The Sharm El-Sheikh Asian Film Festival (SAFF) organised a seminar on Monday to honour Egyptian actor Lotfy Labib, one day after honouring actress Hala Sedki during its third edition, which takes place between 2 and 8 March at the Red Sea coastal city.
“I am very happy with this honour. Thank you to the festival’s organisers and all the attendees whom I respect and adore,” said the 71-year-old Labib, who has appeared in hundreds of movies, plays and TV shows.
The seminar was held at a hall at Porto resort and was attended by actors, writers and directors, who gave Labib an extended ovation.
Directors Mohamed Abdel-Aziz and Omar Abel-Aziz, SAFF head Magdi Ahmed Ali, and critic Nader Adly, who ran the seminar, praised Labib for his talent and professionalism.
Labib started his career later than many of his colleagues at the High Cinema Institute such as Mohamed Sobhi, Hadi El-Gayar and Nabil El-Halfawy; because he served in the military for six years.
“I was the first in this room to step into Sinai as I was among the first forces that fought in October 1973,” said Labib, revealing that a fourth edition of his book ‘Troop 26,’ which he wrote about the war, is almost finished.
Labib worked in the Gulf for three years before returning to Egypt and starting his career in the late 1970s and the 80s, thanks to Mohamed Abdel-Aziz and Omar Abel-Aziz, who supported his start in the field.
After many successful roles, Labib became a first-choice for directors, mostly appearing in comedy films alongside stars like Adel Emam, Mohamed Henidy, Ahmed Helmy, Ahmed El-Sakka and many others.
Labib took part in Ga’ana Al-Bayan Al-Taly (2000), The Embassy in the Building (2005), Keda Reda (2007), Teer Enta (2009), Asal Eswed (2010), Baba (2012), and Zahaimar (2010), to name a few.
Hala Sedki, who was honoured a day earlier, said, “It’s great to be honored during such an important festival,” expressing gratitude to the attendees and the festival on Sunday.
Sedki, who said that actress Souad Hosni was her role model, spoke highly about director Atef El-Taib (1943-1995) especially for his work in Ahmed Zaki’s Al-Horob (1988), which was screened during the festival’s panorama.
Many known filmmakers praised the actress during the seminar, including director Enas El-Deghidy, Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, SAFF head Madgy Amed Ali and critics Nader Adly and Sayed Mahmoud, who ran the seminar.
Ali, whose first movie Ya Donia Ya Gharami (1996) also starred Sedki, revealed that he initially asked her to arrange the honoring of actresses Shwikar or Nilly, before deciding that Sedki would be one to be honored.
Sedki, who also starred in iconic director Youssif Shain’s films Heya Fawda and Alexandria-New York, is widely known for various roles in TV series like Arabesque, Zezenia and Afareet Adly Allam.
Director Ali El-Ghazouli was also honoured during the festival's opening on 2 March, while famed Chinese Director Xie Fei, the edition’s guest of honour and head of the festival's jury, was honoured on Tuesday. Xie Fei’s works have won him multiple awards internationally and in China.
During the festival, which is organised by the Noon Foundation for the Arts, 58 films from 26 countries will be competing for nine awards in five competitions, with three Egyptian films to have their world premiere.
The films are from Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, Tatarstan, Tajikistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.
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