Andrew Mohsen, critic and artistic director of the Aswan International Film Festival, has revealed that Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby will be among the jury of the festival's main competition for feature films.
In its fourth round this year, the jury will also include renowned names from the international film scene: Dutch filmmaker Mijke de Jong, Tunisian actress Souhir Bin Amara, Romanian producer Alex Theodorsko and Filipino filmmaker Khavn de la Cruz.
Commenting on the choice of Shalaby, Mohsen said that the actress is one of the leading stars of her generation. She won dozens of awards at numerous international festivals.
He added that Shalaby has a portfolio of being among the jury members of a few renowned film festivals including Carthage Film Days and the Malmo Arab Film Festival.
Shalaby began her career in 2001 with the television series 'Morning and Evening Talk,' based on a story by Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. Her silver screen debut was also in 2001 when she got a role in the late Radwan Al-Kashef’s 'The Magician.'
Ever since, Shalaby has worked with many renowned Egyptian directors and alongside many other stars. Her filmography includes I Love Cinema (2004 dir. Osama Fawzi), The Best of Times (2004, dir. Hala Khalil), Downtown Girls (2005, dir. Mohamed Khan), About Love and Passion (2006, dir. Kamla Abouzekry), Chaos (2007, dir. Youssef Chahine), and Microphone (2010, dir. Ahmad Abdalla).
She collaborated with Youssry Nasrallah on 'After the Battle' (2012), which brought Egyptian cinema back to Cannes after a 15-year absence, and 'Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces' (2016), which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival before it was released in France and Switzerland.
Among Shalaby's most significant appearances was in the film 'Nawara' directed by Hala Khalil, which brought her a record of 10 best actress awards.
Shalaby described her role in Nawara as the role of her lifetime and one of the most important artistic endeavours she had taken in her career.
Nawara is set in the wake of the 2011 revolution, centering on a woman in her twenties who works as a housemaid at a villa in a luxury compound.
Shalaby's most recent works include 'The Originals' (2017, dir. Marawan Hamed) and 'Diamond Dust' (2018).
For her score of achievements, Shalaby was honoured with the Faten Hamama Excellence Award at the last 41st Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which took place in November 2019.
Mohsen has also underscored that all the jury members of the upcoming 4th Aswan International Film Festival represent the cream of the crop in the international film scene.
"Mijke de Jong participated in several festivals such as Berlin, Toronto and London, and won the Crystal Bear Award at the Berlinale," Mohsen said.
“Tunisian actress Souhir Ben Amara played roles in cinema and television during her artistic career, and she worked with many important Tunisian directors," Mohsen stated.
"Alex Teodorescu is a well-known Romanian producer. His most notable works include '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days' (2007), which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival (2007)"
Mohsen also pointed to the Filipino filmmaker Khavn de la Cruz, who is behind 50 feature films and 100 short films, many of which were screened at the biggest international film festivals. "De La Cruz was also among jury members for those festivals."
The 4th Aswan International Women Film Festival will take place between 10 and 16 February 2020.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture