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Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy listed in 'Variety500' global media industry leaders

Hefzy also presided over the Cairo International Film Festival's past three editions

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Jan 2021
Mohamed Hefzy
Mohamed Hefzy (Photo: IMDb)
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Egyptian Producer and President of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) Mohamed Hefzy has been listed in 'Variety500', an index released by Variety that includes the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry.

This is the second time that Hefzy catches Variety's attention. In 2016, he was chosen by Variety for the top spot on the list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry.

Being the only Egyptian media personality listed in the newly released index of 2020, Hefzy is described as a "consistently bold leader."

As a president of the CIFF, Hefzy introduced Cairo Industry Days in 2018, and has elevated the festival to higher international ranks.

Variety underscores Hefzy's persistence in holding the 42nd CIFF in December 2020 amid the pandemic while assuring the safety of all the attendees.

"But he couldn’t escape the wrath of COVID-19 on the series Paranormal, Netflix’s first Arabic original out of Egypt, which he produced with director Amr Salama. The production was forced to shut down five days before the end of principal photography, and did not resume shooting for another four months," Variety writes.

"Amid all this, Hefzy — known for churning out edgy titles, including Microphone and Sheikh Jackson via his Film Clinic shingle — managed to produce two other movies: Mohamed Diab’s Amira and two-time Oscar nominee Hany Abu-Asaad’s Huda’s Salon."

He is also a former director of the Ismailiya International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts.

Since 2013, Hefzy has been a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab world.

Hefzy has served as a jury member previously at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival in 2011, as well as several other local and Arab festivals.

Screen International named him as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production in 2013.

His films have been featured widely in major film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto, and have won more than 80 international awards.

In 2016, one of his productions, Clash, was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.

Hefzy is the founder of Film Clinic, now considered one of the leading production companies in Egypt and the Arab world.

Aside from his work as a writer and producer, Hefzy is a film activist who offers workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with international organisations and institutes.

According to Variety’s website, "the Variety500 reflects the accomplishments of its members over the previous 12 months. They were selected by the Variety editorial board, which conducted extensive research for its selections. Because Variety500 is an annual list, recent career performance is more heavily weighted than previous work.

There is, of course, no one way to measure excellence, particularly when you consider the diverse range of career paths in the media and entertainment sector."

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