminder that the worst is behind us. It gives me hope that things will get better world over, here on. I'm looking forward to watching many short films and interacting with the people at this event," says the Victoria & Abdul actor who'd be seen next in Kenneth Branagh's Death On The Nile.
Fazal's co-jury members in the Shorts Film Competition include Tunisian director Raja Amari, Syrian actor Kinda Alloush and the popular Argentine filmmaker Santiago Amigorena. They will choose four best entries from a wide range of submissions.