The Monaco-based International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) has returned to Egypt’s Red Sea resort town for the third edition of the El Gouna Film Festival (19-27 September 2019), one of the leading festivals in the MENA region that presents a wide variety of films for a passionate and knowledgeable audience and is committed to the discovery of new voices, striving to be a catalyst for the development of Cinema in the Arab World.

Making its World Premiere at GFF, Marco Orsini’s Beyond The Raging Sea follows the harrowing tale of two Egyptian adventurers, Omar Samra and Omar Nour – affectionately known as O2 – as they take on the world’s toughest row, an unsupported, perilous 3,000 nautical mile journey from the Canary Islands to Antigua. The extreme journey is part of an annual ocean-rowing race called the Atlantic Challenge. They didn’t make it.

Eight days, and 500 miles into their journey across the Atlantic, Team O2 were hit by 45 knot winds and towering waves that caused their boat to capsize – their boat did not self-right as it was meant to do. The 12 hours that followed, deserted and floating in the rough seas in a small rubber raft (as well as literally in the sea trying to fix the small rubber raft), before they were rescued by a cargo ship which re-routed in answer to their mayday call, became a survival story of epic proportions.

Sponsored by DHL, Team O2 dedicated their row to raising awareness of the global refugee crises. In an ironic twist, Nour and Samra faced the same dangers, terrors and decisions of those they meant to recognise and relieve.

Featuring jaw-dropping, you-are-there footage of a remarkable ordeal and rescue at sea, Beyond the Raging Sea is the gripping account of that experience narrated by those who lived it, capturing what they endured, what they felt and what it meant.

A collaboration by DHL, UNDP, UNHCR and IEFTA, Beyond The Raging Sea had its World Premiere on Saturday, September 21, to critical acclaim.

A creative hub for minds and markets, the CineGouna Platform is a filmmakers/industry oriented event created with the objective of nurturing and strengthening promising Egyptian and Arab cinema projects & filmmakers and to help them find artistic and financial support. This past May, two filmmakers who were selected from the CineGouna Platform attended IEFTA’s Cannes program: Ruba Atiyeh from Lebanon and Marwa Zein from Sudan.

IEFTA is a Monaco based non-governmental organisation founded with the purpose of discovering and developing film talent from emerging regions, globally. We connect film makers to established industry professionals, engage cultural diversity and foster relationships that are; mentoring, inspiring and educational.