El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) announced that The Knight & The Princess, the first Egyptian animated feature film, is confirmed to take part in its third edition, which will take place from September 19 to 27, 2019.
The festival said that it is aiming to support Arab cinematic voices and to provide them with a regional and international audience, hence The Knight & The Princess will have its world premiere at the third edition of GFF, before its public release in October.
Inspired by a real seventh century Arab warrior, the plot follows young adventurer Mohammed Bin Alkassim with a fictional twist. At the young age of 15, he believed that anything was possible, and he took it upon himself to save women and children abducted by pirates in the Indian Sea. As he turned 17, Mohammed Bin Alkassim was ready to take on the tyrant king Daher. He left his hometown Basra, Iraq, with his lifelong friend Zaid, and his mentor Abu Alaswad, in a challenging adventure to free Sind. The film delves into the exciting experiences that helped shape the great leader he would later become.
Written and directed by Bashir El Deek, the film features voices from a fine cast that includes Mohamed Henedy, Donia Samir Ghanem, Medhat Saleh, Maged El Kedwany, Lekaa Elkhamissi, along with acting legends like Abla Kamel, Abdel Rahman Abou Zahra, the late Amina Rizk, and the late Saeed Saleh. The character designs were created by the late Mustafa Hussein.
“We are proud to showcase the first Egyptian animated feature film created by an Arab crew, whose work is on par with prominent animated films from around the world,” Intishal Al Timimi, director of El Gouna Film Festival said.
“The film not only represents a significant milestone for the Arab film industry, but also helps it take crucial steps toward expanding its horizons through a genre that embodies creativity, imagination, and talent in a brand-new light in the region,” Al Timimi added.
Amir Ramses, artistic director of the festival said that “the film will surely add value to our line-up, as it not only pioneers tackling a genre that has been difficult to produce in the Egyptian and Arab film industry, but it also marks the comeback of writer and director Bashir El Deek, one of the most celebrated filmmakers of the Egyptian neo-realism.”
“Making this film was a huge challenge. We started this project 20 years ago and faced production hurdles all along the way. Yet, we did not allow them to diminish our enthusiasm,” Abbas Bin El-Abbas, film producer said. “We continued to work on the film and made it our mission to prove that we have what it takes to create an Arab animated film without depending on foreign expertise,” he added.
“We are delighted to premiere our film at the GFF, which we consider as one of the prominent rising film festivals in the region. And we hope that this step will facilitate the distribution process of the film later on, since we may encounter similar obstacles to what other independent films face in general,” he added.