South African film critic and broadcaster Stephen ‘Spling’ Aspeling has been selected to serve on the FIPRESCI jury at the El Gouna Film Festival 2023. The festival will take place from October 13-20, 2023 in the Red Sea resort town of El Gouna, Egypt.
The El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) is back after a brief hiatus. Better than ever, this year’s program features a fresh and distinctive approach with a diverse selection of films from around the world, including a strong focus on Arab cinema.
The Feature Narrative Competition includes 14 films, the Feature Documentary Competition includes 12 films, and the Short Film Competition includes 21 films. In addition to the films, GFF will offer a lineup of master classes and panel discussions with industry professionals and experts.
Aspeling is a well-respected figure in the South African film industry and a passionate advocate for independent and international cinema. He has been writing about film for magazines, newspapers and websites for almost 17 years and broadcasting on radio for 14 years with more than 500 episodes of his Talking Movies show on Fine Music Radio. The founder of film brand SPL!NG and author of ‘The Essence of Dreams: An Anthology of Film Reviews’, the critic has almost a decade of experience serving on critic’s panels and juries from graduation to film festivals.
In addition to his work as a movie critic, Aspeling is also a script editor and film consultant through his company, reviewmyscript.com. Having advised filmmakers and assisted screenwriters in realising their script’s full potential, Spling’s gearing up to take a more active role as a screenwriter and producer in the future.
Aspeling’s selection to the FIPRESCI jury at the El Gouna Film Festival is a testament to his expertise in film, joining a team made up of international film critics, who award prizes to the best films at film festivals around the world.
The El Gouna Film Festival is a relatively new festival, having been launched in 2017. However, it has quickly become one of the most prestigious film festivals in the Middle East, known for its diverse lineup of films, dedication to humanity and environmental concerns, and commitment to showcasing the work of emerging filmmakers.
One of the leading film festivals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, it showcases a wide variety of films to a passionate and knowledgeable audience, while fostering better communication between cultures through the art of filmmaking.
The festival also provides a platform for filmmakers to showcase their work and to connect with potential collaborators and financial supporters. The CineGouna Platform is an industry-oriented event created to empower Egyptian and Arab filmmakers. It presents the CineGouna SpringBoard and the CineGouna Bridge programs, which provide opportunities for sharing and learning.
Aspeling’s participation in the El Gouna Film Festival is a significant opportunity to immerse himself in the world of Arab film as well as represent and promote South African cinema. Spling says that it’s an honour to serve on the FIPRESCI jury at the El Gouna Film Festival and is looking forward to watching the films in competition and being a part of the jury’s deliberations.