'Being in front of the camera is my only joy in life': Egyptian star Ahmed El-Sakka at El Gouna Film Festival

Soha Hesham , Friday 15 Oct 2021

In its fifth edition, El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) gave the Career Achievement Award to the Egyptian star Ahmed El-Sakka and held a press conference with the actor on Friday.

Ahmed El Sakka
Ahmed El Sakka (Photo: courtesy El Gouna Film Festival)

The press conference was moderated by festival director Intishal Timimi who welcomed El-Sakka to El Gouna Film Festival. The room was filled with media representing Egyptian, Arab and foreign media outlets.

One of the first questions addressed to El-Sakka referenced the actor’s comment about Egyptian cinema made during the festival's opening on the evening of 14 October. El-Sakka's statement was understood by social media users as disparaging the thirty year period of cinema from the 1967 war up till Ismailia Rayeh Gai (Return Ticket to Ismailia, 1997), when his generation’s new wave of cinema began.

El-Sakka answered, “It wasn’t my intention to undermine or erase the previous Egyptian cinema history of course. I was referring to technology only and the difference in technology between those two time frames. Today we have much better technological solutions, yet this does not mean that older films are any worse. I really appreciate this period of the Egyptian cinema and it includes many films that we grew up on.”

El-Sakka continued saying that “I am lucky that I live during this transition between the old and the new technology. One great thing is that today we have access to tools that make creating films easier; I am sure many cameramen gathered here would agree with me. In fact, the usage of new technologies began with the film Short, T-Shirt and a Cap,” he recalled.

El-Sakka was also asked if he'd consider directing. Without a moment of hesitation he answered "No," adding that "Being in front of the camera is my only joy in life, I’m really lucky to be doing something I really love. I’m a graduate of the Higher Institute of Theatrical Arts; I then studied in Cape Town (South Africa). I learned a lot about this field and this is my specialisation. It is education that makes me better as an actor better and this also makes the filming process easier for whole cast.”

El Sakka is known for often challenging action scenes, including for some in which he was even injured. When asked if he regrets getting engaged in dangerous situations on the set, he replied: "I’m not stubborn as I used to be. I also work on my development all the time. At certain point I asked actor Andrew Mackenzie to collaborate with me in Egypt and to train an Egyptian team for the safety measures of the action scenes. This is part of development for all of us.”

At the end of the press conference, El-Sakka announced that he will be acting in Al-Ikhtiyar 3 (The Choice 3) that will be screened during the upcoming Ramadan. In the series he will be joined by Karim Abdel-Aziz and Ahmed Ezz.

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