Fulbright-Egypt Team at 2021 El Gouna Film Festival

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The Binational Fulbright Commission in Egypt (BFCE) was at the 2021 El Gouna Film Festival https://elgounafilmfestival.com to connect with Fulbright alumni in the arts and to promote Egypt’s extensive art award portfolio. We were delighted to connect with the following alumni while at the festival:

  • Fulbright alumna Taghrid Abdel Maksoud who travelled to the U.S. through Fulbright and studied film studies at UCLA and the New York Film Academy. She is now an accomplished director and screenwriter. Her film Ma’idat Al Rahman won 6 international awards. She is currently preparing for her first long narrative film.
    About the Fulbright Program, Abdel Maksoud said that Fulbright allowed her to study direction, screenwriting and  soundtrack among other aspects of film making that later on allowed her to make genuinely Egyptian films and not merely copy films from other cultures.
  • Renowned Egyptian composer and resident conductor at the Cairo Opera House, Hisham Gabr is a Fulbright art alumnus at Cornell University in 2013. Gabr updated us on his most recent projects and compositions for the opera and theatre and explained how his time in the U.S. had an impact on his work since his return.
  • Concertmaster Yasser Elserfai, who studied the violin with world-renowned violinist Eric Friedmann at Yale University on a Fulbright grant in 1997, and Dr. Mona Wassef, Assistant Professor at the Egyptian Conservatoire and Harpist at the Egyptian Orchestra were both at El Gouna for their performance at Cine Concert. Dr. Wassef is a Fulbright art alumna at the University of Arizona from 2005.
  • I made my first film during my Fulbright grant.” That’s what Director Tamer Ezzat told us when we met him at El Gouna. Ezzat is an accomplished filmmaker who studied special digital effects at New York University and directing at the New York Film Academy in 2001. Ezzat’s last film “When We Were Born” was submitted as Egypt’s entry for the Oscar’s Best International Feature Film for the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.

The Commission team had a table at the CineGouna which is an education and cultural platform created to support and empower Egyptian and Arab filmmakers and help them find artistic and financial support. Applications are submitted for participation from all parts of the Arab world. CineGouna Platform alumni have gone on to win regional and international acclaim and awards. The BFCE team had the chance to meet potential applicants to the Fulbright art grants and disseminate information about the application process. In addition to the Fulbright Student and Scholar grants that are open in all fields- including art, Egypt offers the following art specific opportunities:

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