13 September 2017 6:57 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Rome – Oscar-winning actor-director Forest Whitaker will be feted with a lifetime achievement award by Egypt’s new El Gouna Film Festival, which will open its first edition later this month with the Middle Eastern premiere of Egyptian director Amr Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson.” The closing film will be Chinese artist-filmmaker Ai Weiwei’s “Human Flow,” about the global refugee crisis.

Whitaker, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland,” was praised by the El Gouna’s artistic director, Intishal Al Timimi, for playing roles with “significant social and human dimensions.” Whitaker is expected to attend the Sept. 22-29 festival to receive the award during its closing ceremony. The slogan of the fest’s inaugural edition is “Cinema for Humanity.”

Located in the high-end El Gouna Red Sea resort and backed by Egyptian telecom billionaire Naguib Sawiris, the ambitious fest is likely to shake up the volatile »


- Nick Vivarelli

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